Supporting The Development Of Intercultural Competencies In Our Young Learners

Nov 26, 2018

By Barbara Campbell, Kindergarten Curriculum Coordinator

Our kindergarten at TIS is rich in cultural diversity.  TIS kindergarten teachers make concerted efforts to foster the development of intercultural competencies in our youngest learners and to support our youngest international school children to develop a sense of belonging. They make efforts to get to know each child’s family and socio-cultural background. Through direct and purposefully planned playful interactions and conversations with the children, our teachers support them to build relationships across cultural and language differences. Many of our teachers also use different children’s books and videos to foster respectful cross-cultural relationship building. Our Mandarin teachers work closely alongside our kindergarten homeroom teachers. Using a collaborative approach, the Mandarin and homeroom teachers actively work together to model positive cross cultural interactions. We support our children to alleviate any cultural or language difference anxieties that may initially exist and build positive relationships with all of their peers. With our buddies program, older children visit the kindergarten classrooms and support our young learners. Through this approach, we engage our youngest children in the development of comfortable intercultural relationships with older and more inter-culturally experienced children. Technology is also helping us. Online children’s videos in different languages and ‘Google Translate’ has, at times, worked like magic for our teachers in efforts to initiate relatable communication with children who do not speak English or Chinese. Sometimes technology has even assisted in the process of helping students build peer-to-peer relationships in their new socio-cultural and language learning classroom environment.

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Our intercultural approach enables our children to develop a positive sense of self as they experience being recognised and valued. It nurtures inclusivity, active child participation and respectful relationship building. Supporting our children to develop their abilities to engage competently in intercultural relationships nurtures the development of their dispositions as caring and compassionate people. It will help our children to intellectually develop their capacities to see and understand life from different perspectives. I am very proud of our kindergarten teachers who have worked tirelessly to enable our children to develop strong relationships with others from different cultural and language backgrounds. Our teachers are making great efforts in supporting our children’s development of a sense of united belonging as young globally minded international school children.


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