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Using the study of social sciences to improve academic vocabulary at Northbridge

Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley (5 posts) Secondary Individuals and Societies Curriculum Leader; DP TOK and Economics Teacher View Profile

Building our students’ academic vocabularies is one of the most important components of education at Northbridge International School Cambodia (NISC). The educators at NISC know that exposing our kids to high level vocabulary and providing them practice using the vocabulary to discuss the world around them helps to lay a strong foundation for their success at university and beyond.

Individuals and Societies Northbridge

The MYP Individuals and Societies curriculum at Northbridge is designed to integrate the study of history, economics, geography, and other social sciences with the exploration of the themes and concepts that students encounter in the world around them.

Ms Emma Walker’s Grade 8 students are currently accessing and using their high level academic vocabulary to help them connect the concepts of global trade to the topics of business, sustainability, and self-management. Groups of her students have generated original pieces of artwork that illustrate the connections they have made (see image above).  

In Mr Stanley’s Grade 9 Individuals and Societies class the students are studying research methodology and academic honesty in the digital age.

As part of their exploration they collaborated on posters, writing analytical statements exploring the relationship between unit’s Global Context and Statement of Inquiry (key components of the MYP curriculum design).

In both examples, it can be observed that NISC students are practicing the very type of writing and vocabulary skills that they will utilize when they take on the challenge of completing the Extended Essay, TOK Essay, and Internal Assessments as part of their work in the Diploma Programme.

It can be easy to assume that working on writing and vocabulary is primarily the focus of a school’s English program. However, the IB program at Northbridge supports an interdisciplinary approach to learning and the Individuals and Societies department works hard to ensure that its departmental learning transcends simply the memorization of rote knowledge.

For more information about how our I&S Department strengthens students’ literacy skills, please email I&S Curriculum Lead Paul Stanley (paul.stanley@nisc.edu.kh) or Grade Level Leader Emma Walker (emma.walker@nisc.edu.kh).

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