#IB-UITREIKING

The International Baccalaureate


by Anneke Thijssen

“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” (ibo)

Expanding English language skills

English is a commonly used language in further education and science. It is a vital language within the United Nations, world trade and the international platform. Notable sources on the internet are in English. Above all, the universal character of this lingua franca adds something special to our personal development: it offers a boundless view of humanity and the world. This is why approximately sixty percent of the students at the Kandinsky College follow the bilingual stream. After five or six years of bilingual education our students leave as (near) native speakers. English has become second nature to them. They think and even dream in English.

In the lower school students are immersed in the English language. After taking the Cambridge Checkpoint exam in year three, they prepare for the demanding and comprehensive bilingual upper form. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme culminates five or six years of bilingual education at the Kandinsky College.

In the lower school students are immersed in the English language. After taking the Cambridge Checkpoint exam in year three, they prepare for the demanding and comprehensive bilingual upper form. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme culminates five or six years of bilingual education at the Kandinsky College.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an international organisation based on the IB Learner Profile, which allows students to develop their academic skills in addition to becoming culturally and critically aware of world issues as they expand their English language skills to the highest level. In the upper form, our students follow a two-year English exam subject as taught at international schools world-wide.

”The IB learner profile’s aim is to aid individuals in becoming inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective, who become “responsible members of local, national and global communities.” (ibo)

HAVO

Havo students take a two-year programme called English B. Our students develop their linguistic abilities and critical thinking skills, they become more culturally aware through the literature they read and the wide ranging themes and texts covered in class. Students learn and communicate about personal, local or national, and global topics based on the themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation and sharing the planet. Focussing on these themes, students gain intercultural understanding, learning about differences but also our shared humanity. They become more engaged with their own environment and the world at large.

VWO

Vwo students take a two-year pre-university exam programme called English A Language and Literature, during which they gain a profound understanding of the English language, literature and culture. They will have obtained an excellent competency in the language and can use it to discuss content at academic level. Students develop critical literacy as they are introduced to a variety of (non)literary texts from different periods, styles and genres. The study of literature is focussed on how texts are shaped by culture and the contexts of the circumstances they were written in (social context, cultural heritage and historical change), such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. They also focus on close analysis of literary texts, such as Wilfred Owen’s poetry and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, through which they learn to develop awareness of the complexities and intricacies of texts.


Our IB students do extremely well on their exams and score above national and oftentimes above international average. With this internationally recognized certificate, Dutch students have a considerable benefit over non-bilingual students at college or university.



Jeroen Gerrits, Class of 2011
Master in Biomedical Science/Health Technology Assessment.
Job: Health Consultant


“What stood out for me was the broadening of my horizons, learning more about different cultures and the ambition and motivation of students as well as teachers. A better command of the English language was just the cherry on top of a remarkable education.”

Amy Cheung, Class of 2013
Current studies: European Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication. During my Communication and Information Bachelor’s degree, I specialized in Intercultural Communication and Chinese language and culture. Job: Health Consultant


“When I was 12 years old, I decided to follow bilingual education at Kandinsky College. To this day, I still believe this has been one of the best decisions in my life. At Kandinsky College I learned to be open-minded, critical, empathetic, curious and responsible.”

Mona Aminifar, Class of 2017
Currently studying Law at Radboud University


“Bilingual education has taught me to see past restrictions, realize everything and everyone is connected, and know that I am a human on planet Earth before I am a citizen of any nation.”

JUNIOR Certificate:
Sophie de Vocht

"A little over three years ago, I started my bilingual adventure at the Kandinsky College. I chose to do the bilingual education stream because I have always been very interested in other countries and their cultures. I have always felt the need to travel, the need to connect with other people and the need to step out of my comfort zone. I felt like this educational step would be the start of an international future, which is something I have always dreamt of.


A habit

From a young age, I watched a lot of American/British television shows and films, and listened to English music. The English language was something I was eager to learn more about. Subconsciously, these habits contributed to my language development. Due to this, the transition to an English speaking environment wasn’t very difficult. Of course, it was different to what I was used to but the build-up of the level of English made it doable. After a couple of weeks, it became a habit to speak English the whole day. Once you entered the classroom, you almost automatically switched from Dutch to English

Trips

Not only did I learn a lot about the English language, I also learned a lot about all kinds of cultures. I went on trips and participated in exchanges. These international interactions have taught me the most. At the end of the day, the aim is to use the English language and your international knowledge in practise, these trips were the perfect way to do so.


Accents

Most of our lessons were taught by native speakers. This added a perfect bonus to our education since every teacher came from a different country and therefore each teacher had a very distinct accent. This challenged the students to become familiar with these accents and it helped them develop their language skills even more. I think that being taught by native speakers made the education come alive: the fact that people from all over the world have come to the Kandinsky College to teach you about an international influenced life, feels really special.


Exam
We practised a lot before the Cambridge exam nevertheless I was really nervous during the exam. Since the Cambridge exam focusses on the student’s reading and writing skills, it is quite different compared to a ‘regular’ English test. After the exam, I wasn’t sure about the work I had just produced. I started to question myself, hoping that I did alright. When I got back the test results, a couple of weeks after the exam, my score was 6.0/6.0: the highest score possible. I could have never dreamt of such an amazing outcome!


I hope to continue to develop myself in an international way. I would love to participate in more exchanges, study abroad for a longer period of time and I might even immigrate, eventually.

Looking back at these three years of following the bilingual program, the development I have been through has been immense. Not only language wise but upon all fields. I would recommend the bilingual education plan to everybody!"

IB Graduate:
Amber Scheenen


"Extra challenge
Six years ago I chose to study at the Kandinsky College, uncertain of what it would mean for my future. I chose bilingual education as I was open to the challenge. I never had doubts as to whether I would take this opportunity or not.

It certainly was a challenge. During the first weeks the only language spoken in class by teachers and students was English. At first it was strange to speak a foreign language with your peers, especially as we were not well versed in the language yet. From experience, I know the first weeks can be overwhelming. But because you listen to English, speak, read and write in English from day one, you learn the language very quickly.


Native speakers

It certainly helps being taught by native speakers. You learn about different accents and different cultures. I was taught by teachers from Ireland, Scotland and England. This was also a huge motivator: you had to speak English, because your teachers were native speakers.

Native speakers

It certainly helps being taught by native speakers. You learn about different accents and different cultures. I was taught by teachers from Ireland, Scotland and England. This was also a huge motivator: you had to speak English, because your teachers were native speakers.


Open your eyes
In addition to learning another language, bilingual education offers so much more. I am still reaping the benefits of bilingual education. You learn how to deliver presentations and you learn how to debate, which help you become more comfortable and confident in speaking another language in front of an audience. You delve into the cultures of different countries, which made me realise how large this world is and how small the Netherlands is. The fondest memories I have, and one of the most important aspects of bilingual education, are the trips you go on. Bilingual education has opened my eyes to the world. This is why I decided to study the International Track in Medicine.


My entire study is in English, which is no problem whatsoever as I have been studying in English for six years. I have no issue presenting or speaking in English in front of a large group as I have done this countless times before. I speak English with my foreign friends as if it is my native tongue. The most important aspect to me personally is that bilingual education has enabled me understand more about the world. In the future, I will use my medical knowledge abroad, far from the Netherlands, where my help is needed most."