Primary English Program

Program Statement for English Development grades 1-5

The mission of the Primary School English Program at the Olympia School is to provide students with an attentive, compassionate and well-rounded EFL education, which encourages students to actively use English for daily communication. The proper acquisition of language is much more than rote memorization through textbook learning, which is why we have incorporated the Common Core Skills Sequence to make language use more applicable within the real world and to build critical thinking skills. With the balanced approach of developing s child’s self-disciplinary skills and metacognitive awareness (how they learn) as well as creating an atmosphere stressing fun and experimentation with English, the Olympia Schools’ core philosophy to language learning is to promote a child’s love of English with every lesson and instill the motivation and desire to learn more. Once this is established during the Primary School years, students will then be prepared to fine-tune their intuitive English abilities with stronger focus on grammatical structures and more academic work.

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Primary English Program Goals

  1. To develop English competency to a point where students can speak with confidence to friends and strangers alike.
  2. To instill a love of English language learning by creating a comfortable, safe and nurturing environment in the classroom.
  3. To shape a student unafraid to make mistakes in English . . . where they can learn to be adventurous and experimental with language at the earliest age possible before they refine their grammar in Secondary school.
  4. To foster independence in English learning by encouraging in-home activities such as the Reading Program, English Central + [future online software]
  5. To ensure that students retain pride in their Vietnamese culture while also realizing the indispensible value of mastering the English language.
  6. To have fun and learn while doing so!

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Plan for Achievement of Goals

  1. In the English classrooms, Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) will be the primary focus as well as Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) for those students progressing rapidly.  All students will receive instruction in the following: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
  2. Teachers have been trained in Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory in order to differentiate lesson instruction based upon student needs.
  3. Issuing intensive homework: classic textbook-based assignments in-step with software/online assignments--a blended learning approach.
  4. Aligning our English curriculum along with the Vietnamese curriculum in order to unify a child’s grasp on essential concepts in order to grow into a proper citizen of the world.
  5. The Common Core Guidelines for English Language Development can be accessed here: These guidelines serve as our final destination point for all Olympia students as a measure of true English fluency.

Textbooks and other Learning Resources

Textbooks for Primary Students serve a valuable purpose. With its variety of songs, fiction stories, full color photographs, informative factual articles, and accompanying software, the textbook serves as the students’ handheld, tactile guidebook to English for their entire school year. Big English is based on the most current research in language acquisition, developed by experts in EFL instructioncombined with the experiences of EFL teachers and curriculum designers from the world over. However, your child’s English education does not begin nor end with merely the textbook. Big English will comprise half of the EFL program while the other half will be the teacher’s integration of the textbook’s course-flow with the Common Core curriculum while using additional mainstream texts, stories and software, web-sites, and other creative multi-media adaptations to supplement and to reinforce holistic language learning.

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The other half of our curriculum is comprised of lessons, activities and projects rooted in the Common Core Skills Sequence, where lessons are tailored to achieve the following standards: As outlined by the Common Core Skills Sequence, upon completion of Olympia’s Primary English coursework, the Grade 5 student will be able to:  SPEAKING:

  1. Persuade others in conversations using detailed, convincing language.
  2. Deliver brief oral presentations (poem recitation, current events, recounting a personal experience) using descriptive language.
  3. Express opinions by giving reasons using textual evidence or relevant background knowledge.
  4. Expand on sentences by adding details using adverbs, time markers, manners, place and cause.
  1. Collaborate on joint writing projects writing short informational texts using technology.
  2. Write brief summaries of texts and experiences using complete sentences.
  3. Apply organizational methods to express ideas using sequential and predictable stages.
  4. Use adverbs and prepositional phrases to add modifying detail about a familiar activity or process.
  1.  Explain ideas and text relationships (e.g. compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution) upon reading grade level materials.
  2. Analyze language choices by distinguishing the effects of similar words (e.g. “angry” vs. “furious”)
  3. Understand organizational methods to express ideas using sequential and predictable stages.
  4. Describe the specific language writers or speakers use to present or support an idea.
  1. Demonstrate active listening of read‐alouds and oral presentations by asking and answering detailed questions with minimal prompting and light support.
  2. Listen to extended stories, without text assistance, and being able to give a brief summary of its main events and themes.