The Vienna International School is a community of speakers of many languages.  Students bring a diverse experience of language and culture to the school.  The VIS language policy lays down the principle that all teachers are teachers of language.  Teachers, therefore, base their teaching on the understanding that the majority of students learn to listen, speak, read and write in English to equip them for their future learning in, through and about that language.  All aspects of language are interactive and interrelated and are the basis of learning in all areas of the curriculum. With a consistent approach to language development, the students are equipped to learn independently, cooperatively and collaboratively and are provided with the knowledge, skills and processes to confront and deal with life's challenges.

Language teaching at the school encompasses various areas of language learning. This includes English as the medium of instruction, learning the language of the host country, which is German, as well as programmes for teaching  ESL and mother tongue support.  Students will engage with three strands of language to develop the following understandings:

Oral Communication (listening + speaking)

  • The conventions of oral language are adapted to suit the purpose and audience.
  • Oral language is central to learning through inquiry.
  • Oral language is used to express and explore our imagination.
  • Active listening is central to understanding and evaluating what we hear.

Written Communication (reading + writing)

  • Reading and writing are enjoyable.
  • Reading is gaining meaning from symbols at a variety of interpretive levels and for a variety of purposes.
  • There are a variety of purposes for reading, including inquiry based research.
  • Being a writer empowers us to convey meaning and express ourselves.
  • Writing is a medium, which assists us in clarifying our own thoughts and can allow us to express these more clearly.

Visual Communication (viewing + presenting)

  • Progressive technologies are used appropriately to access and communicate information.
  • Literacies construct reality by influencing meaning and producing powerful associations that influence the way we think and feel.
  • Literacies are understood to encompass a greater range of communication systems than merely written texts.
  • Presentation is important to the communication of meaning.

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