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We are in a position to lead our schools and teachers towards Global Awareness. As an Australian (a small country that needs to cross boarders to survive) I am acutely aware of language of inclusion when it comes to global relations. It is very possible to say a single word, with the best intention, that disengages our audience without being aware that we have done so.

On this site I am starting to see this. As a result I am posting this in an attempt to improve our collective (me included) global communication skills.

We need to be really careful on these sites not to be 'country centric' as far as possible. I began to respond to one thread about this then noticed it on another and another - so I will post the response here.

Please be aware of the global nature of the site when posting. For example please refrain from referring to seasons, fall is not fall for everyone, neither is Australia's autumn but September is September for all. This is also true for semesters, terms, school years etc

Let's think of the way we say things and begin to develop a culturally and globally sensitive language on this site. I encourage you all to explain how your country may be disengaged or may misunderstand different items that any of us put up. This way we will all learn together.

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Good point, Westley! What other things should we be sensitive to, language-wise?
A brave point to make Westley.
We are trying to teach students how to communicate in a virtual environment, but in many ways have as much to learn as they do.
I totally agree with your sentiment of us trying to learn from each other.
It would be nice to have a list in one spot that highlights beginning of school year and holidays for different regions. I imagine the US is essentially the same times, Australia certainly is (within a week or so), I have no idea about asia or Europe. How are your years constructed? This helps when planning collaborations.

Australia - We have four sessions of school each called a term. First term starts after the Christmas break at the end of January ten weeks later we have a two week break then another term etc until December when we break again. Our longest break is over the christmas period for around 5 - 6 weeks.

for 2008 at MLC our Dates are as follows

Term 1 Jan January 23 - April 11 (then a two week break)
Term 2 April 28 - June 20 (then a three week break)
Term 3 July 21 - September 19 (then a two week break)
Term 4 October 13 - December 12 (then a six week break)
In England we traditionally have three terms with a half term break int he middle of each - however there are areas where they now have five or six terms.
So I'm talking from the point of view of the 'old' way of organising the year!

This year, the term dates for my school (near Birmingham) are as follows -

Autumn term - 3rd Sept to 19th Oct (half term) 29th Oct to 21st December
(Christmas holiday - two week holiday)
Spring term - 7th Jan to 8th Feb (half term) 18th Feb to 20th March
(Easter holiday - two weeks +1 day holiday )
Summer term - 7th Apr to 23rd May (half term) 2nd June to 22nd July
(summer holidays - 6 weeks)

As i said , there are areas of England where this is not the case and some schools start a day or so earlier or later (for example, my nephew (who live 50 miles away) goes back to school in August, and breaks up in the summer a week before my sons, and I know that in Scotland, the term dates are different - I'll leave it to someone else to explain those!!

Lisa xx
This is really great Westley. I have to say the same for my students on their blogs like when they speak of 'chooks' and their are puzzled comments from other parts of the world. I try to show them to hyperlink to any word that may need to be explained (if their is a website that covers it, there usually is, though).


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