To meet the linguistic needs of newly arrived students, the centre has had a so-called “Welcome Class” (Aula d’Acollida) in place since the 2003-2004 school year. The Aula d’Acollida is equipped and staffed thanks to the resources provided by the Departament d’Educació = GENCAT: Ministry of Education.
The general goal of this resource is to adapt students to the Catalan education system and help them in their progressive transition as members of the ordinary student body. This involves mapping out customized routes for each student to gradually achieve the educational goals and, ultimately, the most important goal: sharing class with their peers on an equal footing, in all curricular areas.
Other goals also sought include:
- Integration: Students learn about where they are studying, what is expected of them and how they should behave.
- Teaching of the Catalan language as a vehicle for achieving the basic conceptual levels required to join the Catalan education system.
- Intercultural coexistence: A large percentage of the student body comes from other cultures, generating situations that require careful attention and work. Understanding the reality of the surroundings of these boys and girls and giving them a structured form of relating to them is an essential milestone on the road to achieving harmony.
The Aula d’Acollida is open and flexible. Students can combine subjects in the Aula d’Acollida with ordinary classes. Efforts focus on learning the Catalan language, first in vehicular terms and then conceptually.
The working methodology takes into account the principles of globalization, cross-disciplinarity, contextualization and functionality. We try to make sure that the students know the reality that surrounds them; we adapt the learning to the personal situation of each student so that they can apply the knowledge to their immediate environment, creating communicative situations that are as close to reality as possible.
The use of “language partners” is part of the project to promote the use of the Catalan language, interculturality and social cohesion. New arrivals at the Aula d’Acollida are paired off with students in ESO, baccalaureate or training cycles.
The partners meet and chat in Catalan during playground time/recess periods.