Mandarin Chinese introduced
into the curriculum at 3 years old
German and French
introduced at secondary level
Preparation for official language
At Agora International School Madrid, as with all NACE schools, we live and breathe language. We start from the basic premise that using language informs and conditions the user’s thought processes. Teaching a language as a specific subject or using language as a vehicle by which to teach other subjects, doesn’t just facilitate the adoption of that language, but provides the learner with the means by which they can take a multifaceted approach to tackling and solving the issues that arise during the course of their educational journey
By introducing a second language, we adjust our learning foundation and adapt our mental processes, allowing ourselves to engage with, understand and interpret the world from a much broader perspective. By embracing additional languages, we equip our brains with the ability to capture a far wider range of intellectual nuance than if we have only a single language with which to express ourselves and with which to interpret the world around us.
Based upon this fundamental consideration, at Agora International School Madrid we believe that English should be the primary foreign language with which our students should engage: English is currently a global “lingua franca” and a language that is commonly used worldwide in academic, scientific, political and business spheres.
Learning English is important, however, just as important is the way in which we teach it. Our students are introduced to the English language with simplicity, confidence and familiarity, learning it alongside maternal and official languages and steadily developing oral fluency and confidence as well as the ability to read, write and comprehend. Once the basic linguistic skills have been established our curriculum provides ongoing stimulation and impetus to continue to reach the highest levels of spoken and written English.
Constant progress is achieved through a process of profound and continuous immersion; most activities and many areas of the curriculum are delivered in English and teachers and students interact exclusively in the designated language. Our students are encouraged to take the official Trinity College London and the Cambridge English exams, both to test their level of skill and to provide them with a recognised qualification in the English language; our pass rate for these examinations is currently 99 %.
At Agora International School Madrid, we employ teaching staff who are either native English speakers or who are fully bilingual and have spent long periods of time in English-speaking countries. Native speaking and bilingual teachers offer slightly different perspectives and approaches to language teaching that further enriches our students’ experience of language learning. Our aim is to guide our students towards written and spoken English that is structurally and grammatically correct, without forgetting the importance of the idiomatic and colloquial aspect of language, which is the difference between someone who is a good English speaker and someone who speaks English like a native.
We also believe that there is richness in variety, and as our student progress through the school we introduce additional languages; students are able to sit for official qualifications in languages such as French, German and Chinese.
“I’ve been at this school since I was three, and I owe them a lot, since practically everything I know is thanks to what I have learnt here and thanks to the attention and the explanations I received from the good teachers here at this school. It was last year that I understood this, when I visited the United States on a cultural-leisure trip and I had to put into practice the English I have learnt in all these years, and I discovered that I could communicate perfectly in this language, thanks to all the years of study. The only thing I can say is thank you so much.”
1st Baccalaureate pupil
“My philosophy of English language learning is very simple. The language must be produced by the student in order to really learn how to truly communicate. With this in mind classes are based largely on speaking and writing. Reading is the other key component and so I try to provide stimulating material which will expose the students to a broad range of contents and vocabulary which we can later develop in contexts generated by the students themselves. This has the impact of giving the language real world relevance and helps to engage the students. “
“English classes are relaxed and informal. Each session is different to the others since we use English in different areas and topics, which is very interesting and motivating. We don’t just learn the language, but reflect on the issue we have been dealing with. Definitely one of my favourite subjects.”
4th ESO Pupil