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Cambridge IGCSE and A Level English Dilemma

Discussion in 'English' started by ntiwari, May 15, 2011.

  1. I will be teaching the CIE's IGCSE and A Level English First Language course in a month or so now at an international school in India. Last year, I taughtCambridge Checkpoint English at the KS3 level in a largeish city with students from more... let's say, privileged backgrounds - to whom English was a first language, always spoken at home and school, etc.
    However, the school I'm headed to isn't in a major city, and has students who are first-generation English speakers - basically, to them English has been, and currently is, decidedly a second language. Although my job is basically to raise standards in English at the school, I'm concerned a bit about teaching what is essentially a first language course to speakers of English as a second language. Have any of you been in a similar situation? Can anybody suggest a few strategies to making the best of the situation?
    Any help on the issue would be overwhelmingly appreciated. The course is just English Language, thank God - Literature would have been out of the question. The Head over there is very supportive and has VERY reasonable expectations of my teaching there - but I wouldn't want to personally feel like a failure at the end of next year :/
  2. You might have a better response to this on the Teaching Overseas forum.
    I have been teaching IGCSE First language (CIE) and Checkpoint for about 8 years now. There are lots of resources on the CIE site and you can do online training with CIE, too. They have some endorsed textbooks, although I prefer to prepare my own materials.
    As for A level First Language, I have never heard of such a thing. Neither CIE nor Edexcel have this.
    There is AS English language, but with CIE this cannot be taken at A2. Only AS English Literature is available at A2.
    In my experience in international schools, it is difficult to have much success with A level English Literature if you do not do it at IGCSE.
    In my current school, we have zero native speakers, but English literature is a popular subject and we have good results overall.

  3. Thank you for your post! I'll repost the topic on the Teaching Overseas forum.
    I did mean AS English Language, sorry. Saturated as I've been with cold meds for the past few days, I combined IGCSE English First Language and AS English Language. Apologies [​IMG]
  4. And yes, I should be allowed access to the CIE website shortly; it should help. That's interesting about the IGCSE-A Level English Literature bit - is it because students are more familiar with what is expected of such a programme (relatively) early on?
  5. Well, for lots of reasons, I would say that reading widely is a very good thing!
    I have also found that ESL learners generally do very well with IGCSE Literature. I have taught in Southern and Eastern Europe an in Africa, so have come across a wide range of different ESL classes. Whilst I have no experience of India, I have taught Indian pupils and they have all loved Literature.
    If there is anything I can do to help, please PM me and I´ll do what I can.

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