MASARYK UNIVERSITY BRNO
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
Department of the English Language and Literature
A new role of English in education, a case study of the First
International School of Ostrava
Written by: Helena North
Supervisor: Mgr. Irena Headlandová Kalischová
“I declare that I have compiled this final thesis by myself and that I have used only
the sources listed in the bibliography.”
My sincere thanks are due to several people who helped me with compiling
this thesis. First of all I would like to thank to everybody from the First
International School of Ostrava, in particular to Headmaster, Jan Petrus, teacher
Philip Gerard Corkill, and the students. All these people were extremely helpful and
kind. They provided me with all the necessary information I needed for completing
Apart from these people my thanks also due to my supervisor Mgr. Irena
Headlandová Kalischová who also provided me with valuable advice through out
whole time while working on this thesis.
I. Introduction 6
II. The English language – its role and position among other
languages in the world 8
2.1 Key trends in English language development 8
2.2 Examples of English role-change around the world 9
2.3 English in relation to other languages in Europe –
European multilingualism 11
2.4 English language adaptation in educational systems 14
III. Conditions for foreign language learning within school education
system in the Czech Republic 15
3.1 Czech national plan for learning foreign languages 15
IV. A case study of the First International School of Ostrava 17
4.1 About the school 17
4.2 Establishment of the First International School of Ostrava 19
4.3 The school’s education 21
4.3.1 Student’s enrolment 22
4.3.2 Language of instruction and the subjects in
Education Programme 23
4.3.3 National curricula followed in the school 25
4.3.4 Leaving examinations 27
4.3.5 Advantages and disadvantages of studying in the
international school 28
4.3.6 Teaching and assessment of the international
V. Conclusions 43
Appendix 1 Questionnaire for Headmaster, Jan Petrus 49
Appendix 2 Questionnaire for teacher Philip Gerard Corkill 51
Appendix 3 Questionnaire for students 53
Appendix 4 Common European Framework of References for
Appendix 5 Section 14 from the Act (No. 561) 55
Appendix 6 Examinations 56
Appendix 7 Rubric – Writing assignments 66
The first words of this thesis’ title are ‘A new role of English in education’.
Therefore the initial part of this work will deal with today’s position of English
among the world’s used languages. Not only will the importance of English be
mentioned here, but also the significantly growing role of other languages. It will be
demonstrated by several examples how and why the role of the English language is
changing in the education systems as well as in people’s lives throughout the world,
with particular attention paid to Europe. It will present some conclusive facts that
English, in most countries, is no longer considered to be just a foreign language and
that its role in education is now reaching a different level.
Following on from this, the focus will move to the Czech Republic and the
policy of the Ministry of Education to learning foreign languages, especially
English, in schools. To support the previous facts about changing role of English in
education there will be a case study of the First International School of Ostrava,
Czech Republic, presented. With this particular example of the First International
School it will be discussed what a bilingual education means in practice. The case
study will be presented in the following way:
Firstly, there will be an introduction about the school itself. It will provide a
brief outline starting from Kindergarten and finishing with the Secondary
Secondly, the necessary steps that had to be taken for establishing such a
school will be shown. The attitude of the Ministry of Education of the Czech
Republic to bilingual education and to international schools in general will
be also described in this section.
Thirdly, and most importantly, we will discover more about the education at
the school itself. Following questions will be discussed:
o How are the students accepted to the school and on what
o What is the language of instruction and to what extent is it
o What curricula are followed and why?
o What is the school’s leaving exam?
o How does the studying there differ from ordinary
monolingual schools? What its advantages and disadvantages
o What are the differences in teaching methodology and in the
assessment of students’ work?
Some facts will be presented based on teacher’s experience as well as on
students’ opinions on this kind of ‘bilingual education’. This third part will
focus only on the Secondary School.
All the information about First International School was gained from author’s visit
to the school and her interviewing the Headmaster, one of the teachers and students.
The lists of questions are attached in appendices 1, 2, 3.
In the conclusion the most important and valuable facts will be summarized.
The relationship between demands of the global society on the English language
and other foreign languages will be revisited here. The following question will be
answered: What are the objectives of the First International School and do they
coincide with the requirements of the modern global society?
II. The English language – its role and position among other
languages in the world
2.1 Key trends in English language development
Below are some key trends examples in English language development
presented, according to David Graddol, a British applied linguist, well-known as a
writer, broadcaster, researcher and consultant on issues relating to global English.
The rise and fall of learners
A massive increase in the number of people learning English has already
begun, and is likely to reach a peak of around 2 billion in the next 10-15
years. Numbers of learners will then decline. The pattern of rise and then
fall in the numbers of people learning the language would represent the
number of ‘new adopters’. Although the rate of new adoption declines as the
‘market saturates’, this does not, of course, mean that the total number of
English speakers declines.
Widening of students age and need
Over the next decade there will be a complex and changing mix of learners
ages and levels of proficiency. The situation will be one of many ages and
Irrelevance of native speakers
Native-speaker norms are becoming less relevant as English becomes a
component of basic education in many countries.
Other languages will compete for resources
Mandarin and Spanish are challenging English in some territories for
educational resources and policy attention.
Economic importance of other languages
The dominance of English in other services (Business Process Outsourcing)
will also decline, though more slowly, as economies in other language areas
outsource services. Japanese, Spanish, French and German are already
Asia may determine the future of global English
Asia, especially India and China, probably now holds the key to the long-
term future of English as a global language.
Retraining needed for English specialists
Specialist English teachers will need to acquire additional skills as English
is less often taught as a subject on it own.
The end of ‘English as a foreign language’
Recent developments in English language teaching represent a response to
the changing needs of learners and new market conditions, but they mark a
‘paradigm shift’ away from conventional EFL models.
(Graddol, David. “English Next” 2006)
From Graddol’s conclusions it can be seen that English is not going to be
the number one language forever. It is in this very moment the only global language
available and it is being transformed. According to this transformation, people’s
needs, teaching and learning of English is also changing beyond recognition. Once
we reach an almost absolute use of English worldwide its role in education will
change completely. Now we are at the beginning of this change.
2.2 Examples of English role-change around the world
The following range of quotations will help to depict how the role of
English language is changing both in its everyday use for business and ordinary
living, and in the education systems all over the world.
“Under mid-19th-century reforms, English was promulgated as the language of
administration. Educated Indians today speak and write English fluently, and it is
spreading faster in India than in any other country. Indians, even those from poor
families, recognize English to be their passport to affluence, not least through
telephonic outsourcing. Today millions earn their living by speaking English. India
will soon be the world’s populous country.” (Johnson, Paul. “Must the Whole
World Speak English?” Forbes 174.11 (Nov 29, 2004).
“In 2001, China decided to make English compulsory in primary schools from
Grade 3. In practice, rural areas may not meet that target, whilst big cities, such as
Beijing and Shanghai, have already introduced English at Grade 1. More people are
now learning English in China than in any other country. Within the formal
education sector an estimated 176.7 million Chinese were studying English in 2005.
As a result of the new policy, China now produces over 20 million new users of
English each year. It seems possible that within a few years, there could be more
English speakers in China than in India.
China’s decision to make English a key part of its strategy for economic
developments has had a galvanizing impact on neighbouring countries. By the end
of 2005, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan were all expressing grave
anxiety about their national proficiency in English and had announced new
educational initiatives.” (Graddol, David. “English Next” 2006)
“A commission headed by education expert Claude Thelot has recommended that
the teaching of English be mandatory in all French schools and that it be accorded
the same importance as the French language and mathematics. The commission
takes the position that English is now the “language of international
communication” and that French young people must be taught to speak and write it
fluently. Professor Claude Hagege of the College de France has come to agree with
the idea of teaching English in French primary schools but only if another language
is taught at the same time. Both Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Minister of
Education Francois Fillon support the proposal to make teaching English
mandatory.” (Johnson, Paul. “Must the Whole World Speak English?” Forbes
174.11 (Nov 29, 2004).
“Under a 1990 law, all Spanish schoolchildren are now taught a foreign language
(98% choose English) from the age of 8 and in some regions start at 6. In the
Madrid region there are 26 bilingual schools and colleges in which courses – with
the exception of Spanish literature and mathematics – are taught in English: by
2007 there will be 110.”
“Some German firms with big export interests already hold board meetings in
English. They find it ‘more convenient’. That is also an increasing practice in
Sweden and the Netherlands.”
(Johnson, Paul. “Must the Whole World Speak English?” Forbes 174.11 (Nov 29,
2.3 English in relation to other languages in Europe – European
According to some of the very obvious and clear statements in 2.1 and to the
words of French professor Claude Hagege in 2.2, English is nowadays a ‘language
of communication’, but the importance of learning some other foreign languages
should be stressed, too. Especially in Europe when the European Union is growing
both in size and strength, it is essential for European citizens to be fluent in more
than only one foreign language. To be able to achieve this there is a Common
European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is a project that
helps European citizens to be better aware of multilingualism. It encourages
Europeans to be more open to other languages and cultures as well as to the
learning of several foreign languages. Probably the words of Commissioner,
Leonard Orban, from Romania will describe the situation more accurately:
Languages are fundamental for Europeans wanting to work together. They go to the
very heart of the unity in diversity of the European Union. We need to nurture and
promote our linguistic heritage in the Member States but we also need to
understand each other, our neighbours, our partners in the EU. Speaking many
languages makes businesses and citizens more competitive and more mobile. The
European Commission needs to deliver results for citizens, and we need to
communicate with you in a language you can understand. Promoting
multilingualism is an excellent way to bring European citizens closer to each other.
To give you access to information and to contributing your views. Learning
languages leads to better understanding. (Leonard Orban, EU Commissioner for
There will probably always be multilingualism in Europe, and therefore
learning languages gives an opportunity to individuals to a better career, to the
chance to live, study or work abroad. For companies, multilingual staff can open the
door to European and global markets. As a result of this language learning is
certainly a major component of the European education systems. Talking about the
education systems covers mainly the younger part of the population. “English for
Young Learners (EYL) is often not just an educational project, but also a political
and economic one. A remarkable number of governments talk not only about the
need to learn a foreign language but of an ambition to make their country bilingual.
The European project is to create plurilingual citizens.” (Graddol, David. “English
All these announcements made by Graddol, Orban, Hagege and others in a
recent past were precursors of what is now considered to be a serious appeal. The
European Federation of National Institution for Languages (EFNIL) has
composed a declaration, which is an outcome of a discussion held at the 2005
annual conference of EFNIL (24/25 November) in Brussels. The production of
‘Brussels Declaration on Language Learning in Europe’ is a crucial act that
needed to be taken in order to appeal to the European governments to start to
consider the learning of foreign languages as a serious issue. The following
quotations taken out from the Declaration should help to indicate its main ideas:
The members of EFNIL are integral components of European linguistic diversity and the basis of
European cultural diversity and cultural wealth. In order to maintain and further develop their own
languages and to promote a sense of shared European identity among the citizens of the states of the
Union, the members of EFNIL support not only the learning and use of their national/official
language or languages but also the learning and use of additional European languages. It is clearly in
the interests of all individuals in Europe that they should be plurilingual. The overall aim is a
plurilingual citizenry in a multilingual Europe. The members of EFNIL are committed to supporting
this aim on the basis of the following observations and recommendations.
Several extracts of the key recommendations:
Education in the European members states should foster a multilingual ethos of communication and
opportunities to learn languages in addition to the first language of the learners. It should motivate
the development of communicative competence in a variety of languages along with intercultural
EFNIL, therefore, appeals to the governments of the European states to strengthen and improve
foreign language learning alongside instruction in each country’s national language(s).
Formal and informal education should offer a wide selection of languages, including all official
European languages, whenever possible.
Communicative competence in 1+2 – languages (= first language plus two other languages) should
be the minimum goal within the primary and secondary educational system of each country.
Besides being able to use at least two other languages, the receptive use of additional languages
should be encouraged in order to develop intercomprehension.
(Brussels declaration on Language Learning in Europe. 2006)
It should be noted that the Declaration has been published in 20 official
languages of the European Union at that time. Nowadays, the European Union has
27 member states and 23 official languages.
2.4 English language adaptation in educational systems
The following section will deal with the educational changes around the
world in English learning and its new position in curriculum according to David
Graddol’s view on this phenomenon.
The educational revolution that is taking place is almost certainly the result
of growing economies of many countries. They have reached the position when
they can assert themselves in a globalised world and therefore the language learning
curricula are going through significant changes to be able to prepare their citizens
for living in today’s world. In these globalised economies English plays an
important role. It is now considered to be a part of basic education altogether with
national language, mathematics, information technology, etc. In other words
English is no longer thought to be a ‘foreign language’. As a result of this the
improvement of national proficiency in English has become a crucial part of the
educational strategy in most countries in the world.
If English is not regarded as a foreign language anymore, what is its role
then? A new teaching methodology called ‘Content and Language Integrated
Learning’ (CLIL) has currently been developed. CLIL has become visible as an
important curriculum trend in Europe, and similar applications are being used,
under different names, in many other countries.
CLIL is an approach to bilingual education in which both curriculum content - such as Science
and Geography – and English are taught together. It differs from simple English-medium
education in that the learner is not necessarily expected to have the English proficiency
required to cope with the subject before beginning study. Hence, it is a means of teaching
curriculum subjects through the medium of a language still being learned, providing the
necessary language support alongside the subject specialism. CLIL can also be regarded the
other way around – as a means of teaching English through study of a specialist content.
There are no clear rules about how to introduce and use CLIL in schools. It
coincides with the idea of ‘just in time learning’ and some of those involved in
CLIL refer to it as the ultimate communicative methodology. “Teaching curriculum
subjects through the medium of English means that teachers must convey not only
the subject content and disciplinary language but also the practical problem-solving,
negotiations, discussions and classroom management in ways that characterize
disciplinary pedagogic practices.” Trying to integrate CLIL into national curricula
systems is not easy because it brings many changes. Firstly, it needs to have
qualified teachers. English teachers should work closely with subject teachers to
make sure that language development is sufficiently used in subjects’ lessons. The
best conditions are when the teachers are also bilingual. Secondly, there comes also
a cultural change in schools, which is not always easy to accept. If we contemplate
that English is developed within CLIL, then also the assessment of English
proficiency is made partly through subject assessment.
III. Conditions for foreign language learning within school
education system in the Czech Republic
The following part is an adapted translation of the original document in
Czech released by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.
3.1 Czech national plan for learning foreign languages
A national plan exists for learning foreign languages, which is produced by
the Ministry of Education. This looks at the idea of how the foreign languages
should be taught. Its target is to create appropriate conditions for Czech citizens to
develop both language knowledge and linguistic competences of foreign languages.
The aim is to enable Czech people to understand foreign languages as well as to
communicate in them.
The European Union requirement that every European citizen should be able
to communicate in at least two other languages besides their national language(s) is,
in the education system, being fulfilled by gradual generation of Framework
Educational Programmes (FEP). FEP for pre-school and primary education have
already been created and approved. The main point of these frameworks is that all
pupils in primary education will have English language lessons. Initial English
language learning will focus on ensuring the sequence of English learning between
particular levels in education, from Nursery to Secondary School. Leaving level of
English in 5th Grade is A1 and is heading to language level A2. In 9th Grade there is
a target level A2 to be achieved and then students are aiming for level B1. The
Secondary School graduates’ linguistic competences are to be on level B2 but may
exceed this level. These (A1, A2, B1, B2) are the levels according to the Common
European Framework of Reference for Languages. Its complete list is available in
The choice of second foreign language is going to be based on the idea of
multilingualism, which means a wide selection of other foreign languages (French,
Russian, Spanish, etc.). German and Polish have a special position as the languages
of our neighbouring states. The Slovak language has a unique position as a
consequence of being part of the former bilingual state of Czechoslovakia.
The offer of foreign language learning to all citizens requires sufficient
number of qualified teachers. This is a most crucial task that stands in the first place
in this plan. Apart from creating a wider choice of courses and its combinations at
the Pedagogical Faculties, there will also be another possibility for future teachers
to further improve in the languages, according to the new Framework plan of net
courses in further education of teachers of foreign languages.
Teaching foreign language in schools can already start in pre-school stage in
a form of language preparation. Pre-school language education is not compulsory.
However, if there is some provided it is possible to follow up with learning in the 1st
and 2nd Grade of Primary School, where the methodological programme ‘subjects
crosswise – first grade’ can be applied. This programme is based on an idea that the
individual teachers will cooperate. The teachers will work together on particular
subject curricula and try to create such syllabuses that would link the single subjects
more together. For example, in the Mathematics class in the 1st Grade the teacher
may revise with the pupils the numbers 1 – 20 in English. From the 3rd Grade of
basic school foreign language learning is compulsory. English is preferred to be the
first compulsory foreign language. In a relation to the proposed conception, the
number of foreign language (English) lessons at lower and higher primary
education will gradually rise. Primary education will be followed up with secondary
education where, in some courses, the number of lessons also increases.
In this context it is necessary to mention Content and Language Integrated
Learning (previously introduced in 2.4), which can be considered as a very effective
method that leads to improvement of language knowledge and linguistic
competences. However, making this type of learning more common mainly depends
on sufficient number of qualified teachers, who are well advanced in the foreign
language and also have their degree in the subject itself. The future plan for
increasing number of such teachers is to open more university courses that would
prepare them for CLIL type of teaching.
IV. A case study of the First International School of Ostrava
4.1 About the school
The First International School of Ostrava first opened for the academic year
2005/2006. The whole school is established in a way so that its individual parts
(Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School, Secondary School) could be easily
linked together, with a special reference to the English language development.
There follows a brief description of the particular parts:
The Kindergarten is for children aged from 3 to 6. At the moment there exist
four classes, one of which is international. The international class consists of
children of different ages and nationalities. However, Czech children are only
accepted to this class after passing logopaedic (logopaedics is a branch of
science concerned with the physiology and pathology of the organs of speech
and with the correction of speech defects) and psychological tests. It can be said
that in the Kindergarten interactive communication takes place in Czech (3
classes) as well as in English (international class). There exist weekly
educational programmes that are in the international class enriched with the
English language lessons. One part of this class is formed by foreign children
who would normally start the compulsory education at the age of five in their
countries is called Grade 0. Foreign children attend this class for whole last
school year in the Kindergarten. In the second term, all children who will start
their Grade 1 in the International Primary School in autumn will visit this Grade
0 as a part of pre-school preparation.
2. Primary and Middle School
The Primary School (first level of basic school) is for children aged 6 to 11
and Middle School (second level of basic school) is for children aged 12 to 15.
Knowledge of English is not pre-requisite for registering at the school, as most
children are at the beginners’ level. Core subjects (all subjects apart from those
that are classified as having both the educational and artistic focus – Arts,
Music, PE) in Primary School are taught in English. Starting from the Middle
School all of the subjects are taught in English. There are also special lessons of
Czech for foreigners provided. The school applies an individual approach with
maximum of 20 children per class and they are taught in fully equipped multi-
media classrooms. There are also many after-school activities such as sports,
choir, natural science, etc. (The International After-School Club). Children are
also involved in holiday celebrations of various cultures and nationalities.
3. Secondary School
Students aged 15 to 19 attend the Secondary School. There are qualified
international teaching staff from Australia, the USA, Great Britain, Germany,
Israel, Canada and the Czech Republic. Students are led through a programme
that will allow them to continue on to university studies in the Czech Republic
and abroad. There are used modern textbooks from the USA, Great Britain and
the Czech Republic, integrated with internet support to provide the students
with the most up-to-date information in a wide variety of subjects. There is an
offer of a Summer School and Fun Camp to help students to integrate and
improve their English if it is needed before the school year starts. More detailed
information about the teaching itself, national curricula that are followed,
leaving exams and others is provided in section 4.3.
4.2 Establishment of the First International School of Ostrava
Initially, it should be explained why this school was established. The idea
originated from thoughts about the North Moravian region and its educational
possibilities. Current Executive Director, Brett Gray, B.A. and Headmaster, Jan
Petrus realized that there is no such school, not only in this region, but also nowhere
nearby that would enable non-native Czech children to study. These two men met
each other and tried to think of some reasons why it would be worth to open an
international school in Ostrava. They had several suggestions that almost all
coincided in one area, the economical prosperity of the region. See the list of their
ideas and thoughts below:
Economical development of the region (now happening).
More foreign investors and employees coming to the region.
However, there is no appropriate school available, in case they come with
If there is no possibility for their children to go to school, will they come?
If so, for how long will they stay?
Is it good for the regional development?
Getting into the circle of trade and economy development, where foreigners
are involved and not having corresponding educational opportunities for
However, if there is going to be a school for foreign children, is it going to
Will there be enough of these children for whole school and do we want a
school only for foreign children?
Czech children should also be allowed to study in the school.
Provide a different type of education for Czech children in the area.
The conclusion was to create an international school, which would be attended by
foreign as well as Czech children. With these ideas Jan Petrus and Brett Gray
contacted the City Council, from which they got the full support of their plan.
However, this was just a beginning.
The next big step was to present their plan to the Ministry of Education of
the Czech Republic. According to Petrus dealing with the Ministry was not easy.
Not only did they have to persuade the Ministry of Education about this prospective
contribution to the region but also the Department of Trade. Having persistently
stressed the importance of such school in this part of the country the Ministry
finally released the permission to its establishment.
Nevertheless, after getting the permission, which was difficult enough, the real
challenge started. While dealing with the Ministry about various conditions and
regulations for establishing the Educational Programmes in a bilingual
(international) school it was discovered that the Czech educational system is not
fully prepared for such an organization. Here several areas are listed that are not
very clearly specified, in term of founding international schools, in the educational
documents written by the Ministry:
Is it allowed to teach subjects in foreign language (English) in Primary and
Secondary schools? How many and which?
What are the conditions?
What is the school’s leaving exam going to be? In what language will
students pass the exam?
There follows an extract from a part of the Act (No. 561) on Pre-school, Basic,
Secondary, Tertiary Professional and Other Education that deals with this issue:
Language of Instruction and Education of Members of National Minorities
Language of Instruction
(1) The language of instruction shall be the Czech language.
(2) Members of national minorities1 shall have the right to be educated in the language
of the relevant national minority under conditions stipulated in Section 14.
(3) The Ministry may permit the teaching of some subjects in a foreign language.
(4) A foreign language may be the language of instruction at tertiary professional
This is the complete and only section from the whole Act on Education that
mentions some possibility of teaching ‘some subjects’ in a foreign language.
However, any other regulations are missing. There is a further reference to Section
14 that deals with Education of Members of National Minorities but those
regulations, however, do not apply directly to bilingual (international) schools.
Except one part, which mentions a possibility of bilingual education:
(5) If conditions stipulated in sub-sections 2 and 3 are not satisfied a head teacher with the
consent of the founder may specify in the School Educational Programme subjects or their
parts which may be taught bilingually, both in the Czech language and the language of the
relevant national minority.
The full version of Section 14 of the Act is available in appendix 5.
Due to the lack of appropriate and more precise information that would
specify the language of instruction and to what extent it could be used, the school
built their Educational Programmes on various exceptions that were allowed by the
Ministry. However, the question of the school’s leaving exam remains unresolved
up to now. There will be more thorough discussion on this issue in the section 4.3.4.
In the end of this part on establishment it is also appropriate to acknowledge
that this type of a school cannot exist depending only on the state support.
Therefore there are various sponsorships and funds that contribute to its existence
altogether with school-fees that apply to some parts of the school.
4.3 The school’s education
As was already mentioned in the introduction this passage will only consider
the Secondary School. We have also learnt from 4.1 that the school has been
opened for almost two academic years, which means that the highest Grade in
school at the moment is the 2nd Grade of the Secondary School.
4.3.1 Students’ enrolment
The Secondary level of the First International School is fee paying. Yet it does
not make it accessible to everyone who is willing to pay the school-fee. There are
regular entrance exams as to any other Secondary School. However, the conditions
for entering differ from whether the candidate is from the Czech Republic or
abroad. Here is some enrolment information that is released on the school’s
1. Czech students
If the child is currently a student in a Grade 9 of the Czech Primary School the
registration proceeds as follows. The appropriate application form (available
from the academic adviser in the Primary School) is fulfilled and then the child
sits for an entrance exam, which consists of following:
Scio (an organisation that dwells on the development and setup of tests for
entrance examinations) test in Czech,
Scio test in General knowledge,
Oral and written English placement test.
Students with an average of 1.20 or better for all of grade 8 and the first half
of grade 9 need not take the Scio tests from Czech Language and General
If the child is currently a student in Grade 9 of a lower Czech gymnasium, or
Grade 1 or 2 at a higher Czech gymnasium, he or she can simply transfer to the
First International School after having successfully completed the English
language entrance examination, which is the oral and written placement test
2. Students from abroad
For students coming from abroad, the school provides placement tests in
English and mathematics. Consultation with the student's home school will be
made in order to determine what the student will need to seamlessly integrate
upon return from the Czech Republic.
Nonetheless, these rules may be adapted to a particular situation. The school
tends to be quite flexible when it comes to the students’ acceptance. There might be
a situation when the family moves into the country during a school year. When this
happens, the children can still join ‘their’ class. It is also possible to join a higher
Grade even though the students’ age does not correspond with the age of a
particular class. They might have been going through the syllabus in their previous
studies somewhere else so there is no need for them to study it again. For these
cases there are special placement tests available. The Ministry of Education
expresses their approval on this by allowing the school another exception.
4.3.2 Language of instruction and other language learning
The situation at the moment is such that there are several nationalities mixed
together in one class. There are native English speakers studying together with non-
native speakers. There will be more attention paid to this issue of non-native
English students working together with the native ones through out the next
sections. As a result of this nationality mixture there had to be one common
language chosen as a language of instruction, which is in this case English. Even
though only five subjects from the educational plan were approved to teaching in a
foreign language, in the end all of the lessons are held in English. The other subjects
are either related to those five basic ones, which means they can be taught in
English, or there has been an exception allowed by the Ministry so they can be
taught in English, too. There follows a table that offers a better outline of the
Five basic Other Optional Foreign
subjects subjects subjects – languages
(taught in (having an workshops (in
English) exception to be connection to
taught in English) main subjects
may be taught in
English Language Mathematics 1. Conversation in Czech Language
and Literature English language, and Literature
Social Studies Physics 2. Arts, Music, English Language
Geography and Literature
History Biology 3. Social Studies, French
Geography IT (Information 4. Economy, IT + Spanish
Technology) Graphic Art,
Chemistry Arts German
There are 13 subjects (Czech Language and Literature, English Language and
Literature, Foreign Language, Social Studies, Geography, History, Mathematics,
Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Arts, IT, PE) that are compulsory for all four years of
studying. In addition to these subjects there are also some optional subjects –
workshops that are related to the basic subjects. In first two years there is only one
optional subject obligatory. Students then have to choose their subject from
Optional subjects number 1. (See table above). In the third year there will be two
optional subjects. One of them is the subject they have done for first two years and
other one they choose again from Optional subjects number 2. In the fourth year
there will be four optional subjects and the choice of other two subjects will be
made from Optional subjects number 3 and 4.
When considering the foreign languages, it is a reality for most students that
English is still the foreign language number one. Their foreign language number
two can be chosen from French, Spanish or German. In case the students are
English native speakers they have choice from the three languages mentioned plus
the Czech language. To sum it up, all students regardless of their nationality have
two compulsory foreign language subjects. The school is aware of the importance
of learning foreign languages and of the fact, as it is mentioned in the part 2.3, that
comprehension of only one foreign language is not enough and tries to support their
students in further language studies. The school management wants to create an
opportunity for their students to become as advanced as possible in languages other
than English. They support this idea by providing the students with maximum
lessons and qualified native teachers of that language, when possible.
4.3.3 National curricula followed in the school
The question which national curriculum is the school going to follow is little
bit unclear. The school uses the British National Curriculum with elements of the
Czech and American curricula. The British National Curriculum was chosen in
particular because of its international recognition. It is considered to serve as the
good basis for any university studies in English. Ideally, each curriculum would be
followed separately. There should be the British or American curricula, according
to the school’s management curricula choice, for foreign students, and the Czech
curriculum for Czech students because it would also correspond with the type of
leaving exam that they are going to take. Following this system would mean to have
However, the real situation is that there is only one class in each Grade so as
the students are mixed together the curricula are also combined. Now it is up to the
teachers to prepare appropriate material that would be sufficiently used in the
lessons. Officially, the school follows the syllabus as for the Czech Curriculum only
taught in English. This system is quite convenient for the Czech students. Yet there
also need to be covered some parts of the other curricula for the foreign students. In
practice it means that there are the international textbooks used as a basement for
each subject. These textbooks may be supplemented with other books (also by the
Czech textbooks for Czech students), the Internet sources and the teachers’ own
created teaching material. Yet, the essence of the problem is that a British or other
nationality child needs to cover slightly different syllabus than a Czech student. The
solution to this uneasy situation, according to the school, is to follow one
curriculum (in this case mainly British one) in the lessons. If the students need to
know some other information, then there are extra lessons for them after school
provided, for example, in the History lessons. For the regular lessons there is a
textbook World History used. The teacher looks at the British and Czech curricula.
Parts of curricula that coincide in both of them are going to be taught in the lessons.
Anything extra needs to be covered in the additional lessons. For example, the
Czech students need to pay more attention to the Reign of Charles IV. than their
The teachers prepare the syllabuses for these additional lessons. They use
the various sources for this as mentioned above. All material created by the teachers
themselves must be approved by the principal before using it in the lessons. To be
able to cover the whole curriculum, either the British one for foreign students or the
Czech one for Czech students, in each subject, everyone has to do some extra work.
Even though teachers try to support the students and are willing to help them as
much as possible, there is still a lot of self-studying left for homework.
4.3.4 Leaving examinations
The characteristics of all types of examinations mentioned in this section are
provided in appendix 6.
As it was said previously, in the section on the school’s establishment, the
issue on the leaving examination is still unresolved. We also know that there is not
going to be a graduation class for another two years so there is still a time for some
necessary steps to be taken. The situation at the moment is such that all foreign
students will take either A-levels or GCSEs. Czech students will have to take the
Czech leaving exam called ‘Maturita’. Nonetheless, there are some discussions now
being led between the school and the Ministry of Education on the ‘Maturita’ issue.
The school argues that as the students study their subjects in English, the ‘Maturita’
should also be done in English and not in Czech as the law says. Whether the
Ministry will allow this or not is still only a question. Apart from taking some of the
compulsory examinations mentioned above, the school also encourages all the ESL
(English as a Second Language) students to take one of the English language
comprehension exams. The school will recommend and offer them a selection of
their level corresponding exams like FCE or CAE provided by Cambridge or
IELTS. But the school is still in the process of being set up and is working on their
Educational Programmes, such as the International Baccalaureate, that would lead
to the fixed leaving exams. There follows a table of the future model plan of leaving
Choice of exams
English A-levels GCSEs International
ESL A-levels GCSEs International FCE, Maturita (in
Baccalaureate CAE or English, for
IELTS Czech students)
The native students would have a choice from three different examinations.
The ESL students will have to choose from the same range of exams as the native
ones plus they will need to sit for one of the English language comprehension
exams. The Czech students would be able to do their ‘Maturita’ in English plus they
would be offered to sit any of the internationally recognized exams mentioned
above. The English language exam would also be compulsory for them same as for
the other ESL students.
4.3.5 Advantages and disadvantages of studying in the international school
This section will be based on the ESL students’ opinions about studying in the
international school. The questionnaires were only given to the ESL students as
they deal mainly with aspect of learning subjects in English and with the English
language improvement. The questionnaire answered 38 respondents out of 48
students (2 classes of Grade 1 and 1 class of Grade 2). For better evaluation of this
survey there will be the answers divided into tables according to the students’ age.
Each set of tables will deal with one question. All respondents were asked
1. How do you find studying your regular subjects in English?
2. Do you think that your English is improving (faster) this way? Can you
actually recognize any progress?
3. Can you think of both some advantages and disadvantages this way of
4. How do you think this will help you in the future?
Question No. 1: How do you find studying your regular subjects in English?
respondents Answers of 15 years old students
Think that it is sometimes more difficult to study the
subjects in English but they also think that it is important
for them to improve in this language so they take it as a
Say that they have no special objections with studying in
Says that it was very difficult at the beginning but now it
1 is better and is enjoying it.
respondents Answers of 16 years old students
Find studying in English little bit difficult, especially the
unknown vocabulary and sometimes they have problems
4 with general comprehension.
Do not find the studies too hard, maybe at the beginning,
4 but now they think it is rather interesting and useful.
Says, "I take it for granted that we should study all the
subjects in English. Personally, it’ll be much more
difficult for me if the lessons are held in any other
languages rather than English. And one of the reasons
I’m attending here is that I want to speak and use
respondents Answers of 17 years old students
Find studying in English demanding, interesting and
7 useful. They do not have any special problems with it.
Say that they felt more comfortable with it after certain
time. They needed from 3 to 6 months to get used to it
and improve their English a little. Now they feel
4 comfortable with it.
Find their studies still quite difficult, especially some
4 subjects such are Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.
Question No.2 Do you think that your English is improving (faster) this way?
Can you actually recognize any progress?
respondents Answers of 15 years old students
10 Answered that their English is definitely improving
Says that they cannot actually recognize any progress and
3 are not sure whether they are getting better or not.
Says, "No, I dare say, that my English level is rather
1 decreasing. “
respondents Answers of 16 years old students
Says that they are improving in English quite quickly,
7 especially their vocabulary knowledge.
Claims that he/she is improving in understanding but no
1 so much in speaking.
Says that he/she cannot really see much progress but also
admits that maybe is just not able to recognize it. He/she
learns some new specific vocabulary but is not sure
whether it helps in improving the whole English level.
This student feels like that he/she stays at the same level
1 and takes classes outside school to improve the language.
respondents Answers of 17 years old students
Think that their English is improving very quickly and
11 also quite significantly.
Say that they are only getting better in their vocabulary
knowledge, which is sometimes very specific and
therefore not so good for everyday use. They also lack
2 enough opportunity to practice their speaking.
Say that are not getting better at all. One of them claims
that they only listen to teachers and do not get any
2 practice in the language.
Question No.3 Can you think of both some advantages and disadvantages this
way of learning has?
respondents Answers of 15 years old students
See an advantage in improving
10 their level of English.
Sees a positive side in
preparation for the studies
Think as a disadvantage that it is
more difficult for them to study the
subjects in English and to
understand the teachers and texts
in the books as well as the
6 problems they deal with.
Says that preparing for the lessons
in English is more time
Considers the non-native English
teachers’ English to be on not so
advanced level and sees it as a
Sees a problem in those students
who want to study further at the
university in the Czech Republic.
These students should probably be
1 studying in the Czech schools.
respondents Answers of 16 years old students
6 Consider as an advantage the
improvement in the English
language, getting to know more
vocabulary and becoming fluent.
One of them also sees an
advantage in changing the way
of thinking into thinking in
1 Thinks that an advantage is ‘an
open world’ because a lot of
people speak English.
4 Think that studying in English is
quite difficult. They find it hard to
understand what the teachers say.
respondents Answers of 17 years old students
9 Think that a big contribution to
their studies is in the English
language development. They
feel they are improving in
vocabulary, understanding and
4 Consider to be a disadvantage the
lack of free time. It takes them
more time to prepare for the
lessons, e.g. reading takes longer
as they have to translate words.
3 See a disadvantage in studying
some subjects, which are hard for
them, in English. One of them is
also worried about how they are
going to do the graduation exam
(Maturita) in Czech if they now
study everything in English.
2 See a problem in differences
between more advanced and
weaker students, referring to their
level of English.
1 Says, "Disadvantage may be when
Czech-speaking teacher teaches
Czech students in English. After a
while, both Czech teacher and
students start speaking in the
Question No.4 How do you think this will help you in the future?
respondents Answers of 15 years old students
Think that it is going help them in the future. They do not
really specify how, only mention the knowledge of the
respondents Answers of 16 years old students
Think that studying in English is a big contribution to
their future life (more opportunities for working abroad,
English is an important language, living in different
countries, get a good job in their own country,
7 preparation for the studies abroad)
Are not sure how the studies in this school could help
2 them in the future.
respondents Answers of 17 years old students
Answered that this school is helping them to improve in
English, which will definitely be useful for them in the
future. Their reasons are as those of the previous group
15 (16 years old students).
Summary of students’ answers:
As for the first question, it can be noticed that as the students are getting
older they seem to find the studying in English less difficult and more
interesting and useful. It is probably due to the fact that their English is
improving and they also are more familiar with the type of the school
In the second question, it is probably good to take into consideration the
students’ initial level of English when they started to study in the school.
Some students were more advanced in English than the others. Due to this
fact some of them find the studies harder than the others. These students can
see the very obvious and almost immediate improvement. On the other hand
it is the better students who cannot really register any significant progress. A
few students are very concerned about their English and are taking some
outside-school lessons to get some further improvement.
In the third question there are the most diverse answers given. However,
most of the students think that the biggest advantage of studying in this
school is in their English language development. It could also be seen on the
level of English when the students were answering the questionnaires. For
example, answers to question no. 1 of 15 years old student: “It’s difficult,
but I want to know English well”, and of 18 years old student: “I think it’s
good until the time when we all have to do the graduation in Czech
language. I don’t like Physics and Chemistry in English, because I think it’s
hard in Czech.” The level and complexity of the answers given was
increasing with the students’ age. As for the disadvantages, apart from
others, for some students the negative point is still the fact that their English
is not as good as they think it should be to feel comfortable in the class.
Therefore it is more difficult and time consuming for them to prepare for
their lessons. This is probably the most common problem. Worth
mentioning is the fact that some students do not consider some teachers’
level of English to be at a high enough level for this type of school. Another
problem mentioned was the Czech ‘Maturita’ and not having a homogenous
learning environment in terms of the level of English in the class.
As for the last question, all of the students think there is some contribution
to their future lives in what they do. They realize that English is nowadays
very important. Some of them already have a clear idea, as they want to go
to university in the USA or UK. They know that a good knowledge of
English will be considered as an advantage in their further studies as well as
in their future occupations.
4.3.6 Teaching and assessment of the international students
This part will mainly be based on the interview with Philip Gerard Corkill,
B.A. who is both English Language and History teacher. Therefore some examples
on teaching and assessment of a subject will be connected to History lessons. As
Mr. Corkill is also an English Language teacher and a native-speaker, there will be
some valuable observations on the English language environment in the classes
presented, too. Other sources of information for this part were the Headmaster of
the school and the students themselves.
Firstly, it should be explained what the students’ level of English is
supposed to be in certain stages of their studies, beginning with their entrance level
and then continuing through each year heading to the leaving exams. Naturally,
only the ESL students are going to be taken into account at the moment. It could be
thought that there is some entrance level of English required. However, the reality is
such that only complete beginners are not accepted to the Secondary School.
Anyone from A2 level (see appendix 4), when fitting the bill otherwise, can start
studying in the school. This would be a condition for the beginning of the studies.
Then there is a clear idea of what the students’ level of English should be when
leaving the school. That is C1 (IELTS – 7.5). Anything in between is essentially up
to each student in how hard they need to work to get as good in English as possible
while attending the school. Nevertheless, there exists a fixed syllabus for English
Language and Literature subject that follows particular levels. The English
language levels for each year are as following:
Grade English level
In practice it means that there are various levels of English mixed in one
class. Some ESL students are more advanced than the others and there are also the
native- speakers studying with them. This could seem to make the situation difficult
for the teachers. How can they approach the students individually so everybody can
manage to comprehend the lesson? However the English native-speaker teachers
deal with all the students the same as with the native-speakers. So there is a native
level of English used during the subject lessons, which means that the ESL students,
especially the weaker ones, have to work quite hard. The non-native-speaker
teachers, of course, try to hold the standard of the native teachers but some of them
are not very advanced in English themselves, which can make the situation in the
class difficult. As it was mentioned in the part on the students’ questionnaires, a few
students express that they are not very satisfied with some of the teachers’ level of
English. The principals are aware of this problem and help the teachers in their
English language development as much as they can. For example, there are the
English language lessons provided for them. Other members of staff claim that the
English of most of the non-native English teachers has improved significantly
during the first academic year. The school’s management is also planning a
teachers’ exchange programme for future years. The plan is to cooperate with some
schools in the United States. There follows a detailed description of a History
lesson for better outline:
There are 2 lessons per week
Teacher has got a study plan prepared for the whole term. Students
know the plan too so they now what to expect and when.
There is a textbook World History – The Human Journey used as a
basic material for the lessons. For Czech History the teacher prepares
his own material, using various sources (books on Czech History,
Internet – Wikipedia, etc.), which is approved by the principal.
Firstly, at the beginning of the lesson the teacher summarizes what
the lesson is going to be about.
Secondly, the most important points are written on the board.
Thirdly, the lecturing itself takes place – telling students about the
Fourthly, towards the end of the lesson there is a time for asking
some questions, a discussion may follow and the homework is set.
Students always know what the next lesson is going to be. So they
have time to prepare for it if they think they need to. However, the
preparation in advance is not required.
Normally, the teacher uses English, as he would with only native-
speakers in the class, but if there is a choice of some simpler
vocabulary then he chooses to use it. This way he can make it
slightly less difficult for the weaker students (in English) to
Students (especially the Czech ones – because of the unresolved
issue of ‘Maturita’ in Czech) are supposed to translate some crucial
terms of the subject. Each student is provided with a laptop so they
can use on-line dictionaries during the lessons.
The school follows general assessment rules. These are that the evaluation
of final results is done at the end of each term on the basis of continuous
assessment. For this purpose there is a system of a continuous point and
percentage assessment of school results. This system has been created to be
coherent with all subject lesson plans. Students are given marks continuously
during the whole classification period. Teachers of science and arts subjects
provide students with information about a detailed plan including dates of main
tests, their maximum test score and the importance of individual tests for the
final assessment. (E.g. History lesson – Assignment 1 – 10%, Assignment 2 –
10%, Project – 15%, Essay – 15%, Test 1 – 20%, Test 2 – 20%, Lesson activity
– 10%). For the purpose of grading, school subjects are divided into two groups:
1. Natural Sciences: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, IT.
Social Sciences: Czech Language and Literature, Foreign Languages,
Social Science, Geography, History
2. Subjects of educational and artistic focus: Physical Education, Music,
The grading of all main tests, projects and writing portfolios in these
subjects follows these assessment criteria:
1. The Sciences
System of evaluation
2. Subjects classified as having both aesthetical and artistic focus do not
follow the criteria of assessment. Yet there are some criteria which are used
for their evaluation:
A level of creativity and speech independence
Acquisition of necessary knowledge, experience, activities and their
Understanding patterns of given activities and their application in
The relationship between a student and activities and his/her interest
Aesthetic sense, an approach to artworks
In Physical Education with respect to a student’s health condition:
general fitness, efficiency and care about his/her own health
When talking about the actual evaluation, first and foremost, comes the
question of what is being assessed, language, content or both? At the moment all
the subject lessons are focusing on the content knowledge rather than on the
linguistic competence. Therefore it is the content knowledge as the main subject of
evaluation. But within the content testing there is still an area that considers an
appropriateness of the language. For evaluation of students’ work, there are various
assessment sheets, called ‘rubrics’ supposed to be used. It is a set of different
criteria used for evaluation. A complete example of such a rubric on Writing
Assignments is provided in appendix 7. There are 10 areas that students’ work is
evaluated on - 4 of which focuses on language, 4 on content and 2 on overall layout.
Yet the teachers claim that the content knowledge is stressed more then the
linguistic one. An important issue in assessment is the fact that not all the teachers
use the rubrics and follow their own evaluation system based on their experience
and intuition instead. Out of the four linguistic skills (writing, reading, listening,
speaking) mainly two – speaking and writing, are being taken into consideration
when testing and assessing. Listening and reading are tested within the lessons as
they cover the general comprehension skill.
From these facts it is obvious that the school has not established any clear
system on how exactly the individual skills in combination with the content
knowledge should be assessed. However, there is a plan for teachers’ training in
how to use the rubrics accurately. So at least there should be the same evaluation
criteria in all the subjects.
It seems that the native-speaker students have a significant advantage here.
But as the teachers know what the non-native students knowledge of English is
supposed to be in the particular grade they evaluate them as so the levels
correspond. For example, in the 2nd Grade non-native students’ level of English is
meant to be B1B2. Then their written work is assessed considering this level.
Teachers do not compare non-native students to the native ones in term of linguistic
competence in English.
In the part about the role of English language in today’s world there were
some key trends in English language development, according to David Graddol’s
work entitled “English Next”. He claims that English is now in the process of
various changes. The situation at the moment is such that the number of English
learners is rapidly increasing. According to Graddol’s opinion this number will, in
about a decade, reach an absolute peak and then will start decreasing. This decline
mostly depends on the smaller number of new students of English as a Second
Language. Another important reason for this decline is that there are some other
languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish, French, German or Japanese that are slowly
gaining a significant importance in the globalised world. From these two facts it
could be concluded: firstly, English will change its role in the education field. It
will move from the position of foreign language into the position of the language of
instruction for teaching the common curricula subjects. Due to this fact a new
methodology programme – Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is in
the process of being developed. Many countries across the world, as noted in part
2.2, are now changing their Educational Programmes and try to involve English as
much as possible in their school education. Some major economic countries such as
China or India would like their inhabitants to become fluent in English while
studying in schools. Secondly, not only the importance of English is being stressed,
but also a need of other foreign language knowledge. This phenomenon of
multilingualism has become an important issue, especially in Europe, where more
and more countries are becoming members of the European Union.
Following on from these facts there was a case study of the First
International School of Ostrava, Czech Republic presented. This case study shows a
response to these global trends. At the moment the school is in its second academic
year and therefore it is still in the process of setting up some important issues such
as the exact Educational Programmes that would also clearly specify which
National curriculum is going to be followed, and the conception of the leaving
examinations. Not only does this need to be established, but also several teacher-
training sessions are going to take place in the near future. As it was mentioned in
both part 2.4 on English language adaptation in educational systems, and then
further in the Czech National plan for learning foreign languages, the CLIL
teaching approach is still very new and there is some time needed to prepare
qualified teachers in both language and subject and a methodology needs to be
developed, too. This is going to be fulfilled mainly by opening more courses in the
Pedagogical faculties that would specialize in CLIL teaching and by providing
further language teacher training to future teachers of foreign languages. As the
International School needs their teachers now, they have to provide the teacher
training themselves for them. All the teachers are trying their best now using their
previous teaching experience, however, some professional support and guidance
needs to be made available for them. The non-native English teachers have to get
better in their linguistic competences and all the teachers need to be provided with
training in CLIL and in how to assess the students. There should be a clear guidance
when to assess the content and when the language. The teachers also need further
clarity and guidance, either from the Ministry or from the school, in order to know
how to approach the international students in the class and how to evaluate them.
As it was mentioned throughout the text the school principals are fully aware of this
situation and encourage and support their employees in their further professional
As stated in the introduction part, the question “What are the objectives of
the International School and do they coincide with the requirements of the modern
global society?” is going to be answered here. It is clear from the previous
discussion that the main requirement, in terms of languages, of today’s society is to
develop a multilingual environment. English is at the moment considered to be in
the leading position, when talking about learning languages, however the
importance of knowing several foreign languages is being fully stressed. The First
International School holds all lessons in English. The teachers claim that the main
focus is on teaching the content but along side with it the students’ language
competences are being quite rapidly developed, as they themselves have stated.
There are few exceptions among the students who do not recognize any progress in
their English or even say that they are not getting any better. However, most of the
students are improving in their English learning. The students of the International
School do not only excel in English, but are also encouraged to learn other foreign
languages. Apart from the fact that all students have two compulsory foreign
languages in their timetable, they also feel a strong motivation to learn them due to
the international school environment. This international environment is a very
important contribution to the development of a multilingual society. Students in this
school learn not only the languages, but also the different way of thinking in various
cultures, known as inter-cultural competence. They share national customs and
traditions, which helps them to understand other nations’ mentalities.
Even though there are still some discrepancies in several areas of the
school’s existence, the aim is to prepare the students to be able to comfortably live
and work in the modern multilingual world. As there is a strong motivation from
both sides, the staff and the students, this aim has a high chance of being achieved.
Tato bakalářská práce se zabývá postavením anglického jazyka v současném
světě a také tím jak se postupně mění jeho role ve vzdělávání. V teoretické části je
především vysvětleno o jaké změny se jedná a jaký důsledek mají tyto změny na
vzdělávací systémy a výukové programy škol. Zmíněna je také důležitost učení se
dalším cizím jazykům. Představen je Národní plán pro výuku cizích jazyků pro
Českou republiku a také nová výuková metodologie učení se jazyka obsahem
předmětu (Content and Language Integrated Learning).
V praktické části je potom popsáno jakým způsobem taková výuka v cizím
jazyce probíhá. Jako příklad je zde uvedena mezinárodní škola v Ostravě – The
First International School of Ostrava. Na tomto příkladu je ukázáno co vše zahrnuje
výuka předmětu v cizím jazyce, kde jednu třídu tvoří několik různých národností a
studenti s různou úrovní znalosti agličtiny, což je zde výukový jazyk. Tato část se
částečně zabývá také tím jak dalece je české školství připraveno na tento typ výuky.
V závěru jsou potom shrnuty neldůležitější poznatky o měnící se roli
anglického jazyka ve vzdělávání v celosvětovém měřítku. Je také zodpovězena
otázka jakým způsobem se k tomuto fenoménu staví The First International School
of Ostrava a zda prřpravuje své studenty, co se jazykové stránky týče, v souladu s
globálními požadavky na znalost cizích jazyků a angličtiny především.
This thesis deals with the position of the English language in today’s world
and how its role is changing, especially in education. Exactly what kind of changes
these are and what their influence is on the educational systems and programmes is
described in the theoretical part. The importance of learning foreign languages in
general will not stay without notice here. Introduced is a National plan on learning
foreign languages in the Czech Republic and also a new methodology in education
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).
How is CLIL approached in practice is described in the practical part. The
First International School of Ostrava is used as a case study for this part. It is shown
on this example what needs to be taken into consideration when teaching subjects in
a foreign language. In addition to this, the fact that the classes in this school are
formed of different nationalities and the level of English of individual students in
the class is not homogenous, is also dealt with in this section. This part also
considers the issue of how well is the Czech education system prepared for CLIL
way teaching at the moment.
In the conclusion the most crucial and valuable facts on the changing role of
the English language worldwide are summarized. The following question is also
answered: How is the First International School of Ostrava preparing their students,
in term of language learning and English in particular, so it coincides with the
requirements of the modern global society.
GRADDOL, D. English Next. London: British Council, 2006.
JOHNSON, P. Must the Whole World Speak English? Forbes 174.11 (Nov 29,
European Federation of National Institutions for Language (EFNIL). Brussels
Declaration on Language Learning in Europe. Mannheim: Gerhard Stickel (ed.),
http://www.is-ostrava.cz/index.php?page=home 25.2., 26.2., 5.3.,
2Fact-no-563-of-24th-september-2004&lred=1 6.3., 10.4.2007
ence_for_Languages 5.5 2007
Questions for Headmaster of the Secondary School, Jan Petrus, of the
First International School of Ostrava:
Initial information about the school
Why did you set up the school?
How long has the school been opened?
What are the conditions and regulations for establishing a
bilingual/international school according to the Ministry of
Is the school fee-paying?
How many students go to your school?
What ages are they?
What percentage of the students is not Czech?
About the education
What are the curricula? Are they same as in monolingual
schools? If not, how do they differ?
What subjects are taught in English?
What are the school’s leaving exams?
What level of English are students expected to have when they
start the bilingual lessons?
What level of English are students supposed to have when
leaving the school?
Do you expect them to be more advanced in English than
students from monolingual schools?
Does the number of English language lessons change during the
What training and support do you have to provide your teachers
How are you assessing the students?
Questions for a teacher, of English Language and History, Philip
Gerard Corkill, B.A.:
1. English level of students in a class
Have all the students in the class same level of English? If not
how do you approach them?
What are the particular levels of English (through out the studies)
of non-native students (NNS) supposed to be?
Are all the students graded by their age or English competence?
What criteria are used to assess an individual student’s English is
of the right level? Is this standard across the school? What
support or guidance was provided?
Is extra assistance provided to those students who require it?
What form does this assistance take – is it taught face-to-face,
self-access at the school, online or mixture?
What is the leaving level of English of the NNS? What
qualifications do all the students leave the school with?
2. Teaching a subject in English
What are the issues teaching native students (NS) and non-native
students (NNS) in the same class? How do you overcome this?
What training or support was provided by the school or the
Ministry to help the teachers in this?
What level of English do NNS teachers need? What
qualifications are asked for?
Are the materials (in textbooks, handouts, other sources) graded
to the level of English or to the content knowledge? If the latter,
how do you adapt them in terms of language? What support or
training is offered to do this?
Is the aim of the subject teaching to develop linguistic
competence (in English) as well as content knowledge, or the
What guidance from the school or Ministry is available on how to
What modifications were needed to the additional curriculum for
history (if any)? How were these decided and by whom?
3. Assessment (of subject in English)
Is the students’ work assessed using the four skills (listening,
speaking, reading, writing)? If not, which skills are usually used
In your opinion, are you assessing both, language and content
You use sheets to assess written work, are these used by all
teachers at the school? What training guidance was given on
What criteria are used to assess work in the other skills (if any)?
In assessment and testing, how do you account for linguistic
differences between NS and NNS? Is this standardized across the
school and what guidance was provided there?
What exams do the NNS take at the end of school? In what way
is their bilingual education acknowledged?
In your opinion, what are the benefits of such an education for
both NS and NNS? What are the drawbacks?
Please feel as free as you can to comment on these questions. Any
additional ideas and comments are appreciated.
How do you find studying your regular subjects in the
English language? Is it perhaps more difficult, interesting,
challenging, useful? Please write anything that comes to your
Do you think that your English is improving faster this way?
Can you actually recognize any progress?
Can you think of both some advantages and disadvantages
this way of learning has?
How do you think this will help you in the future?
Thank you very much for spending your time answering these questions
and I wish you good luck in all your further studies.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions
which can be divided into six levels:
A Basic User
B Independent User
C Proficient User
C1 Effective Operational Proficiency
The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading,
listening, speaking and writing at each level, in detail, for example this descriptor
"Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can
summarise information from different spoken and written sources,
reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can
express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely,
differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations."
These descriptors can apply to any of the languages spoken in Europe, and there are
translations in many languages.
Education of Members of National Minorities
(1) A municipality, a region or the Ministry shall ensure education for
members of national minorities in the language of the relevant minority at
nursery, basic and secondary schools, namely in the municipalities where, in
compliance with a special legal regulation,2 a Committee for National
Minorities has been established and if conditions stipulated herein are
(2) Should at least eight (8) children claim to be members of a national
minority a class D) of the relevant grade of nursery school may be set up;
should at least ten (10) pupils claim to be members of a national minority a
class D) of the relevant grade of basic school may be set up. A nursery school
or basic school with the language of the national minority may be
established provided that all classes have on average at least twelve (12)
children or pupils who claim to be members of the national minority in one
(3) Should at least twelve (12) pupils claim to be members of a national
minority a class of the relevant grade of secondary school may be set up; a
secondary school with the language of the national minority as a language of
instruction may be established provided that all classes have on average at
least fifteen (15) pupils who claim to be members of the national minority.
(4) In organising education in the language of a national minority,
municipalities, regions or the Ministry shall take into account the
accessibility of this education. Education in the language of a national
minority may be also organised by a union of municipalities or
municipalities, or a municipality and a region may mutually agree on the
manner of organisation, including funding.
(5) If conditions stipulated in sub-sections 2 and 3 are not satisfied a
head teacher with the consent of the founder may specify in the School
Educational Programme subjects or their parts which may be taught
bilingually, both in the Czech language and the language of the relevant
(6) At schools with instruction in the language of the relevant national
minority, school reports, apprenticeship certificates, and diplomas on
completion of education shall be issued bilingually, both in the Czech
language and in the language of the relevant national minority.
Following descriptions of various examinations are taken from the Internet sources.
The exact websites’ addresses are available in the bibliography.
The A-level, short for Advanced Level, is a General Certificate of Education
qualification in the United Kingdom, usually taken by students in the final two
years of secondary education (commonly called the Sixth Form), after they have
completed IGSCE or GCSE exams. It is a non-compulsory qualification taken by
students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, students usually take
Highers and Advanced Highers of the Scottish Qualification Certificate. However,
schools may choose to offer the A-Level as an alternative.
Examinations of the same name are also taken in some Commonwealth countries,
including Pakistan, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Malta and the
former British West Indies. In India the same system is followed, though the names
of the exams are different. Due to respective changes in the systems, these
examinations differ both in terms of content and style from the A-levels taken in the
United Kingdom but the standard remains relatively the same. Nevertheless, the
British GCE A-levels are taken all around the world, as many international schools
choose to use the British system as the examinations are recognised around the
world. Furthermore, students may choose to sit the papers of British examination
bodies at education centres such as British Councils around the world.
While A-levels are a qualification in their own right, they are often the prerequisite
for university-level study as well, making them a de facto university entrance
examination, though some universities also require applicants to take separate
entrance examinations and the International Baccalaureate is also accepted.
Universities in the United Kingdom frequently demand that applicants achieve a
minimum set of grades in A-level examinations, or the equivalent in other
examination systems, before accepting them. While the government has rejected
plans to introduce an English Baccalaureate modeled on the International
Baccalaureate, at the time of writing (August 2005), the government is still re-
examining the existing structure and may recommend changes.
The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the name of a set of
British qualifications, taken by secondary school students, at age of 14-16 in
England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (in Scotland, the equivalent is the Standard
Grade). The education systems of other British territories, such as Gibraltar and ex-
British (influenced) territory South Africa, also use the qualifications as supplied by
the same examination boards.
GCSE courses are taken in a variety of subjects, which are usually decided by the
students themselves between the ages of 13 and 14 (called Year 9 in England and
Wales and Year 10 in Northern Ireland). Study of chosen subjects begins at age 14
(Year 10/Year 11), and final examinations are then taken at age 16 (Year 11/Year
Contrary to popular belief, GCSEs are not compulsory, but they are by far the most
common qualification taken by 14-16-year-old students. The only legal requirement
is that English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education and Physical Education
are studied during Key stage 4 (the GCSE years of school); in England, some form
of ICT and Citizenship must also be studied and, in Wales, Welsh must also be
studied. These subjects do not have to be taught for any examination (or even be
discrete lessons), though it is normal for at least English, Mathematics and Science
to be studied to GCSE level.
For the reasons above, virtually all candidates take GCSEs in English, Mathematics
and Science. In addition, many schools also require that students take English
Literature, at least one Modern Foreign Language, at least one Design and
Technology subject, Religious Education, (often a short, or 'half', course) and ICT
(though increasingly this is the DiDa (Diploma in Digital Applications), rather than
CERTIFICATION - COMPLETING SECONDARY EDUCATION
The Parliament has resolved upon the following Act of the Czech Republic:
/Accomplishment of Secondary education/
Education in educational programmes pertaining to areas of education through
which secondary education may be achieved shall be completed by a final
examination. The document proving that secondary education has been achieved
shall be the report on the final examination:
(1) Education in educational programmes pertaining to areas of education through
which secondary education is completed by attaining an apprenticeship certificate
shall be completed by a final examination. The documents proving that secondary
education accomplished by attaining apprenticeship certificate has been achieved
shall be the report on the final examination and the apprenticeship certificate.
(2) Education in educational programmes pertaining to areas of education through
which secondary education is completed by a school leaving examination shall be
completed by a school leaving examination. The document proving that secondary
education completed by the school-leaving examination has been achieved shall be
the report on the school-leaving examination.
A report on a final examination and a report on a school leaving examination shall
be issued with certification on acquiring the relevant level of education
The purpose of a final examination and a school-leaving examination is to verify
how pupils have achieved educational goals laid down in the Framework and
School Educational Programmes in the relevant area of education, in particular to
verify the level of key knowledge, skills.
The final examination shall consist,
a) in areas of education in which secondary education is completed by attaining an
apprenticeship certificate, of a written examination and an oral examination as well
as a practical examination on the basis of practicum and vocational training;
b) in areas of education in which secondary education is completed by a practical
examination of vocational subjects, of a theoretical examination taken in vocational
subjects. The theoretical exam is an oral exam and it can be a part of written n exam
or graphic solution of a given task. Preparation for the exam takes 15´- 20´ and it
can be added 10´more if it is written or graphic solution. The length of the exam is
Final examinations shall be public with the exception of written examinations and
meetings of the Examination Board on the evaluation of a pupil.
Final examinations shall be held in front of an Examination Board. In the event that
the organisation or length of a written or practical examination excludes the
permanent presence of the Examination Board during the examination itself the
Board’s Chair shall assign a member of the Examination Board who shall be
responsible for the due running of the examination in question.
The Examination Board shall decide on classification of pupils in individual
examinations on the proposal of members of the Examination Board by voting. In
the event of equality of votes the vote of the Chair of the Examination Board shall
A school-leaving examination shall consist of common and profile parts. A pupil
shall acquire secondary education completed by a school-leaving examination if
he/she has successfully passed the school-leaving examination.
At Secondary Vocational Apprentice School
The exam has 3 parts: written /essay - Czech language/, oral/Czech language,
theoretical exam of vocational subjects and a subject chosen by student/ and
practical exam of vocational practice.
At Secondary Vocational Technical School
The exam has 3 parts: written / essay – Czech language/, oral / Czech language,
theoretical exam of vocational subjects and a subject chosen by student/ and
practical exam of vocational subjects.
Essay is written about a month before the main part of the school leaving exam.
School leaving examination which will come into force since 1/9/2007
A/ Common Part of a School-leaving Examination
(1) The common part of a school-leaving examination shall consist of three (3)
examinations, namely the examination of the Czech language, examination of a
foreign language, and the examination of an optional subject.
B/ Profile Part of a School-leaving Examination
Examinations is taken by
a) writing a school-leaving thesis and its defence in front of a School-leaving
b) oral examinations in front of the School-leaving Examination Board;
c) written examinations;
d) practical examinations; or
e) a combination of two or more forms under letters a) through d).
The profile part of the school-leaving examination shall be public with the
exception of written examinations and meetings of the School-leaving Examination
Board concerning evaluation of the pupil. Practical examinations shall not be
Bodies Ensuring School-leaving Examinations
(1) The Ministry is responsible for preparing and managing school-leaving
examinations in terms of methodology, and for maintaining files, applications and
records of results of school-leaving examinations. The Ministry shall specify the
content of examinations set by the Ministry and shall lay down the manner of and
evaluation criteria for school-leaving examinations. The Ministry shall issue a
certificate on qualifications to perform the roles of commissionaire and assessor.
The Ministry shall be the administrator of a Register of Pupils registered for
school-leaving examinations and their birth identification numbers for the purpose
of their identification.
The oral part of the common part and the profile part of school-leaving
examinations shall be examined by the School-leaving Examination Board with the
exception of written examinations and written parts of examinations set by the
The IB is a recognized leader in the field of international education, encouraging
students to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged world citizens.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers high quality programmes of
international education to a worldwide community of schools. Our three
programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal,
emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
There are more than 538,000 IB students at 2,051 schools in 125 countries.
Our three programmes span the years from kindergarten to pre-university. The
programmes can be offered individually or as a continuum.
The Primary Years Programme for pupils aged 3 to 12 focuses on the
development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside.
The Middle Years Programme for pupils aged 11 to 16 provides a
framework of academic challenge and life skills, achieved through
embracing and transcending traditional school subjects.
The Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19 is a demanding two-
year curriculum leading to final examinations and a qualification that is
welcomed by leading universities around the world.
The programs are modelled after educational systems from around the world,
without being based on any particular one, but incorporating breadth of study at all
levels. The Diploma Program started in 1968 at the International School of Geneva,
the Middle Years program was introduced in 1994, and the Primary Years Program
in 1997. Their rigour and high standards have ensured their wide recognition
throughout the world, reputedly being looked upon favourably as a qualification by
formidable tertiary institutions such as the Ivy League of American universities, and
Oxbridge, amongst others.
The International Baccalaureate Program is also a common misnomer used to
refer to one of these programs (most frequently the IB Diploma Program). High
School often advertise that they offer the “International Baccalaureate Program,” in
which case it is obvious that they are referring to the DP as it is the only one of the
three programs intended for students of senior high school age.
FCE (First Cambridge Certificate in English)
FCE is an intermediate level Cambridge ESOL exam, at level B2 of the Council of
Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Choose FCE
if your knowledge of English is adequate for many practical everyday purposes,
including business and study.
To be successful, you will have a wide grasp of vocabulary, and be able to construct
an argument and use appropriate communication styles for a variety of situations.
You also need to show an awareness of register and of the conventions of politeness
and degrees of formality as they are expressed through language.
Why take FCE?
FCE is ideal if you want to work or study abroad or to develop a career which
requires language skills (e.g. business, medicine, engineering). FCE indicates
sufficient proficiency in English to be of practical use in clerical, secretarial and
managerial jobs in many industries, in particular tourism, where contact with
English speakers is required. Successful candidates have the ability to deal with
routine letters and telephone enquiries, and to cope with some non-academic
training courses and simple textbooks and articles.
FCE is also useful preparation if you are working towards higher level exams, such
as CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) and CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in
On passing the exam you will receive a certificate awarded by University of
Cambridge ESOL Examinations, which is recognised by universities and employers
throughout the world.
You will also receive a statement of results, showing how you performed in each of
the five papers.
What does the exam involve?
FCE has five papers:
Use of English
Each of the written papers is returned to Cambridge for marking and assessment.
The Speaking Test is conducted by two locally based examiners who examine you
face to face. All examiners are accredited by Cambridge ESOL.
CAE (Certificate in Advanced English)
CAE is the second highest level Cambridge ESOL exam, at level C1 of the Council
of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Choose
CAE if you are reaching a standard of English that is adequate for most purposes,
including social and professional situations, and in higher education.
Although the level of language skills required is not as high as for CPE (Certificate
of Proficiency in English), CAE recognises the ability to communicate with
confidence in English and deal with most aspects of everyday life.
Why take CAE?
CAE is ideal if you want to work or study abroad or to develop a career which
requires language skills (e.g. business, medicine, engineering). It is also useful
preparation if you are working towards CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English).
On passing the exam, you'll receive a certificate awarded by University of
Cambridge ESOL Examinations. Your CAE certificate is recognised by universities
and employers throughout the world.
You will also receive a statement of results, showing how you performed in each of
the five papers.
Studying for CAE helps you to improve your language skills and use them in a wide
range of contexts. The exams are based on realistic tasks, and indicate the ability to
use the language in practical situations. If you are successful, you'll be able to
participate in meetings and discussions, expressing opinions clearly, and be able to
understand and produce texts of various types, including business letters and
reports. You'll also be more than capable of following university courses taught in
What does the exam involve?
CAE has five papers:
English in use
The written papers are returned to Cambridge for marking and assessment. The
Speaking Test is conducted by two locally based examiners who examine
candidates face to face. All examiners are accredited by Cambridge ESOL
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English
language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL
Examinations, British Council and IDP Education Australia. Candidates may
choose either the Academic Module or the General Training Module:
The Academic Module is intended for those who wish to enroll in
universities and other institutions of higher education.
The General Training Module is intended for those planning to undertake
non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and
South African academic institutions, by an increasing number of academic
institutions in the USA, and by various professional organisations. It is also a
requirement for migration to Australia and Canada.
The IELTS incorporates the following features:
A variety of accents and writing styles are presented in text materials in
order to minimise linguistic bias. Since the TOEFL only concerns North
America English, the IELTS is considered more authoritative than TOEFL
by some people and organizations (especially the ones outside the United
States). Although apparently the TOEFL incorporates British and Australian
IELTS tests the ability to speak, read, listen and write in English.
Two test formats can be chosen from - Academic and General Training.
Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Speaking, Listening,
Reading and Writing). The Band Scale ranges from 1 ("Non User") to 9
ELTS is scored on a nine-band scale. Each Band corresponds to different English
competence. The Band Scores are in either whole or half Bands. The nine bands are
described as such:
9 Expert User
Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent
with complete understanding.
8 Very Good User
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic
inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar
situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well..
7 Good User
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies,
inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles
complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User
Have generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies,
inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex
language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest User
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most
situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic
communication in own field.
4 Limited User
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in use of
3 Extremely Limited User
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent
breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using
isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.
Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non User
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
0 Did not attempt
No assessable information provided. Candidate may have failed to sit for the test.
DIRECTIONS: this form is designed to help you to evaluate writing assignments.
Read the statements below. Then indicate the number from the following scale that
reflects your assessment of the student’s work in this assignment.
1 = Weak 2 = Moderately Weak 3 = Average 4 = Moderately
Strong 5 = Strong
1. Each paragraph in the assignment starts with a 1 2 3 4 5
2. The organization of the writing assignment is 1 2 3 4 5
clear and easy to follow.
3. The assignment is concise and well written. 1 2 3 4 5
4. The assignment employs the appropriate 1 2 3 4 5
information or facts.
5. The content demonstrates an understanding of 1 2 3 4 5
the topic and related concepts.
6. The assignment is neatly typed or handwritten. 1 2 3 4 5
7. The spelling, punctuation, and grammar on the 1 2 3 4 5
writing assignment are accurate.
8. If appropriate, the assignment appears to have 1 2 3 4 5
been well researched.
9. The content fulfils all the requirements of 1 2 3 4 5
10. Overall, the work represents the writer’s full 1 2 3 4 5