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Language Policy
at Nørre Gymnasium

This is a general outline of our language policy that aims at helping our students achieve individual and common language goals in this school. The awareness of and conscious use of language is the basis of intercultural understanding and mutual respect.

We are aware of and appreciate our students’ respective native languages and the cultural diversity they represent. A part of our student population has Danish as their mother tongue; for others English is their best language, and a small minority are “Language A: Lit, school-supported self-taught (SSST)” students with their variety of native/first languages.

Language of instruction
The language of instruction is English with the exception of Danish A/B classes. All teachers are language teachers in their respective subjects and work towards the common goal of establishing awareness of the target language.

English in the classroom
English is spoken in the classroom and is encouraged as the language of communication outside the classroom. Speaking one’s own mother tongue should be avoided in order not to exclude others who do not speak this language.

First language: Group1, Language A Literature
All students study their first (best, native) language – a placement test at the start of the school year secures adequate choices. We offer Danish A and English A, both as literature courses on HL/SL; other languages can be studied as A school-supported self-taught SL (SSST) with the regular support of a supervisor (= English A Lit teacher):

Language A Lit: self-taught
Students whose best language is neither Danish or English must opt for their native language self-taught (Literature; A SL) and are assisted throughout the 2-year course by an experienced Language A Lit teacher who conducts support sessions on a joint and individual basis with the students. The students are offered to participate in the world literature lessons of the English A classes.

The school library has a small unit for languages other than Danish and English; a number of other languages are taught in the Danish section of the school so material and support can be provided.

Second language: Group 2, Language B
All students study at least one language in addition to their mother tongue. The school currently offers English B HL, Danish B HL/SL/ab initio (beginners), and Spanish ab initio SL (beginners) as Group 2 languages.

Danish as a second language
We offer Danish B HL/SL and Danish AB (ab initio= beginners) taught by very qualified teachers who know how to administer variety of levels of the target language. For beginners, we strongly recommend an additional language course outside of school to support the learning effect. As the school environment is Danish, there is ample opportunity to practise the language in extra curricular activities, special events, festivals, café arrangements, parties, etc.

Correcting language
Language problems that have an impact on understanding and following the instruction are concurrently corrected in the classroom and in assignments. All teachers are contributing to their students’ improvement as to correctness, clarity, versatility, and appropriateness of the target language used in that particular subject area. We practise a variety of methods to correct/assess language weaknesses, both on an individual, group work, whole class level in all subjects.

Teachers’ language skills
Not all IB teachers are native speakers in English, but all are fluent in the target language. All communication about IB on the school’s intranet (Lectio) and in IB staff meetings takes place in English to further train fluency.

Morning assemblies
The major part of our weekly morning assemblies is conducted in Danish (as ¾ of the student population is Danish: we are a Danish school with an IB section). Contributions to the event by IB students and IB teachers are made in English; there is a tradition that IB students help translate Danish messages into English as a part of their CAS programme - or as good comradeship.

CAS and student tutoring
An established part of our CAS programme is the idea of students helping students with the languages and offer tutoring for individuals or small groups on a regular basis. The tutors are recruited from Danish/English A classes.

The school library, the study centre, constantly acquires new books in a variety of modern languages; we also stock a smaller section of rare languages for Language A self-taught students.