The BELS English Department is dedicated to providing students with quality instruction, which helps them to become better thinkers and problem-solvers. We direct our efforts towards student-centered learning and other differentiated learning strategies. We believe in current trends in education and recognize and maximize our students’ diverse learning styles. In this respect, our aim is
- To promote a culture of English
- To use the English language effectively and precisely
- To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of texts and literary pieces
- To carry out projects that create opportunities to expand English language awareness and ability
- To develop an international consciousness in terms of today’s rapidly globalizing world
- To require outstanding English skills for both academic and social commitments.
As well as our internal assessment tools, our English learning standards are monitored by two externally assessed programs: The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Cambridge University’s International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
The Prep Year at BELS functions as a transitional year for students accepted to our school. During the Prep Year, students expand their knowledge of English reading and writing skills through intensive coursework using Cambridge University’s Checkpoint Series. Through a comprehensive and structured balance of fiction and non-fiction materials and 12 themed units, the Cambridge Checkpoint Series includes activities that develop reading and writing skills with integrated speaking and listening tasks.
BELS students take the IGCSE English First Language and Literature courses in grades 9 and 10. The IGCSE First Language English course develops students’ ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively. Students learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style with an awareness of the audience being addressed. Students are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. The IGCSE First Language English course also develops increased analytical and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.
BELS students in Grades 11 and 12, follow the IB Diploma Programme course in Language A: English Language and Literature, at either Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL). This course is designed to support future academic study by developing a high social, aesthetic and cultural literacy, as well as effective communication skills. In this course, the focus is directed towards developing an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and promoting the ability to form independent literary judgments.
In September of 2014, the BELS English Department launched a new course, Language A: English Literature and Performance (SL). The aims of this course are to equip students with the skills to explore critically and imaginatively a range of literary texts and performance possibilities and develop in students the ability to articulate their responses to literature and performance in a variety of styles and contexts.