Proposal: A network wide approach to languages
Proposal: A network wide approach to languages
Foreign languages education is essential for student development, but it is often overlooked due to a lack of sufficient access to language teachers.
Meg solves that problem with China and Latin America based teachers delivering Chinese and Spanish language education into the classroom via video conferencing technology.
More broadly, Meg wants to solve these problems for schools
within the SCHOOL NAME HERE.
A network rollout with Meg includes:
Robust governance structure to ensure a successful rollout of languages
Network wide data collection of language acquisition
Network wide support in internationalising schools with our experts
Network wide professional development of classroom teachers in developing global citizens
Network wide community of learners that will be equipped with the tools to run
Chinese or Spanish festivals in the local community, teacher or student trips to
China or Latin America and a large student community sharing a journey together
that we grow through digital technologies (including virtual reality)
It is also about 36% cheaper than the traditional model (assuming you could find enough language teachers in the first place!)
We propose a piloting of the program across a number of your schools in year 1 before looking towards a broader rollout in year 2 and beyond.
The benefits of learning a language are significant.
Learning a language improves the neuroplasticity of the brain, it can quite literally make you smarter. The promotion of cognitive development, enhanced memory and critical thinking skills can set young Australians up to succeed. Learning another language is actually proven to improve performance in other academic areas as well and will even improve individuals’ awareness of their first language.
All of those benefits are significant without even taking into consideration the value students receive in being exposed to another culture. In a world deeply affected by COVID-19 and peoples capacity to travel overseas being limited, through no fault of our own, our lives have become more insular. Yet the need to develop global citizens is more important than ever and exposure to another language and culture is vital in equipping young Australians with the knowledge, skills and values to thrive in a globalised world.
The idea of introducing a foreign language program across an entire network of schools is at best intimidating, and at worst, impossible. The ability to attract sufficient language teachers and provide a consistent vision across the network is mostly considered to be a bridge too far.
Meg’s online delivery with Chinese teachers in China and Spanish teachers in Latin America solves the largest problem in terms of access to teachers.
The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step.
– Lao Tzu
We recognise that a network wide roll-out of a foreign language program is something that requires a lot of lead time. That’s why we present the following three steps as a guide to how your network of schools can get exposure to the long term viability of a Meg solution in a way that can keep budgets and resources in good stead.
STEP 1: Talk to us
We would like to understand the current state of affairs with regards to language provision across your network: what gaps might need to be filled, what challenges you face and what you ultimately want to achieve at a holistic level.
STEP 2: Nominate some schools to participate in a pilot
By nominating some schools to participate in a pilot of either Mandarin or Spanish, we will take the reins in implementing language and culture across these schools in a way that allows feedback and student progress to be measured and compiled. Outcomes from the pilot will be presented in a way that allows your network to make an informed decision about the long term viability of broader implementation with Meg.
STEP 3: Commence network wide rollout
After successfully piloting the program for a year, we commence a rollout across schools within your network at a pace that works for you.
As part of this process, rigorous stakeholder engagement would take place at the principal, classroom teacher, parents and student level to get them excited about introducing languages at their school.
What to expect during the pilot phase
Meg meets quarterly with district leaders as part of a Steering Committee to assess progress across all schools and discuss network-wide strategic initiatives.
Meg Account Managers engage with individual school leadership to ensure smooth delivery at the school level.
Meg Chinese has been seamlessly integrated into our Year 7 timetable. We have one class of 28 students participating in five lessons of Chinese every two weeks. The learning has been engaging for all students with a mixture of speaking, writing and cultural understanding. Each module thoroughly aligns with the curriculum and is, in fact, providing activities to promote greater depth for student learning as well as appropriate differentiation for each lesson.
– Sharyn Quirk, Principal at Brigidine College, Randwick
Meg Classroom Teacher Managers provide ongoing support to classroom teachers in the delivery of the language.
We just wanted to send a quick thank you for the lessons that you set up today for the Year 6 Chinese lessons. We learnt a lot as to how we can most effectively use Zoom along with some of the tricks you can implement. We really appreciate the support and are looking forward to being able to continue our Chinese lessons with you in this format.
– Liz Chatlier & Megan Bassett, Teachers at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
As part of Steering Committee reports, Meg has been providing data on student progress against the curriculum achievement standards.
86% of students were able to describe and give information about themselves and their preferences while 81% of students were able to translate everyday expressions and use context to assist with interpretation.
Students were asked to respond to questions like:
‘what country are you from?
‘where do you live?’
‘can you translate this passage for me’
Meg’s in-house experts work with participating schools to help develop a strategy to internationalise the school more broadly in the pursuit of developing Global Citizens.
All schools in your network will be given the opportunity to conduct gap analyses against Meg’s Internationalising Schools Framework to identify the school’s focus areas for the future.
Professional learning days and self-paced online professional learning courses are provided to teachers to get the most out of the program and to help develop
a Global Classroom.
As the world returns to normal, Meg is excited about engaging your network in many forms of developing a community of learners, including:
- Student and teacher trips to China / Colombia
- Student run community Chinese or Spanish festivals
- Student community building activities through the use of technology, including cutting edge virtual reality and 3D world interactions
It is estimated that the Meg language program is 36% cheaper for organisations than if they were to hire sufficient language teachers to cover all of their schools through a traditional means.
Seeing it in action
The Sydney Catholic Schools network recently transitioned from a Pilot phase into a broader school rollout of Mandarin and Spanish.
Our students have thoroughly enjoyed learning Mandarin. The lessons are always fun, engaging
and interactive. The teachers are enthusiastic and present learning in a fun way through the use of games, singing and positive feedback. Learning Mandarin presents an opportunity to gain an appreciation and understanding of another culture and to connect with the world.
– Pauline Dinale, St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School