GO Royal Athenaeum Antwerp Language Policy, an equal opportunities policy
Languages are present in a school in different ways: as a subject or a discipline, and as a medium for communication and education. The umbrella term for the policy a school pursues in dealing with these languages is ‘language policy’.
Language policy concerns the policy at school concerning two major areas:
- The use of Dutch for communication by and with teachers, pupils, parents and the environment.
- The double function of Dutch as an instructional language: it is both a means and an end. Language policy in this domain concerns all learning areas and all subjects of secondary education – both general and technical as well as art and practical subjects. It aims to stimulate teachers:
- use the instruction language Dutch as a didactic means to increase the pupils’ chances of learning and succeeding;
- complementary to the subject of Dutch, to promote the development of the pupils’ school language skills, by applying knowledge, skills, strategies and methodologies from the Dutch lessons.
LANGUAGE-ORIENTED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (TVO)
Language-oriented professional education is the name of a didactic approach in which subject goals and language goals are developed together. It helps to increase the effectiveness of the ‘subject lessons’ and the language development of all pupils. The starting point is that language, learning and thinking are inextricably linked. The subject matter remains central, but extra attention is paid to the communication of this content through the language of instruction. Our school aims to integrate this didactic approach into the general teaching didactics of each teacher.
LANGUAGE POLICY AS PART OF GENERAL POLICY
Language policy is not only about language, but also about school policy. Therefore, the language policy is related to the different themes and emphases a school wishes to promote in its policy and practice.
PROFESSIONALISATION OF THE TEACHING TEAM AND POLICY SUPPORT STAFF
Effective language policy therefore requires measures at school, classroom and pupil level. All of this requires competences and possibly professionalisation, both in terms of the policy-making capacity of the school and the competences of different people at different levels with regard to language subjects and the language of instruction. In the interests of the learning opportunities for every pupil, the Koninklijk Athenaeum Antwerp continues to invest in specific guidance programmes, coaching and workshops for all teachers.