Students celebrate a great success in the “Essay Contest“ of the Canada Centre (University of Innsbruck)

The subject “English Preparation“ is bearing fruit

 The three most outstanding achievements in the time table of ISK Tirol, which can be seen in the development plan of the SQA (Schulqualität Allgemeinbildung), are the additional subjects “German Immersion“, “English Preparation“ and “Outdoor and Fun Sports“. In the subject “English Preparation“ the focus is on developing further all language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) in the English language. Because of the change for students having to cope with all subjects being taught in English in this first year at the school, this subject – additionally to the conventional English lessons – pursues the goal of students being able to use English receptively and productively and in a natural way.

The thematic modules that were autonomously created consist of the following areas:

·         Presenting in English: working out preconditions and basics in the preparation of effective presentations; individual support in research, in planning and compiling material fort he presentations in class (every student then also presented in class); feedback and evaluation of presentations;

·         Literature in the foreign language: Individual reading of an English novel of choice (either from a selection of youth literature or classics suitable for adolescents or own choice); Supporting tasks in written or oral form (in class and outside); Coming up with a reading log and certain tasks that include narrations of important parts of the book’s content for the class mates; introduction to important areas of literary analysis and acquisition of essential terms in the area of literary studies; Introduction to different literary genres (e.g. Drama, with the help of the film “Anonymous“ dealing with Shakespeares‘ life and work; Furthermore, an introduction to film studies and production of short films – music videos);

·         Creating attractive situation for language learning outside of class and documenting learning progress or respectively possibilities of effective vocabulary acquisition: With the focus on autonomous and self-supported learning students are to seek a language-related (fun) activity every week and should document the activity in a continous form (reflection instruments such as an “English diary. Activity-related learning progress can thus be made visible (e.g. new vocabulary and grammar, new cultural insights/ new knowledge, new experiences, etc.); getting to know a variety of possibilities to acquire vocabulary – especially through persistent use of the concerned words in written and oral communication; introduction of a „vocabular quiz“ that tests vocabulary of certain units in the text book and is created by students themselves;

·         Process-oriented writing: Getting to know the importance of process-oriented production of texts (from the development of ideas to the collection of information, the planning of the texts and the writing of several versions of a text supported by correction and feedback); Coming to grips with the criteria for the “opinion essay“ – a text type that is especially important in English speaking countries; Production and improvement of a well-planned essay on the topic “Canada – a land of extremes“;

The 5a class of ISK Tirol participated in the “Essay Contest“ by the Canada Centre of University of Innsbruck in the course of the above-mentioned module „Process-oriented writing“. The submitted essays were – with only a few exceptions – of high quality and were generously awarded with a prize money for ranks 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In an award ceremony at the Canada Centre in Innsbruck, in which the winning essays were presented, the following students of ISK Tirol earned the following prizes:

3rd place: Hannah Albrecht, Chiara Kupfner and Anna Holas

2nd place: Florentine Zettl and Niklas Mair

1st place: Megan Alexander

This was a great success for the school (and especially the students!) and the grand finale of a varied school year with a lot of insights into the importance and practicality of a mastery of the english language.

Mag. Andreas Schwab, teacher „English Preparation Course“