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Language Policy

Introduction:
International Baccalaureate (IB) World schools work to instill an International
Mindset in our students. In order to do this, we create a plan of action that
helps us to address the different languages that are fostered in our learning
environment. These include the acquisition of our language of instruction
(English), our World Language (Spanish), and the students mother of tongue
(language spoken at home). At Thompson, we strive to celebrate, grow, and
record each students development in English, Spanish and their mother
tongue. The purpose of this document is to inform teaching and learning in
the classroom, to guide curriculum and to involve families in our goal to
educate children in an internationally-minded environment.
Philosophy:

All teachers are language teachers.


Language is a primary means of learning and communicating.
Language acquisition is to be promoted as a partnership between all
members of our community including parents, students, teachers and
staff.
Mother tongue languages help form cultural and personal identity and
should be respected and celebrated.
International-mindedness is created through a study of the language
and culture.
Becoming a successful global citizen involves the learning of other
world languages and cultures.

Language Profile:
In the 2014-2015 school year, Thompson K-8 has a population of
approximately 610 students. About 40 students have a Mother Tongue other
than English. Languages spoken by students at school include Arabic,
Chaldean, Spanish, Wolof, French.
Aims:
Thompson K-8 International Academy works to:

Honor and foster students language development in their mother tongue


language, English and Spanish.

Ensure equity and inclusion for all language learners.


Create a love for language through written, spoken, and visual
communication.
Support all language learners.
Promote student understanding and enjoyment of literature.
Communicate fluently in English and their mother tongue, as well as
develop their communication in Spanish.
Create an appreciation for other cultures, languages, beliefs and ideas.
Encourage students who enjoy language.
Enable students to explore different perspectives, cultures and ideas
through language development.
Collaborate with family members to establish a successful home/school
partnership.

Support of Mother Tongue Languages:

Building-wide school to home communication is translated in French,


Spanish, and Arabic.
There are school staff members who can communicate in French, Spanish
and Arabic if needed. We also have a district staff member who speaks
Chaldean
The library is building resources to support other languages beside English.
Classroom teachers incorporate the childs culture into discussion and
learning experiences when possible.
The ELL department calls home to parents for others classes.
Parent assistance for process of entering school and communication
procedures.

Support of the Language of Instruction (English):

Thompson K-8 will support students with Limited English Proficiency in


language acquisition in the following ways:
o Daily pull-out instruction with a Highly Qualified English as a Second
Language (ESL) teacher.
o Inclusion of students in classroom with expanding/bridging level of
English proficiency get pull out services.
o Yearly assessment using the Wida evaluation to monitor language
development progress in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
o Instruction in all classes to scaffold acquisition of vocabulary and
concepts central to learning by providing visual cues, collaborative
learning experiences and consistent assessment of prior knowledge.

o
o

Provide experiences within the classroom for students to share


about their own culture.
Students participate in district & state testing with accommodations
when identified.

Thompson K-8 will support all students in language acquisition in


the following ways:

Implementing Common Core State Standards for ELA across the


curriculum.
Exposing students to a variety of cultural backgrounds from all over the
world through literature and other media.
Providing multiple opportunities at all levels of instruction for students
to write in a variety of genres.
Allowing students ample choice in their reading materials and
encouraging reading for enjoyment.
Instructing students at their individual level. Making sure that the text
they are reading independently is Just Right.
Providing differentiated instruction for all students including those with
special needs.
Teaching Approaches to Learning Skills to develop reading, writing,
speaking, and listening areas.
Assessing students formally and informally in the classroom using DRA
(K-5), MAP, writing samples, reading and writing conferences, reading
comprehension checks, presentations, and essays.

Support of Thompson's Adopted Second Language (Spanish)


Grade K-5:

A highly qualified teacher supports the classroom curriculum and integrates


Spanish Instruction into each K-5 classroom at least once a week.
The Spanish teacher connects to the PYP Program of Inquiry through
vocabulary development and cultural implementations and concepts
connected to their current unit of inquiry.
Specific signage within the school will be displayed in both English and
Spanish translations.

Grades 6-8:

Students participate in Spanish instruction for over 50 hours throughout


the entire school year receiving instruction every third day.
Student performance is assessed through MYP Objectives and Criteria.
Highly qualified teachers develop and instruct all Spanish curriculum.

Ongoing Review of the Language Policy

This policy will be formally reviewed yearly by Thompson staff and revised as
needed to adapt to changing best practices and the needs of our learning
community.
This policy is available on our school website. We welcome comments and
recommendations at any time.