Language Policy

  1. Librarian role in language development:

The librarian support the development of multilingualism through access languages or languages of instruction for all students, especially as this may be a challenging aspect to resources across the programmes

  • Provide balanced collections in two languages in schools that operate a bilingual policy for teaching and learning; this may include dual-language texts In such cases, an understanding of bilingualism and the relevant pedagogy can be promoted through various texts being provided in specialized library collections for educators as well as parents.

 Librarians see their collections as providing a range of texts and information to support learners of very different abilities, thus contributing to extending the language development of individual students. Librarians are also passionate about the concept of reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity and generally devote time and energy to means of promoting imaginative literature in their schools. They see this as an important contribution to motivation for reading and thus to literacy development. A particular interest of school librarians is information literacy, which is an aspect of the inquiry process. It is important that there is a focus on this literacy as well as others such as critical literacy as part of multiliteracy development and that this is reflected in the wider literacy vision.

 

  1. Proficiency levels in Language:

Three main categories of students  have been identified:

  • Those who speak Arabic at home and for whom English is truly a second language.
  • Those who speak mostly English at home but with parents whose mother language is not English.
  • Those with English as a mother language.

Expectations of each child in terms of proficiency will differ according to the category into which he falls.

 

  1. Assessing Language:

Teachers are expected to use the range of tools and strategies as outlined in the PYP Assessment Handbook and in the school general “Assessment Policy”.   Assessment of language is multifaceted and involves learning language, learning about language and learning through language.

 

Three aspects of language and learning development

Learning Language:

Students will show understanding through their active participation in classroom engagements in different ways. They will be able to interact during class discussions, argue about issues, compare ideas and make connections. Students will provide feedback while selecting their work for the portfolio. They will show the ability to use the language in speaking and writing with ease. The library's increasing resources will support students in learning language in their mother language as well as in English. Teachers will use multiple tools for assessing and recording students' learning of language like the Venn diagram, checklist, rubric, graph and writing. Such tools will show students language development.

Learning about Language:

Learning about language will be assessed based on students' responses about the concepts and subjects they are learning. Students will give oral presentations, raise questions, write and speak about different topics of inquiry. They will be able to use the reading and writing skills they learn gradually with increased improvement.

Teachers will be assessing students' improved usage of language in speaking and listening, reading and writing, viewing and presenting. During this assessment, teachers will use different assessment tools such as rubrics, checklists, exemplars, anecdotal records and continuums to assess students' portfolios and written/oral reflection.

Learning through Language:

Students' lives and experiences drive their learning through language. When students learn about the world in every content area (Such as Science, Social Studies, Math, Literature, etc), they will learn through language. Students will be able to read, discuss, analyze, and make connections to their text of learning. They will employ their thinking and research skills in their investigations where language is the main tool of communication and expression. They will apply the strategies they leaned in using language to new contexts. They will initiate action after investigation and inquiry to display their understanding of the issue at hand. Teachers will be using a variety of tools for assessing learning through language such as written assessments, oral presentations, rubrics, checklists, anecdotal notes, reflections, specific-response exams, and the portfolio.

The Language Policy and the PYP

The language policy supports the PYP philosophy as children are encouraged to share and discuss ideas, come up with questions, opinions, justifications, predictions, solutions and evaluations. Language is seen as cross- curricular expression of ideas across discipline is promoted. Less proficient speakers of English/ Arabic should feel that they are in a safe linguistic environment where it is acceptable to make mistakes and this should help them to improve as quickly as possible.

Communicating the Policy

The Language policy should be communicated to all staff and parents by the School Administrators/ in all new student registration packs. Any changes will likewise be communicated.

Professional Development in Language Teaching

The PYP- Coordinator will organize suitable professional development regarding language teaching and learning.

Implementing the Policy

The language policy will be discussed by teachers at cross age-range meetings. Workshop for parents and teachers will be arranged by the PYP Coordinator/ School Principal. Teachers will explain any new approaches/strategies to students so that they understand why they are now working in a specific way.

Assessing the Policy

Teachers may be observed as they are teaching language lessons. The policy will be reviewed and revised once a year.

References

  1. International baccalaureate Guidelines for developing a school language policy
  2. IB Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes
  3. PYP Language scope and sequence

About Rand

At Rand International school we aim to give every child the very best start possible to their education through vibrant and engaging teaching, enabling the children to become active learners and by using an exciting, broad and balanced curriculum.

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