顶级名校原招生办主任: 国际教育中的英语教学English as International Education

上海宏润博源
2020-07-21 10:12
关注 申请公众号 A+


我们是在教学生用英语作为一种工具去思考,去理解,去交流,去发现。我们必须首先去了解这些青少年,与他们交流,了解他们,建立联系,而不是依赖某种单一的方法或完美的课程。


作者:Christopher Moses, 美国籍,普林斯顿大学毕业, 上海宏润博源外方校长,美国顶级文理学院里德学院担任国际招生主任。


........................................


语言,通过使用而存在

教育也是如此


在上海宏润博源学校,我们鼓励英语学习应当: 


  • 作为思维表达的基础而非机械地记忆

  • 作为培养学生自信心的一条途径

  • 通过多种形式的沟通应用进行提升

  • 促进自我发现和个人成长

  • 作为真正的国际教育的重要基础

语言通过使用而存在,通过人们之间创造性的交流而存在。教育和知识也是如此——它们都需要人们之间的互动交流和不断创新。图书馆不会自己去思考,教科书不会自动去创新,实验室也不会自己去发现。教师、学生和学者在交谈中进行思维碰撞和探索,提出问题,解决问题——这才是真正的学习过程。 


英语作为国际教育的通用语言,必须以类似的方式来构建其学习。但是,这一核心任务经常在托福培训和追逐标化成绩中,在以知识点记忆和技能操练为目标的学习方式中被忘却。


然而,要真正充分发挥英语的价值,并确保学生能真正流畅地使用这门语言,学校必须从更高的角度来理解并设计语言教学,将其作为实现教育使命的重要部分。


上海宏润博源学校校园


为什么要学习英语?

为什么要以这样的方式来学习?


在上海宏润博源学校,英语学习过程会塑造我们的核心价值观,同时也会被我们的核心价值观所塑造:学生在学习英语的过程中要发现自我,认识到自己独有的潜力,理解并且珍惜自己在本地、国家以及国际社区中的位置以及自己为之贡献的能力。


作为一名教师和校长,我的首要责任是问为什么,并激励他人也这样做:为什么是英语,为什么要以这样的方式来学习?


要回答这些问题,需要对历史有一定的了解,并认识到作为教育者,我们必须践行并展现我们期待学生遵循的学习过程。不要有缺乏想象力的回答,不要有一成不变的解释,没有永恒不变的答案。任何正确的英语教学都必须是积极的、启发式的,并且有宏大构思的。


英语在全球的主导地位可以追溯到18世纪末大英帝国的胜利。虽然法语在启蒙运动时期占据了文学界的主导地位,但拿破仑战败后,以英语为母语的殖民地从澳大利亚到印度再到非洲南部的扩张,使得说英语的人在全球范围内不断壮大。


随着美国在20世纪的崛起,特别是在第二次世界大战后,英语在全球商业、文化以及沟通中扮演着极为重要的角色。


历史提供了一个重要的背景来解释这个“为什么”。同学们应当理解这一大英帝国遗留影响的复杂性。们应该看到这种通行的语言所带来的好处和代价。他们也应当能够思考自己在世界上的位置,以及自己所追寻的意义。然而,这样一种认识也仅仅是稍微提示我们该如何学习语言。 



保持开放思维

拒绝僵化的教学方式


比起历史,我更应该问的是这个问题:  语言从何开始,又将在哪里结束?


这种基本的探究,这两个在所有语言中都存在的询问代词,也暗示了一个基本的对立概念:尽管语言可能具有共通性的元素,但它也是我们必须将自己与他人区分开来、形成我们基本的、独特身份的主要工具。


没有“你”就没有“我”,每一个“我”都由特定的说话者定义了一个独特的含义。因此,看似简单的事情远非简单: 语言和该如何学习语言的哲学基础,与同样重要的童年和青少年发展过程纠缠在一起,而且后者从幼儿园到高中以及之后的教育过程中都在不断发生变化。


我们通过语言塑造自己,就像我们的文化塑造我们一样。



上海宏润博源学校学生与美国学生在线交流


不过,请相信我——这种抽象的宣告,无论多么真实,却不会让绝大多数学生信服。孩子们想要玩耍,他们想要触摸、感受和行动。因为有反抗的倾向,青少年更喜欢具体和前后一致的事情。如果我们想让他们了解些语言背后的哲学,我们应该按照哲学的聪明传统来做,即把本就可以幻化无穷的语言当成游戏。


尽管如此,我的学生们还是会有理由质疑,那又怎样?我们该怎么做?


语言首先是作为一种交流和表达的手段而存在的。虽然考试和教材可以将阅读和口语、听力和写作分离开来,但一个成功的英语课堂必须将它们整合到一起。


一个人可以一整天教语法结构,但只能是确认 “一只顽皮地在铺设海上奇观深处的管道的紫色独角兽刚开始游泳时很迟疑,之后又很自信,直到最后看到自己是一只发现了宇宙的奥妙恐龙。”是一个语法正确的复杂句子,却不会帮助你意识到它也是完全没有意义的。


用你自己同样随意的词汇按照语法规则拼凑出来的句子,并不能帮助你交到很多朋友,也不能帮助你分享任何有价值的东西。


交流必须从学生已知的事物开始,从探索他们所处的世界开始。最大的挑战不是源自于语言的复杂性,而是让他们相信“简单的语言练习积累可以最终达到精通的程度”以及这一过程的价值。


在我们基础英语I的课堂上,与美国青少年的在线交流让同学们受到的启发最大。他们在课上尽最大的努力来写诗来表达他们的情感。他们在和老师一起用餐时的玩笑中,找到了对于英语学习的最大自信。


上海宏润博源学校学生与美国学生在线交流


快速掌握大量新词汇是非常困难的,但也是非常必要的,这一过程必须要给学生带来明确的,不断递增的成就感。如果一开始就把赢得马拉松比赛就作为第一个成功的标准,第一个被认可的有意义的成就,那么可能就不会有人开始跑步锻炼。


换句话说,不能一上来就把托福120分作为最终目标——这样会不可避免地让所有人(除了个别有极强天赋的人以外)感到沮丧和挫败。


语言学习会令人胆怯,尤其是学习一门外语。因此,教学过程中必须要帮助学生消除这种恐惧,增强信心。学生犯错其实会带来机会;应当结合同学们不均衡发展的实际情况进行分层教学,提供支持,而不是一味纠正追求完美;这种因材施教必须要增强学习基础和评估体系。再次强调:自信心必然是学生成长的基石。


两年前,在第一学期刚开始的时候,我的美国文学课的学生学习了清教徒关于天命的概念,即发现自己存在的意义。当轮到同学们展示自我探索的结果时,一个最弱的学生非常犹豫地问:我能通过自己的画儿来展示自己对自身存在意义的探索吗?


我说:当然,这太棒了!  还有什么是比直接展示更好的表达方式呢?


在她擅长的艺术能力的帮助下,她讲得很出色——起初很慢,看起来不够确信,但慢慢地,她讲得越来越清楚,越来越从容。


这只是一个例子,但这次演讲经历却为她在整个一年以及之后的进步和成功奠定了基调。一次成功的尝试,如果能够被许多同学不断地体验到,就具备了真正的改变的力量。


这种体验也可以是另外一种形式,我们戏剧课同学的成就:同学们带着专用面具进行了大量表演训练,在阅读、研究和仔细推敲了莎士比亚戏剧的微妙之处之后,他们在全校师生面前呈现了令人震撼和回味的表演。


上海宏润博源学生在戏剧课上的表演


他们表演的真正诀窍或者说高招在于:表演是完全无声的。他们什么也没说。但是,他们用身体和动作——用灯光和黑暗的变化,各种简单的道具和投射在他们背后的图像——分享意义,展示情感,挑战了语言的边界,这超出了他们先前所有的想象。


因此,作为教师,作为一所学校,我们必须保持开放的思维,与每位同学链接,了解他们的能力,而不是停留在某些僵化的教学公式中。


自信会进一步催生自信,我们在课堂内外都能看到这一点。


上海宏润博源学生在戏剧课上的表演


一个学生也许能在测验中获得满分,但他们能诚实地与朋友分享自己的感受吗?他们能阅读、理解并对新闻中的故事作出反应吗?他们会参加辩论赛,或者主持全校大会吗?


因此,除了课程以外,我们学校还建立了能激发这样的主动性的氛围,既有实际的也有深刻的。我们希望学生不仅仅是学习英语,而是将英语作为他们自身的一部分,作为日常生活中必不可少的一部分。


我们鼓励他们将语言实践从校园延伸到社区志愿活动,到印度的领导力项目,到意大利的文化交流等。在每一次实践中,他们的英语能力给他们提供了机会,这些机会也会进一步增强他们的能力。


印度的领导力项目


在上海宏润博源学校,我们至始至终都认识到我们并不是在教英语——我们是在教学生用英语作为一种工具去思考,去理解,去交流,去发现。我们必须首先去了解这些青少年,与他们交流,了解他们,建立联系,而不是依赖某种单一的方法或完美的课程(这种完美只存在于推销和光鲜的广告语中)。

这种沟通和链接意味着激发学生的表达能力,这样以来,教他们的同时我们也可以倾听他们的想法——在他们使用英语的过程中、参与音乐表演或者体育比赛中,或者主导视频剪辑中,我们可以听到、看到并见证他们作为年轻人的成长。


我们必须在理性分析和情感表达、创造性和建设性之间取得平衡——因为语言反映了他们是谁,反映了他们作为年轻人的种种精彩和混乱,反映了他们不断改变,令人惊讶的年轻人的方式。


实际上,在上海宏润博源学校,我们发现成功的英语教学需要倾听,一遍又一遍地倾听学生表达自己,让他们自信地、创造性地、流畅地分享自己正在成为怎样的人。


上下划动可查看英文版原文:

At SHBS, we inspire English learning: 


• with a philosophical, rather than formulaic, foundation

• as a means for students to develop confidence

• through diverse forms of communication

• in tandem with self-discovery and personal growth

• as essential to truly international education


Language exists through its use, through creative exchanges between and amongst people. So too education, and knowledge—both embody dynamic engagement and constant creation. Libraries do not think; textbooks do not innovate; laboratories do not discover. Teachers and students and scholars, who explore through encounter, who ask questions and solve problems—this is the work of learning.


English as the language of international education must be conceived of in similar terms. Too often this essential task becomes lost in TOEFL training and test scores, in memorization and mastery as a goal in and of itself. Yet to truly, fully develop the value of English—and to ensure a student’s fluency—a school must conceptualize language instruction as part of its larger educational mission. 


For SHBS, English learning both shapes and is shaped by our core values—students’ self-discovery, the recognition of their unique potential, and an appreciation for their place in, and ability to contribute to, local, national, and global communities.


As a teacher and a principal, my first responsibility is to ask why—and to inspire others to do the same: why English, and why learn in the ways we do?


To answer these questions requires a sense of history and a recognition that our project as educators must reflect and embody the same processes in which we expect students to engage. No unimaginative response, no static because, no timeless formula ought to be accepted as answers. Any yes, any affirmative commitment to English instruction, must be positive, heuristic, and robustly conceived.


English has a global dominance that can be traced back to the triumph of the British empire in the late eighteenth century. While French dominated the Enlightenment republic of letters, the defeat of Napoleon and the development of Anglophone colonies from Australia to India to southern Africa created a growing and global community of English speakers. With the ascendance of the United States in the twentieth century, and particularly after World War II, the language became an essential element of world-wide commerce, culture, and communication.


History offers one important context for why—and students should appreciate the complexity of that imperial legacy. They should see the benefits, and also the costs, of such a universalized language. They should be able to reflect on their own position in the world, and the purposes of their own pursuits. Yet such awareness only begins to hint at how language learning should take place.


More than history, I should ask you, truthfully, to answer this question for yourself: where does language begin and end?


This basic inquiry, the delicate dance of two pronouns, of two indexical signifiers that exist in every language, hints at an essential quandary: while language may have universal elements, it is also the primary tool we have to differentiate ourselves from one another, to form our basic, unique identities. There can be no I without you, and every I defines a unique utterance by its particular speaker. Thus what might appear simple is far from simplistic: the philosophical underpinnings of language, of how language ought to be learned, entangle with the equally important processes of childhood and adolescent development that occur during the educational journey from kindergarten to high school and beyond. We make ourselves, as much as our culture make us, through language.


Believe me, though—such abstract pronouncements, however real, won’t get you very far with the vast majority of students. Kids want to play, they want to touch and feel and act. Teenagers, because and not in spite of their tendencies toward defiance, crave the concrete and consistent. If they’re to get a dose of language as philosophy, we should do so in that smart tradition of the philosophy that recognizes language as much as a game as it is anything else.


Still, my students will rightfully query, so what—and, so what do we do? 


Language exists first and foremost as a matter of communication, and a means for expression. While tests and textbooks may separate reading and speaking, listening and writing, a successful classroom must integrate them into a single foundation. One can teach structure all day long. But simply confirming that ‘a purple unicorn, playful in its plumbing of the depths of maritime wonder, swims, at first hesitantly, and then confidently, until finally seeing itself as a dinosaur discovering the furthest reaches of the universe,’ is a grammatically correct complex sentence, doesn’t help you realize that it’s also entirely meaningless. And plugging and chugging with your own equally arbitrary vocabulary won’t help you make many friends, or share anything worthwhile.


Communication must begin with what the student knows, and an exploration of the world they inhabit. The greatest challenge comes not from complexity, but convincing them of the value of how simple linguistic acts can, cumulatively, lead to an achievement of mastery.


Students in our most basic Foundations One course have been inspired the most by an online exchange with teenagers in the United States. They’ve done their best work writing poems that express their emotions. They’ve found their greatest confidence joking with teachers at mealtime. 


The hard work that’s also necessary, the struggle to acquire quickly a massive new vocabulary, must have clear and incremental fulfillment. No one would ever start running for exercise if the first available benchmark of success, the first moment of meaningful recognition, was winning a marathon. In other words, TOEFL 120 can’t be both the beginning and the end—it creates discouragement and failure as an inevitability for all but the most exceptionally talented.


Language is intimidating, especially learning a foreign language. So instruction must dismantle that fear, and bolster confidence. Errors offer opportunity; support for uneven evolution, rather than perfection demanded through correction, must undergird learning and assessment. Again: confidence must be the bedrock of students’ growth.


Two years ago, early in the first semester, my American literature class learned about the Puritan idea of a calling, the notion of discovering one’s sense of purpose. When it came time to give speeches of their own, one of the weakest students asked with great hesitation: could she share her drawings? Of course, I said—brilliant! How better to explain herself than to show, as much as to tell. Aided by her artistic strength, she spoke brilliantly—slowly, unsure at first, but ever more clearly and deliberately as the minutes went by. This is just one example, but it set the tone for her growth and success throughout the year and beyond. And one successful experiment, multiplied many times amongst many students, has truly transformative potential. 


Or in another forum, the fulfilling work of students in our drama class: after extensive training with masks, after reading and studying and scrutinizing the nuances of plays by Shakespeare, they gave an astoundingly evocative performance in front of the entire school. The real trick, the brilliance of their display: it was entirely silent. They said nothing. But they used their bodies, and their movement—they used the interplay of light and darkness, an assortment of simple props, and images projected behind them—to share a sense of meaning, to offer a display of emotion, that challenged the boundaries of language beyond anything they could have imagined previously. 


Thus as teachers, as a school, we must remain open, we must connect with and learn about each student and her capabilities, and not remain ingrained in some rigid formula of instruction.


Confidence begets confidence, and we see this as much in the classroom as beyond. 


A student may be able to score perfect marks on a quiz, but can they share their feelings, honestly, with a friend? Can they read, understand, and respond to a story in the news? Will they take part in a debate competition, or host an all-school assembly?


Thus beyond curriculum, our school creates a community that enables such initiative, both practical and profound. We want students not simply to learn English, but to use it as a part of who they are, as an essential aspect of their daily lives. We encourage them to extend their linguistic practice from campus, to volunteer efforts in the community, to leadership programs in India, to cultural exchanges in Italy. In each case, their English ability provides access to such opportunities, just as those opportunities amplify their abilities.


Throughout, at SHBS, we recognize that we’re not teaching English—we’re teaching students to think, to understand, to communicate, to discover using English as a tool. We must first engage with them as young people, not depend on some singular method or perfect curriculum (since none exists beyond sales pitches and glossy advertisements).


Such engagement means to inspire students’ expression, so that as much as we teach, we can then listen—we can hear and see and witness their growth as young people, in their use of English as much as in their musical performances or athletic competitions or video editing compilations. We must balance the analytical and the emotional, the creative and the constructive—because language is a reflection of who they are, in all of their wonderful and messy and ever-shifting and always surprising ways of being young people.


Indeed, at SHBS, we find success in teaching English as a celebration of listening, of listening over and again to students, as they share who they are becoming, confidently, creatively and fluently. 



上海宏润博源学校

2020年校园开放日在即

7月26日(周日)下午1点开始签到

8月8日(周六)下午1点开始签到

预约电话:400-900-8516



本文由入驻国际教育网公众平台的作者撰写,观点仅代表作者本人,不代表国际教育网立场。如有侵权或其他问题,请联系举报。

升学规划师二维码 升学规划师二维码

10年国际教育领域经验,访遍中国地区500多所国际学校、国际课程实验班,对深圳广州、上海等地区的国际学校入学、备考及录取机制都有深入研究。不定期提供 名校探访录、校长说、名校展活动

如有任何疑问,可拨打我们的电话

招生热线:400-9008516

快速匹配适合您孩子的学校

全国500所国际学校大全 / 3分钟匹配5-8所 / 1年名校升学备考托管服务

立即匹配

50+优质国际学校

上海
学校招生、课程、考试科目
上海协和双语学校
上海协和双语学校

课程:幼儿园课程 、小学课程 、初中课程 、高中课程

招生:小学、初中、高中

考试:英文/数学

学费:立即咨询

上海包玉刚实验学校
上海包玉刚实验学校

课程:小学课程 、初中课程 、高中课程

招生:小学、初中、高中

考试:英语、数学

学费:立即咨询

上海美高双语学校
上海美高双语学校

课程:高中预备课程 、基础课程 、AP大学先修课程 、国际语言课程

招生:小学、初中、高中

考试:数学、英语、面试

学费:立即咨询

上海常青藤学校
上海常青藤学校

课程:英国Alevel课程 、​英国IGCSE课程 、香港DSE课程 、美国高中AP课程

招生:高中

考试:英语和数学(全英文)

学费:立即咨询

上海进华中学国际部
上海进华中学国际部

课程:【上海市进华中学】国际高中 、【上海市进华中学】国际...

招生:初中、高中

考试:英语、数学

学费:立即咨询

查看更多