Summer Programs in Switzerland

 

Rigorous Courses Add to Academic Side of TASIS Summer Programs
Posted 08/02/2016 04:00PM

The TASIS Summer Programs, long renowned for their intensive language programs, robust offerings in visual and performing arts, and convenient access to adventures around Europe, now include two additional rigorous academic courses for ambitious students looking to gain an edge in today’s ultra-competitive world of elite college admissions.

First offered in 2015, the International Baccalaureate Preparation course prepares rising 10th and 11th Graders for demanding college preparatory curriculums, including the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). Taught by an experienced IB teacher, the course provides students with an overview of the complex IBDP and helps them develop the critical skills necessary to complete the advanced academic work required by the program, which charges students to demonstrate competency in three core elements: the Extended Essay; Theory of Knowledge (TOK); and Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS).

“We want students to gain an overall understanding of the IBDP,” said Ms. Chantal Gordon, TASIS Summer Program Academic Director and former TASIS England IB Coordinator. “And we want them to start to work on developing the skills needed to succeed in it.”  

The course divulges hints on how to successfully complete the IBDP and requires students to produce draft work for both the Extended Essay, which involves investigating a topic of special interest and crafting a research paper of roughly 4,000 words, and the challenging Theory of Knowledge assessment, which consists of a 1200-1600 essay on a prescribed title and a 10-minute presentation that requires students to identify and explore knowledge issues raised by a substantive real-life situation.

International Baccalaureate programs provide a demanding common curriculum for students in schools around the world and aim to outpace other curricula by developing young scholars who are inquiring, knowledgeable, caring, and highly motivated. TASIS High School has offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program since 1996.


A second new course, Academic Writing, was created for advanced learners of English as an Additional Language and for native speakers who seek further instruction and practice as they prepare for challenging academic classes at their high schools or universities.

Students learn to understand the conversational nature of academic research and writing, read more closely, produce strong thesis statements, quote and cite other authors appropriately, establish a personal voice, and develop a tone of authority earned by careful observation and research. They must complete five formal essays over the course of four weeks, demonstrating proficiency in description, narration, exposition, persuasion, and literary analysis.    

“It’s a strong course,” said Ms. Gordon. “It teaches them five different academic writing styles, and they leave here with a portfolio of essays and a set of tools to use for the many essays they’ll need to write in the future.”

Both the Academic Writing course and the International Baccalaureate Preparation course will again be offered in the summer of 2017. To register in advance or request more information, contact the TASIS Admissions Office.
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