Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program
The English-Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program at Lalor North Primary School was established in 1984, and is one of the oldest continually operating bilingual programs in Victoria. It is recognised both nationally and internationally for its strong student outcomes in both English and Macedonian. The program has tremendous support from our local community.
The program is offered to students from Prep to Year 6 and provides the opportunity to learn in one of the most extensive content-based bilingual programs in Victoria. Students develop full bilingualism and extend their bi-literacy skills. Macedonian language teachers, are native speakers and highly qualified to educate students in Macedonian and English.
The Macedonian language is taught through a method of immersion...
With students engaging in the English and Macedonian language on a daily basis giving them the opportunity to learn the language and learn through the language. Depending on the year level, students spend between 9 to 12.5 hours per week being immersed in the Macedonian language as they engage in targeted and explicitly taught learning activities aligned with the speaking, listening, reading, writing and other aspects of the Victorian Curriculum. These lessons are delivered by a Macedonian speaking teacher. Mathematics is taught in the Macedonian language in the first three years of schooling, and in English from Years 3 to 6.
Specialist areas such as Physical Education, Music, STEM and Visual Art are taught in English and delivered by specialist teachers, with some Visual Art classes being taught in Macedonian by an Art teacher.
The Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program also has two Bilingual Aides.
The two Bilingual Aides support the program and prepare the materials used in the classrooms by translating English resources and/or modifying Macedonian texts. The role of the Bilingual Aides includes listening to and supporting students to read on a daily basis. As a result, we have a very successful Home Reading Program, providing the students in the Early Years with English and Macedonian books to take home.
The Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program has a well-resourced and continuously updated Macedonian library which gives the opportunity to students from all year levels to borrow books for home reading.
Structure and How it Works….
Each class in the Macedonian Bilingual Program is allocated two teachers, one English speaking, the other Macedonian speaking. Both teachers collaborate to deliver a program that covers all areas of the Victorian Curriculum. This is carefully considered and delivered through an approach that integrates and links the different areas of the curriculum, while providing learning experiences that encourage curiosity and allows for the young inquisitive mind to inquire and take ownership of their own learning.
Each class has a carefully designed weekly timetable that allows for the delivery of the curriculum in both languages, with only one out of the two allocated teachers, English or Macedonian, teaching the class at one time.
Learning Through Two Languages...
Literacy and Numeracy
Macedonian literacy lessons are aligned with the speaking, listening, reading and writing aspects of the Victorian Curriculum. The Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program is very well resourced with Macedonian teaching materials including: big books (fiction and non-fiction), sets of levelled guided reading books, exemplars of different text types, posters, digital resources etc. These resources support students to learn to read, write and communicate fluently in Macedonian from Year Prep to 6. Our students also develop their vocabulary and oral language skills through activities such as singing, using gestures, role plays and games.
Numeracy is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum and is delivered in the Macedonian language to the students in the Foundation to Year 2 level, and in English from Year 3 onwards.
Cultural and Special Events
The Macedonian Bilingual Program provides students with opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of both Australian and Macedonian cultures and to promote appreciation, respect and affinity for both.
Our students learn about the Macedonian culture and traditions through a range of activities and events which include:
- Celebrating Easter by dyeing and cracking eggs
- Cooking Activities linked to traditional days
- Recognising significant National Days;
- St Cyril and Methodius
- Macedonian Independence Day
Every year our students participate in annual concerts to celebrate Macedonian Independence Day which coincides with International Literacy Day. Students have the opportunity to perform in both languages, showcasing their learning through singing, dancing, reciting or drama. Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program also maintains links with the community by organising annual Christmas Carols and performances for the senior citizens. Our students also participate in whole school events to enrich their learning opportunities.