Advantages of language learning

We aim for all of our students to have mastered Czech Language, but also be fluent in English, and have a good understanding of a third language. People who are bilingual may exhibit the following benefits when compared to a single language speaker.

Enhanced Cognitive Skills

Bilingualism improves reasoning, learning, and creativity.

Improved Academic Performance

Students excel academically in both languages.

Cultural Competence

Bilingual education fosters understanding and tolerance.

Increased Job Opportunities

Bilinguals have a competitive edge in the job market.

Brain Health

Bilingualism may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Positive Impact on Standardized Tests

Bilingual students perform well on exams.

Social and Emotional Benefits

Bilingualism enhances self-esteem and adaptability.

Preservation of Heritage Languages

Bilingual education maintains cultural traditions.

Language in the Gymnasium

Most of the students studying in Livingston Gymnasium are Czech nationals, with Czech as their first language (L1), all students will study English as their Second Language (L2), and an additional foreign language.

Students will be exposed to different types of language use in the school.

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS): This is the students’ social language, used during everyday life. Students may communicate in either English or Czech, usually verbally, at a high level of proficiency.

Classroom language

This is the language that frames the lessons (i.e. giving instructions). This may be in Czech, or English depending on the context of the lesson and the subject being studied.The language tents to be repetitive and therefore students will become familiar with it.

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

this is the academic, content language of the lesson that students will need to master in order to demonstrate their understanding of a subject.Students will be expected to sit Cambridge IGCSE examinations in English, Maths, Science and IT, and therefore will need to develop their CALP.

Fluency in BICS does not mean proficiency in CALP. Students may be able to communicate with each other and adults in L2 (such as describing their emotions, hobbies, activities etc…), but may be unable to write an extended piece of work that reflects fluency, complexity or clarity of thought.

All students regardless of their mother tongue will need help in developing their CALP, but students learning an L2 will need more support with their L2, than L1, as they may only be exposed to this type of language in their school lives.The role of a teacher in Livingston is both as a subject teacher, and a CALP language teacher.

Every lesson, regardless of subject, is a language lesson (either L1 or L2). The English Language curriculum is integrated with the content curriculum (CLIL), with joint planning between English Language teachers, and subject teachers being essential.

Teachers are expected to
  • Recognise their dual responsibility to teach content, while supporting language.
  • Use the functional language in the classroom
  • Select and present vocabulary that needs to be pre-taught in a content lesson
  • Distinguish between language useful for any subject, and language that is subject-specific
  • Identify the language used in, and expected by Cambridge IGCSE, and Czech Matura exam questions and instructions
  • Consider the language requirements and need of students when planning lessons
Fulfilling the above will allow
  • Students to be supported to succeed in developing their L1 while improving their L2
  • Supports students who may have a weak L2, allowing them to progress rapidly
  • Unpick the cognitive processes needed to succeed in International, and Local examinations.

Czech as a Second Language

We recognise that international students often struggle to find a school which will accomodate their specific language needs while living in the Czech Republic. We understand that for many foreign born students, Czech is a difficult language to learn, but that it is also necessary for day-to-day life in the Czech Republic. We are committed to ensuring that language is not a barrier to learning, nor recieving qualifications that allow progression to higher education. Our team of teachers accomodate different language needs within the classroom, and we also offer Czech Language classes specifically targeted towards Czech as a Second Language learners.

Additional Languages

All students will study a third language throughout their studies. At the moment we offer Spanish, but additional languages can be offered based on interest.

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