Language Policy

Language Policy

 

Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana

 

Introduction

Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Astana (hereinafter NISA) seeks the development of Kazakh, Russian and English. Kazakh is the official state language, acquisition of which is the duty of every member of the school community; Russian is a language of interethnic communication; and English is developed within the school as it is necessary for integration into the global economy.

According to the presidential decree on 2011, educational spheres in Kazakhstan should implement trilingual policy (Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2011). Thus all the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools follow the language policy and apply the trilingual educational model. NISA works according to the national policy and has three languages as Kazakh, Russian and English. Language policy constitutes an integral part of the academic process in the school.

We believe that all three of these languages - Kazakh, Russian and English - have an important role to play in the future of Kazakhstan; therefore fluency in three languages is a central aim of the school. Our students will need high-level language abilities to succeed in higher education and beyond.

Aim

To provide a guide for the implementation and development of the trilingual education model and other languages offered in the school that contributes towards high-quality learning and that corresponds to international standards as formulated by the International Baccalaureate (hereafter IB). 

General Provisions

1)      The Language Policy is the common property of the school and should be developed collaboratively by all members of the school community, including the senior management team, teachers, parents and students.

2)      The Language Policy will be subject to review as appropriate. 

Standards

Standards guiding the development of the NISA Language Policy include:

1)      The best of Kazakhstani and international practice;

2)   The principles of additive-multilingualism (the positive influence of studying more than one language on the student’s general level of literacy).

3)     Support for the students’ mother tongue languages

 

NISA Educational Programmes

NISA language learning

In NISA language learning is divided into two groups.

  1. Group one – Language and literature (or Language A),
  2. Group two – Language acquisition (or Language B).

In the Middle Years Programme (grades 7-10), students in the Russian stream study Russian Language and literature, and Kazakh Language acquisition. Students in the Kazakh stream study Kazakh Language and literature, and Russian Language acquisition from grades 7-9 moving to Russian Language and literature in grade 10. All students in the Middle Years Programme (hereafter MYP) study English Language acquisition with some students starting English Language and literature in grade 10.

In the Diploma Programme (hereafter DP), students study one Language A course and one Language B course or two Language A courses. Subject choices are individual and not decided by Russian or Kazakh stream. At the Diploma level, the school offers for language A:

  • Russian A: language and literature (Standard Level and Higher Level)
  • Kazakh A: literature (Standard Level)
  • English A: language and literature (Standard Level)

As language B, the school offers English B (Standard Level and Higher Level). The IB does not have the possibility of offering Russian or Kazakh as language B in DP.

Appendix 2 shows the IB continuum pathways from MYP through to DP studies in language. It starts from MYP Year 5. “MYP students continuing on to the DP will have developed not only an inquiring and reflective approach to language learning but also multi-literacy skills that they will be able to apply and extend in their DP language courses” (IBO, 2017).

Language Acquisition in MYP (grades 7-10)

Phases: All languages are differentiated according to the students’ abilities. To optimally fulfill students’ needs in language teaching and studying, language phases are used as required by the IB (See Appendix 1).

NISA provides languages teaching as following:

Kazakh language in the Russian stream

  • 7th grades: phases 2 and 3
  • 8th grades: phases 3 and 4
  • 9th grades: phases 4 and 5
  • 10th grades: phases 5 and 6

The school will offer phase 5 in grade 8, phase 6 in grade 9 and Kazakh Language and literature in grade 10 when sufficient number of students reach this level in the particular grade level.

Russian language in the Kazakh stream

  • 7th grades: phases 3 and 4
  • 8th grades: phases 4 and 5
  • 9th grades: phases 5 and 6
  • 10th grades: No phase (all students go to Language and literature)

English language in the Kazakh and Russian streams

  • 7th grades: phases 2 and 3
  • 8th grades: phases 3, 4 and phase 5 (if there are sufficient students ready for this phase)
  • 9th grades: phases 4, 5 and phase 6 (if there are sufficient students ready for this phase)
  • 10th grades: phase 5 only (and Language and literature for recommended students)

If a student reaches phase 5 or 6 in Language acquisition he or she may have the choice to continue studying in Language and literature. Transfer from MYP to DP will be according to the table IB continuum pathways (See Appendix 2). The reason for allowing students to move to Language and literature for English in grade 10 is to provide them with the possibility of choosing English Language A in the DP. Students will have a better understanding of the subject and be better prepared for it, as is also suggested in the above-mentioned table. The school’s goal is to also provide the opportunity for students studying Kazakh in the Russian stream to move to Kazakh A in the DP, motivating students further to reach higher levels in Kazakh language in MYP.

Placement of students in phases: Students are assigned phases through a process of teacher recommendation and/or diagnostic tests. In grade 7 students will be grouped into phases by the autumn break in October, so that teachers have the time to work with students to be able to accurately assign the phases. For other grade levels, a combination of teacher recommendation and/or diagnostic test at the end of the school year will determine the student phase for the next academic year. This process takes place each year in May. After the phases have been assigned, an analysis is made of the class divisions in each grade level. Students may be moved from one class to another in order for each class within the cohort to have a balanced number of students for each phase. Parents and students are informed of changes in classes before the summer holidays.

Movement between phases: In general, students will move up one phase in the following academic year. Exceptions can be made for those students who face challenges in their language learning. If the necessary phase is offered, these students may stay within the same phase for another year. For example, a student in phase 3 in grade 7 could stay in phase 3 in grade 8. But a student in phase 2 in grade 7 must move to phase 3 in grade 8. This is the minimum expectation as phase 3 is the lowest phase offered in grade 8.

In some cases, students are recommended to move up two phases for the next year. The school will open the higher phase for these students if there is a sufficient number of such students. In that case, the cohort needs to be split into three phases which means there will be a further need for students to move to a different class within the cohort.

Movement between phases within a school year is not expected. On rare occasions, where the need is evident, this can be discussed and the school administration will evaluate the case. Where the change is not possible, the student will remain in the current phase till the end of the year. In grade 10, students are not allowed to change:

  • English language between phases 5 Language acquisition and Language and literature
  • Kazakh language between phases 5 and 6

in the course of the school year.

Language study in the Diploma Programme

Language A: DP students are encouraged to take two language A courses, where possible. This allows students to achieve a bi-lingual Diploma.  International students are offered ‘self-taught’ literature courses. In 2017-2018  Spanish A literature is being offered. Possibilities will be expanded as necessary.

In addition to the DP language courses, national students will also complete the national programme in Kazakh Language or Russian Language in case they have not chosen either of these languages as a DP course.

Language B: English B will be an option for those students who do not choose English A as one of their courses.

The school will consider offering additional Group 2 languages (for example: French or Spanish ab initio) as the school expands, in order to promote multilingualism and to provide greater student choice in their selection of subjects. The school will review it each year to evaluate if students’ interests, resources, and scheduling will permit additional courses. 

Languages of instruction

The languages of instruction for each subject and grade level are listed in the table in Appendix 3.

Implementation of Programmes

At NISA, the goal of trilingualism will be supported by the following policies:

1. Integration of non-mother tongue languages outside the classroom, particularly in extracurricular activities, such as drama club, choir, sports lessons, and the book club.

2. International team-teachers will be language resources in the classroom to help students with different language strengths.

3. Provision of appropriate information resources in all three languages, and emphasis on the use of authentic texts over ESL materials in language learning and resourcing of the school information center and library.

4. Translation of all significant school documentations into the three languages of instruction.

5. Encouragement of overseas travel and study for all students and teachers to participate in conferences, contests, seminars to learn and practice English.

6. Language teachers and those teachers who hold language proficiency certificates with high results will teach other teachers Russian, Kazakh or English. International teachers can request studying Russian or Kazakh in the school.

7. Mother Tongue support will be organized for students of different nationalities. We cater for individual student needs by contacting appropriate organizations and encouraging the students to participate in mother tongue courses. Students with language needs will be identified in the beginning of the year and the language coordinator will work with them to create a plan to support their individual needs (See Student Language Profile in Appendix 4).

The Roles of Stakeholders

All members of the school community - including the senior management team, teachers, students and parents - are expected to contribute to the implementation and development of the Language Policy across the life of the school. We maintain, as IB does, that all teachers are language teachers, and in this environment, all teachers are language learners as well. Therefore:

1. All students and teachers are expected to make measurable yearly progress in official school languages and they need to be aware of using them.

2. It is the school’s responsibility to support staff in language learning and to make allowances for members at an early stage in their language acquisition process.

3. All teachers should be aware that they are language teachers. Local teachers are expected to have IELTS and KazTEST certificates.

4. All teachers should pay attention to language within their subjects through glossaries, trilingual term lists, etc.

5. Parents will fully support the implementation of the language policy in schools, as well as the desire of students to master three languages.

6. At school, the answers to the request of parents and other documents are given in the national language or in the same language of the request.

 

  

Appendix 1. Language Acquisition phases movement

 

 

Appendix 2. IB continuum pathways

Phase

MYP Year 5

DP Entry

Phase 1

 

Ab initio

Phase 2

 

Ab initio (in rare cases)

Language B SL

Phase 3

 

Language B SL

Phase 4

 

Language B SL/HL

Phase 5

 

Language B SL/HL

Phase 5

It is recommended the student has at least one semester in MYP language and literature before starting these DP courses

 

It is recommended the student has at least one semester in MYP language and literature before starting these DP courses

Language A: literature SL

Language A: language and literature SL

Literature and performance SL

Phase 6

Language A: literature SL/HL

Language A: language and literature SL/HL

Literature and performance SL

 

IB continuum pathways (IBO, 2017).

The chart above shows the IB continuum pathways from MYP through to DP studies in language. It starts from MYP Year 5. “MYP students continuing on to the DP will have developed not only an inquiring and reflective approach to language learning but also multi-literacy skills that they will be able to apply and extend in their DP language courses” (IBO, 2017).

  

 

Appendix 3.Languages of instruction

NISA Languages of instruction 2017-2018

 

 

Classes and subjects

7

8

9

10

11+12

Language stream

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Eng

I.

Language A/B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Kazakh A

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

2

Kazakh B

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

 

Kazakh

Kazakh

3

Russian A

 

Russian

 

Russian

 

Russian

Russian

Russian

Russian

4

Russian B

Russian

               

Russian

 

Russian

     

Russian

5

English A

           

English

English

English

6

English B

English

English

English

English

English

English

English

English

English

II.

Math

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Math

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh/

English*

Russian/

English*

English

English

English

III

Sciences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Biology

 

 

 

 

Kazakh/

English*

Russian/

English*

English

English

English

9

Physics

 

 

 

 

Kazakh/

English*

Russian/

English*

English

English

English

10

Chemistry

 

 

 

 

Kazakh/

English*

Russian/

English*

English

English

English

11

Sciences

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh/

English

Russian/ English

 

 

 

 

 

IV

Individuals and societies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

World history

 

 

 

 

English

English

English

English

English

13

History of Kazakhstan

 

 

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

 

14

Social studies

English

English

English

English

 

 

 

 

 

15

Kazakhstan in contemporary world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakh

16

Economics

 

 

 

 

English

English

English

English

English

17

ITGS

 

 

 

 

       

English

18

Kazakh studies

Kazakh

Kazakh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

Geography

 

 

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

 

 

 

V

Arts and Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Visual arts

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh/English*

Russian/English*

English

English

English

21

Drama

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

 

 

 

 

 

22

Design

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh

Russian

Kazakh/English*

Russian/English*

English

English

 

VI

Physical education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

Physical education

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

24

Basic military training

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakh

Kazakh

Kazakh

VII

IB requirement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

ТоК

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English

* All classes in grade level are taught in English fully if there are sufficient English-speaking teachers for all classes.

In any class, there may be team teaching with international teachers teaching in English.

Appendix4. Student Language Profile

For students to complete:

Mother Tongue(s) and other languages you know

(Mother tongue is the language you grew up speaking. You could have more than one mother tongue. Also a mother tongue does not always have to be your ‘best’ language. )

 

Language

Mother Tongue

Age at which you started to learn the language

If your mother tongue is not taught at the school, do you need support to further develop it?

Comments: Any other information about how you learned this language or its importance to you.

Kazakh

Yes/No

Dropdown: numbers from 0 to 18

 

 

 

Russian

Yes/No

Dropdown: numbers from 0 to 18

 

 

 

English

Yes/No

Dropdown: numbers from 0 to 18

 

 

 

Dropdown: Kirgiz, Korean, German, Ukrainian, Uzbek, other (specify)

Yes/No

Dropdown: numbers from 0 to 18

Yes/No

If yes, describe the support needed:

 

Student should be able to add rows for languages as necessary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generated from Outof7

 

 

Kazakh

Russian

English

Other: Spanish or French (DP only)

 

 

Level

Sem grade

EOY grade

Level

Sem grade

EOY grade

Level

Sem grade

EOY grade

Level

Sem grade

EOY grade

June 2016

Grade 9

Phase x

x

x

LL

x

x

Phase x

x

x

 

 

 

Dec 2016

Grade 10

Phase x

x

 

LL

x

 

Phase x

x

 

 

 

 

June 2017

Grade 10

Phase x

x

x

LL

x

x

Phase x

x

x

 

 

 

Dec 2017

Grade 11

 

 

 

A SL

x

 

B HL

x

 

 

 

 

ETC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference list

Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (2011). O Gosudarstvennoi programme razvitiya i funktsionirovaniya yazikov v Respublike Kazakhstan. [About State program of development and functioning of languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan]. Retrieved from http://adilet.zan.kz/rus/docs/U1100000110

International Baccalaureate Organization. 2017. Middle Years Programme Language acquisition guide. Cardiff, Wales: International Baccalaureate Organization.