Accurate as of September 2019
Please find below information that will support students and their SBCs taking an online Language course with Pamoja Education.
Use of Translators
The use of translators is not permitted in the Pamoja Language courses. Any evidence of use of translators constitutes Academic Malpractice and will be dealt with according to the Pamoja/IB Malpractice regulations. Students are reminded about this in the first week of the course. Students complete and sign an Academic Honesty form acknowledging their understanding of this.
Likewise, students should not ask a tutor or other native language speaker to look over their work before its submission. All work should be in the student’s own words.
Guidance for avoiding the use of translators:
- At word level, students' first resort should be course flashcards and retrieving from memory;
- Students should use the dictionary recommended and linked in the course, as well as the content from the course;
- Using any types of translator at sentence level is strictly prohibited.
Synchronous Conversation Sessions
As a language course, the development of speaking skills is of utmost importance.
The course content is structured to provide quality input in the target language and therefore does expect students to produce quality output at their current proficiency level.
To really foster the speaking skills, we have a structured system where students have the opportunity to have interactive group conversations with their classmates and their teacher on a regular basis. These excellent learning opportunities allow students to interact and communicate with the peers in their chosen language and to have the teacher assess their communication and offer them immediate feedback to focus on improvement of their speaking skills.
After all, we want students to be able to leave speaking the language.
The system works in the following way:
- Conversation practice takes place every other week
- Sign-up sheets are posted by the section teacher the week prior to the sessions
- All dates and times are posted in GMT
- Students are to select a time that is suitable for them and set a reminder
- Prepare for the conversation conference by reviewing the material and thinking about possible questions that could be asked. Not memorizing!
- Log into Pamoja and join the conference room via Zoom at least 5 minutes prior to the start time.
We encourage SBCs to speak to Pamoja Languages students at their school about the importance of participating in this learning experience. It is important for students to sign up promptly and to be prepared to attend these sessions, as these are the consequences of the student’s actions:
- Once the sign up sheets have been shared by a teacher, they will receive a reminder as an Announcement in the course to sign up by the deadline.
- If a student chooses not to sign up, they will not be able to make up that session at a later date because they have consciously chosen not to take action.
- If students do not show up for their time, without justifiable reason, they will not be able to make up their session, unless they can join another upcoming in same session, and it will be left as incomplete and this would count towards their Engagement Rating.
- If students do not sign up or show up, SBCs will be contacted for lack of engagement via Courses so that you are aware of the missed learning experience and their lack of engagement in their learning journey.
- Where a student’s absence is due to illness or is another legitimate absence, the engagement rating will not be affected but it is important that this is confirmed by the SBC.
We recommend that SBCs and students discuss this information together to ensure students understand the importance of engagement and time management.
Please note the reason that make-up sessions are not offered, is because it is impractical to reorganize whole group sessions for one learner.
We appreciate that students and SBCs may be concerned by this but, so long as a student is able to attend the majority of the sessions, we do not anticipate major problems.
Challenges for students:
Converting time: We provide students with multiple explanations and tools for understanding how to convert time. We recommend SBCs discuss this with students to support them in learning how to accurately convert the time or use a web-based time zone converter. This is an example: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html
Accessing sign-up sheets: Sign-up sheets are shared by the teacher to a student’s email address. If students are not receiving sign-up sheets, or are struggling to open sign-up sheets, students should contact their teacher via the platform messaging system. If issues persist, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unknown technical difficulties: Students should contact their conversation teacher via the platform messaging system to be able to chat, and to navigate or troubleshoot the technical issues.
We use ‘Zoom’ for video conferencing software; it is vital that students take responsibility to check the set up on their computer for Zoom.
This article covers some Frequently Asked Questions for troubleshooting:
Typical troubleshooting tips are:
- Close the browser and start it up again
- Shut down/restart the computer
- Clear cache/cookies/history
- Check internet connection (Wifi/Data/etc)
- communicate with teacher immediately if something isn’t working (platform messaging)
Communication. If students are having difficulty finding a suitable date/time, or are having any trouble, they need to communicate with their teacher via the platform messaging system as soon as possible.
No Grade Policy
In order to receive a numeric Term Grade, students must have completed at least two requisite assignments of each of the four skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing) each term. Without evidence of all four skills, teachers will not have the evidence required to award an accurate numeric Term Grade and students may receive a No Grade (NG) on a semester report.
SBCs will receive automated emails from the School Services team if students miss requisite assignments and may therefore be at risk of a NG.