Our use of language defines much of who we are as people and by learning other languages we are given a window into knowing how other people see the world we share. It was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said: "He who knows no foreign language knows nothing of his own". While it was Federico Fellini who said: "A different language is a different vision of life".
We are cognisant of the fact that English is the language of instruction in our school yet we have a vast number of languages spoken by our students. To support our students’ development of English the school is investing in its teachers. Over the next two years, all teachers will undergo professional development in a programme called Teaching ESL in the Mainstream. This course “is an innovative and rigorous professional development course for all teachers working with students aged between 8 and 18 years who are learning through a language that is not their primary language”.
In addition to focussing on English, we highly value the importance of learning other languages. It was an inspiring week of celebrations when GEMS (Singapore) hosted Language Week. Each year the variety of activities, games and events has grown whereby our students are now exposed to a fascinating jamboree of languages and cultural diversity. Our Cultural Day was once again a huge success. The positive energy in the school was palpable and the wonderful array of food, flags and festive music created a fun environment throughout the day which bonded the GEMS community.
I would like to thank very much all of the parents who worked on planning, preparing and participating in the day. Your contributions have been greatly appreciated and our community has notably benefited from the experience.
One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. Frank Smith
Head of School