A week into language and identity at SCIS
So much of our values, beliefs and identity are impacted by the language we speak. For the majority of students at Shanghai Community International School, it all starts with their mother language.
Language is how we express ourselves to those around us and is a fundamental aspect of cultural identity. This year, we challenged our Grade 8 students to take a look at the relationship between language and identity through a weeklong Middle Year Program.
During MYP week, students explored the theme of identity through language. The goal was to reconnect with their mother tongue through art, food and literature. Working in groups based on their mother tongues, students were then tasked with picking out a children’s book of their choosing, written in their native language.
Next, they created an art piece representing their book, followed by cooking a meal inspired by their selected books. It all then came together as they presented their work, meals and read their book to younger students.
Throughout the week, students took turns in various roles. They were bloggers and student leaders one day, and photographers and videographers the next. In turn, MYP students not only became better communicators, but showed creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, patience, persistence, problem-solving capability and empathy.
As international students, remaining connected to your roots in some way is so important. Doing so through language and connecting it to our own identity is one of the most important ways of doing it.
(Afanasyeva is MYP English language acquisition teacher at SCIS Hongqiao, and Perez is digital marketing and communications officer at SCIS.)