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 Fostering an English-Speaking Environment

The English Proficiency Council is responsible for promoting the use of English language as our language of inclusion and instruction. At Branksome Hall Asia we believe that students should not be penalized for using their mother tongue because this language plays a vital role in the shaping of their identities. However, considering that English is our language of instruction and Branksome aims to cultivate global citizens, students are encouraged to practice the use of English with one another to become confident, inclusive communicators. Our council anticipates that pursuing this ideal could also provide opportunities for students to be real IB risk takers by stepping out of their comfort zones and embracing the pleasure of effectively sharing their opinions with every classmate and teacher of different nationalities. Thus, we strive to deliver inspiring events in our school, targeted for Middle School and Senior School students, to foster an English-speaking environment.  

This year, our council has planned two main projects: Trivia Tuesday and BHA Radio. Trivia Tuesday is an event that was started by our council two years ago and takes place every Tuesday at the school cafeteria for Middle School students and teachers. Our council members who lead this project, decide on various themes each year like Halloween, Disney characters, and COVID-19, then make ten ‘trivial’ questions for participants to answer. In this way, students are naturally encouraged to speak in English in order to figure out the answers. Two to four winners are randomly picked each week, from amongst the teams who got most of the questions correct, and are awarded with smoothie coupons that they can use at the school cafe. Trivia Tuesday is so popular among MS students and faculty members that more than 60 people participate in this event every week. We are now introducing different formats of questions like scrabble or word puzzles so that students can find different fun ways to engage with English conversation through Tuesday Trivia events. Our members are also planning to provide a fun Kahoot game, where both MS and SS students could participate during assemblies. 

Secondly, our council is striving to initiate Branksome’s first ever weekly radio program. Presently, the school speaker system only plays the radio, across the entire school campus. We are considering providing corners access to every student including Junior School students like English idioms, fun puns, Netflix or pop song recommendations, and even lunch and snack information. If our first few trials are successful, we will upload the audio files onto The Branksome Bulletin so that students can download the podcasts onto their electronic devices. We also plan to hold events where the radio DJs visit the STEM-V area to host LIVE radio programs and quiz shows. 

 

Leanne Ma (G12)
English Proficiency Council Prefect