A Language Passport Will Open Doors of Understanding and Opportunity
As part of our aim to create an environment of understanding, tolerance and opportunity, we have partnered with three language schools, each offering a unique set of expertise and experience. One of those partners is now based at The Coach House and is working with our Academic Council to address language needs in the College. Jenny Kerchhoff, who heads the KZN Language Institute, is engaged with us on a research project on multilingualism and language awareness:
“The KZN Language Institute became independent from the UKZN in 2013, after 13 years of supporting foreign and local students with language development. We offer the development of both proficiency and academic skills in English as well as other languages, such as isiZulu and Sign Language. All the teachers have TEFL qualifications (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
Together with St Charles College, we have initiated an English Immersion programme for school children who are in need of English assistance – which is new since we previously worked only with adults. Boys from foreign countries, or whose first language is not English, are able to come to St Charles College and through the English Immersion programme, can adapt to academic instruction and social connection in English.
We are also excited to be involved in a research programme with St Charles College, investigating the power of multilingualism and language awareness. We have identified that language is a powerful force for building an appreciation of other people and the differences they add to make life a rich experience. It is our understanding that language and culture are linked – we can’t help but understand people better if we learn their language.
The approach to language learning is research based and focuses on a production style of learning where confidence is built up through testing for success, in much the same way that children learn their mother tongue.
The KZN Language Institute’s focus on an incremental exposure to several languages, this dovetails with other language partners like Dante Allegheiri, which is well-resourced to offer formal language lessons leading towards international language qualifications (including Cambridge). Initially the focus is on Afrikaans, isiZulu, French, German and Spanish.
We have begun in three places in the Primary School and each year a new layer will be added. We are working towards a language passport to give our boys local and international confidence to engage with the rest of the world.
We would love to network and connect with people who may have any queries regarding language.”
- Mr Allen van Blerk (Principal) and Ms Jenny Kerchhoff (KZN Language Institute)