We have launched an initiative for the maintenance and development of Bilingual.hu Program, which is based on co-teaching and the teaching of English as a foreign language within the state school system. Leading the initiative are our Heads of Education, who have over ten years of co-teaching experience and/or a PhD degree, and we have also brought our external specialist consultant on board. The objective is to maintain high pedagogical quality while also complying with the Hungarian education system, the Hungarian national curriculum, and all relevant laws and regulations. As these factors are often subject to change, compliance with them may also necessitate small changes to the program from time to time.
Cooperation between the school and Szőlőtő Non-Profit Ltd.
Since the program is based on the Hungarian national curriculum, responsibility for students’ retention of the Hungarian curriculum at acceptable rates rests primarily with the school. The primary goal of co-teaching between the Hungarian teacher and the native English teacher is thus to 1) communicate the Hungarian curriculum in English, and 2) help students achieve benchmark language skill levels. Results so far have shown that the English communication skills of students graduating from our program far surpass those of students from other bilingual programs, while also maintaining comparable — and also often higher — levels of subject competency. In order to maintain these results, we place strong emphasis on further improving the efficiency of our cooperation with the Hungarian teachers who participate in the program.
Internal review of teachers
We have launched preparations for the internal quality assurance review of our native English teachers. Janet Streeter, our UK-based specialist supervisor, visits with our teachers two or three times each year, for a week at a time. After lesson observations, Ms. Streeter provides teachers with constructive feedback and suggestions, as well as follow-up consultation opportunities to monitor progress.
Lesson observations are followed by feedback sessions, and in most cases preceded by individual planning sessions as well. Both of these sessions are important aspects of our training program, as they allow teachers to work closely with the specialist supervisor on broadening their skill set. Feedback sessions are valuable because they leave teachers with a set of development goals on which our Heads of Education or Ms. Streeter can follow up later in the year.
Ms. Streeter’s latest visit, in January 2014, focused on successful classroom management. One of the key aspects covered was behavior management, including systems of rewards and consequences. Ms. Streeter also spent time on a related subject that is no less complex pedagogically: maintaining students’ use of English throughout the lesson (or in the case of co-taught lessons, throughout the relevant portion of the lesson).
Monitoring students’ linguistic progress
Our well-established testing system, used for several years in monitoring our students’ progress in language development, is compliant with the Cambridge international testing system.