Language Policy Revised 2011

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1 Language Policy Revised 2011

2 Philosophy As language is the key to all learning, all teachers at AIS are language teachers. Language learning at AIS refers not only to the learning of a specific language, but it includes any and all activities which bring about learning. Through language, our students acquire the ability to think and to learn, to develop social skills and values, and to acquire knowledge. Since each language reflects the values, history, and way of thinking of those who use it, learning another language is a particularly effective means of understanding and respecting others. (AIS Mission Statement 2011) Second cquisition The acquisition of language must be seen as a continuum along which each individual student progresses at his/her own rate. AIS strives to make every student proficient in two languages. All students will have the knowledge of and the ability to use at least two languages, but not all of them to the same extent. Students vary in their ability to learn a second language; some will achieve functional proficiency in the target language while others are potentially able to become balanced bilinguals who are highly proficient, literate and knowledgeable in two or more languages (Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes, 2008). Language Programs at AIS Primary Years Programme (PYP) The Early Learning Center (ELC) offers a full immersion programme in either Spanish, French, or German, embracing the principles of the PYP. Grades 5K-5 of the Primary School provide a strong, rigorous PYP curriculum in two languages. Our students become skilled and knowledgeable in the main subject areas: mathematics, social studies, language arts, science and technology, personal and social education, and the arts while acquiring either French, Spanish, English or German as an additional language. Students spend approximately 50% of their class time in English and 50% in French, Spanish, or German from 5K to Grade 5. All of our teachers have to be language modelers (AIS Oral cquisition Rubric) of the target language taught in the classrooms, and, from 3K to Grade 2, language modeler assistants are supporting the grade throughout to maximize learning in the target language % of our teachers speak more than one language, although English is the common language used for all collaborations, planning meetings and communications within the school. In Primary we strive to offer as many single subjects as possible in the target languages; however, this is dependent on faculty availability each year. Middle Years Programme (MYP) Our program operates within the curricular framework of the IB Middle Years Program. We are guided by the fundamental MYP concepts of holistic learning, intercultural awareness, and communication. Our program encourages students to make links within and across subject groups through Areas of Interaction. Entering students have extremely varied backgrounds with regards to language learning. They range from coming directly from the dual language Primary School program to entering Secondary School with no second language experience. We offer many language levels to allow students to develop language ability to their highest potential. Level A languages include English, French, German, and Spanish, as well as School-Supported Self-Taught (SS S-T) Languages. These courses follow the IB MYP curriculum, as well as national curricula, in some cases. Level B languages include English, Mandarin Chinese, 1

3 French, German, Latin, and Spanish. Students take one class and one Language B class (or two language A classes.) Additionally, students have the opportunity to begin studying a third language over the course of grades Diploma Programme (DP) We offer English, French, German, and Spanish at the A level both in literature and in language and literature, and at the B level (all offered as HL or SL classes), and Spanish Ab Initio. Additionally, we offer language A: Literature School Supported Self-Taught language for students whose first language is not English, French, German, or Spanish. Every student must take at least one subject from Group 1 and one subject from Group 2, unless they take two in Group 1. Choice of language level depends upon the student s preference, level of proficiency and literacy in that language and his/her overall diploma program. The following chart describes the language choices offered: Language Choices in the IB Diploma Program at AIS Group 1 Literature High or Standard Language and Literature High or Standard Literature School Supported Self-Taught Standard Group 2 Language B Language Acquisition High or Standard Ab Initio Standard Is for a fluent language user studying in his/her most competent language normally this is the language of the environment to which the student has been exposed from an early age or for an extended period Students will study literary texts and demonstrate analytical skills in writing and speaking Is for a fluent language user studying in his/her most competent language normally this is the language of the environment to which the student has been exposed from an early age or for an extended period Students will study a variety of texts including literature, and demonstrate analytical skills in writing and speaking Is for a fluent language user whose mother tongue is not one of those above Students will study literary texts and demonstrate analytical skills in writing and speaking Is for a language learner who has three or more years of experience in the language Students will learn to communicate effectively in a number of situations, from everyday exchanges to literary texts develop mastery of language skills Is for a beginner who has little or no experience of the language. Examples: English French German Spanish Examples: English French German Spanish Examples: Korean Russian Examples: English French German Spanish Mandarin Depends on numbers of student interested 2

4 For more information about Diploma level courses, please consult the Diploma course descriptions booklet. Bilingual Diploma A student can obtain a bilingual diploma by taking two Group 1 courses, or by taking a course in a language other than the one taken in Group 1. Admission to AIS AIS seeks students from diverse socio-economic, ethnic, linguistic and national backgrounds who will benefit from the rigorous academic program and who will contribute to the life of the school. Qualified students are admitted at all grade levels, class size permitting. Students of all linguistic backgrounds are considered for admission. There is no need for a student to know French, Spanish or German before he/she joins our 3K-Grade 1 programs, but a solid foundation in the child s mother tongue is necessary to be successful in our program. Students with no English language skills are accepted throughout Primary and Middle School and supported through our ESOL program. Students should be proficient in English to begin the IB program in eleventh grade. (Admissions Policy) Second Language Support Successful language learning can only be accomplished through a thorough support system within the school and a full partnership between our school and the parents. (Parents as Partners Agreement) PYP English as a Second Language (ESOL) Although the AIS Primary School (Grades 5K-5) is based on a two-way dual-language immersion model of education, whereby the English grade level classroom provides enriched language instruction and is sensitive to non-native speakers needs, students with two or fewer years of English language instruction will usually need more intensive, small group language instruction. The ESOL program ensures newcomers and others with limited acquisition of English skills access to the English language and curriculum, as well as supports English grade level teachers so they can continue to provide a challenging program for all students in the English program. (ESOL Policy) Saturday Language Camp Based on teachers recommendations supported by the results of each student s Oral Language Assessment in Grade 2, we are offering additional exposure to the target language by providing a Saturday Language Camp from January until May of each school year. This camp is targeting students in Grades 1 and 2. It is highly recommended that students who have been identified as needing further reinforcement to strengthen their French/German/Spanish skills attend these classes, unless they are already enrolled in another language support program or make other arrangements to further the exposure to the target language. Primary Support Team (PST) 3

5 Teachers usually identify students with special needs, both academic and social/personal, although parents, outside professionals, or other staff members may recognize the need for support services. If the ongoing classroom modifications have not solved the problem, a referral to the Primary Support Team (PST) takes place. The Primary Support Team consists of the learning specialists, classroom teachers, counselors, heads of schools, or other designated teachers. Their role is to review the student information and recommend an action plan for meeting the student s needs. The plan is implemented for a period of time and evaluated for its effectiveness. (PST Policy) Mother Tongue Support The reasons for supporting the preservation and development of a person s first language are many, all of which are in keeping with the school s mission statement. We do not offer any additional mother tongue support for languages not being taught at the primary level, but we do provide information to parents on other language programs offered in the Atlanta area, so the students can keep up with their mother tongue, plus we offer our facilities to other language programs in the area. MYP and DP ESOL The ESOL Intensive Program replaces English grade level classes from Grades 6 through 10, and provides intensive instruction in English to those whose levels of English proficiency do not allow them to perform successfully in mainstream subject classes. The objective is to enhance social, academic, and cultural growth in students. (ESOL Policy/Grades 6 10) Additional ESOL support is given to students entering the DP: a summer camp before school starts and added classes to support students in their classes. Homework Assistance/Tutoring We offer extra support in the target languages after school. Teachers run tutoring sessions in French, German, and Spanish on a drop-in basis. Additionally, some language departments have interns from countries where the target language is spoken who support classroom teaching and are available to help students one on one. Students can also benefit from extra help by making appointments with their teachers outside of class as well as attending various departments tutoring sessions. SST Teachers usually identify students with special needs who require extra support, both academic and social/personal, although parents, outside professionals, or other staff members may recognize the need for support services. If students demonstrate a challenge in two or more of the classes, or if the ongoing classroom accommodations have not solved the problem, a referral to the Student Support Team (SST) takes place. SST consists of the learning specialist, counselor, headmaster or other designated teachers. Their role is to review the student information available, request additional paperwork from the family, and recommend an action plan for meeting the student s needs. The plan is implemented for a period of time and evaluated for its effectiveness. (Resource Policy) 4

6 SS S-T/Mother Tongue Support SS S-T stands for School Supported Self-Taught Languages and is a program of study within the International Baccalaureate s Diploma Program. It is classified as a Group One course and is therefore subject to the same curricular requirements as other first/native language courses. Its function is to provide diploma candidates a means of pursuing the study of their mother tongues when there are too few student speakers of that language to constitute a regular class. Only diploma candidates, that is to say eleventh and twelfth grade students enrolled in the Diploma Program, are eligible for SS S-T Students are required to be fully fluent and literate at or very near grade level in order to enroll. Mother Tongue support at the MYP level is provided through SS S-T 8-10 (MYP years 3 5). Students in Grades 8, 9 and 10 who wish to pursue study of their respective mother tongues may enroll if they are fully fluent at grade level. Literacy is, of course, preferred, but is not required. The course is designed primarily to equip students to enter the diploma level SS S-T class. The reasons for supporting the preservation and development of a person s mother tongue are many, all of which are in keeping with the school s mission statement. These reasons include the following: the preservation and development of mother tongues foster the celebration of diversity and enable cross cultural awareness, appreciation, and understanding. the preservation and development of mother tongues enable the development of higher order cognitive skills, and the preservation and development of mother tongues enable people who are members of small cultural subgroups better to maintain and transmit cultural identity within a multicultural community. 5

7 Guiding Principles about Language Learning at AIS We use language as a medium of inquiry, providing opportunities to challenge first language modelers and to develop second language learners We view the ongoing language development for AIS students as the responsibility of all teachers, parents and students We understand that our students come with many different language backgrounds to our school and will all progress at a different pace We teach language through context and relate new information to existing knowledge We provide for language support beyond the classroom We accommodate different learning styles with differentiated instruction according to individual needs We strive to keep abreast of the most current research regarding duallanguage acquisition We provide meta-linguistic learning strategies for the students We give ongoing feedback on students progress in all languages of instruction PYP MYP DP all subjects history/ /B geography Ab Initio (Grades 6-8) SS S-T /B ESOL PST Saturday Language Camp ESOL SST Homework Assistance/ Tutoring ESOL SST Homework Assistance/ Tutoring X X 6

8 Language Levels and Progression at AIS DIPLOMA 11 th 12 th Language B Standard Level Language B High Level Language and Literature High and Standard Level Literature High and Standard Level Language B MYP 6 th 10 th History and Geography in English in 6th-8th grades History and Geography in languages other than English in 6th-8th grades PYP 3K 5 th 5K-5 Dual language instruction in all subjects. 50:50 Immersion Model 3K/4K Full Immersion Model 7

9 Second Language Support Successful language learning can only be accomplished through a thorough support system within the school and a full partnership between our school and the parents. (Parents as Partners Agreement) PYP English as a Second Language (ESOL) Although the AIS Primary School (Grades 5K-5) is based on a two-way dual-language immersion model of education, whereby the English grade level classroom provides enriched language instruction and is sensitive to non-native speakers needs, students with two or fewer years of English language instruction will usually need more intensive, small group language instruction. The ESOL program ensures newcomers and others with limited acquisition of English skills access to the English language and curriculum, as well as supports English grade level teachers so they can continue to provide a challenging program for all students in the English program. (ESOL Policy) Saturday Language Camp Based on teachers recommendations supported by the results of each student s Oral Language Assessment in Grade 2, we are offering additional exposure to the target language by providing a Saturday Language Camp from January until May of each school year. This camp is targeting students in Grades 1 and 2. It is highly recommended that students who have been identified as needing further reinforcement to strengthen their French/German/Spanish skills attend these classes, unless they are already enrolled in another language support program or make other arrangements to further the exposure to the target language. Primary Support Team (PST) Teachers usually identify students with special needs, both academic and social/personal, although parents, outside professionals, or other staff members may recognize the need for support services. If the ongoing classroom modifications have not solved the problem, a referral to the Primary Support Team (PST) takes place. The Primary Support Team consists of the learning specialists, classroom teachers, counselors, heads of schools, or other designated teachers. Their role is to review the student information and recommend an action plan for meeting the student s needs. The plan is implemented for a period of time and evaluated for its effectiveness. (PST Policy) Mother Tongue Support The reasons for supporting the preservation and development of a person s first language are many, all of which are in keeping with the school s mission statement. We do not offer any additional mother tongue support for languages not being taught at the primary level, but we do provide information to parents on other language programs offered in the Atlanta area, so the students can keep up with their mother tongue, plus we offer our facilities to other language programs in the area. MYP and DP 8

10 ESOL The ESOL Intensive Program replaces English grade level classes from Grades 6 through 10, and provides intensive instruction in English to those whose levels of English proficiency do not allow them to perform successfully in mainstream subject classes. The objective is to enhance social, academic, and cultural growth in students. (ESOL Policy/Grades 6 10) Additional ESOL support is given to students entering the DP: a summer camp before school starts and added classes to support students in their classes. Homework Assistance/Tutoring We offer extra support in the target languages after school. Teachers run tutoring sessions in French, German, and Spanish on a drop-in basis. Additionally, some language departments have interns from countries where the target language is spoken who support classroom teaching and are available to help students one on one. Students can also benefit from extra help by making appointments with their teachers outside of class as well as attending various departments tutoring sessions. SST Teachers usually identify students with special needs who require extra support, both academic and social/personal, although parents, outside professionals, or other staff members may recognize the need for support services. If students demonstrate a challenge in two or more of the classes, or if the ongoing classroom accommodations have not solved the problem, a referral to the Student Support Team (SST) takes place. SST consists of the learning specialist, counselor, headmaster or other designated teachers. Their role is to review the student information available, request additional paperwork from the family, and recommend an action plan for meeting the student s needs. The plan is implemented for a period of time and evaluated for its effectiveness. (Resource Policy) SS S-T/Mother Tongue Support SS S-T stands for School Supported Self-Taught Languages and is a program of study within the International Baccalaureate s Diploma Program. It is classified as a Group One course and is therefore subject to the same curricular requirements as other first/native language courses. Its function is to provide diploma candidates a means of pursuing the study of their mother tongues when there are too few student speakers of that language to constitute a regular class. Only diploma candidates, that is to say eleventh and twelfth grade students enrolled in the Diploma Program, are eligible for SS S-T Students are required to be fully fluent and literate at or very near grade level in order to enroll. Mother Tongue support at the MYP level is provided through SS S-T 8-10 (MYP years 3 5). Students in Grades 8, 9 and 10 who wish to pursue study of their respective mother tongues may enroll if they are fully fluent at grade level. Literacy is, of course, preferred, but is not required. The course is designed primarily to equip students to enter the diploma level SS S-T class. The reasons for supporting the preservation and development of a person s mother tongue are many, all of which are in keeping with the school s mission statement. These reasons include the following: the preservation and development of mother tongues foster the celebration of diversity and enable cross cultural awareness, appreciation, and understanding. 9

11 the preservation and development of mother tongues enable the development of higher order cognitive skills, and the preservation and development of mother tongues enable people who are members of small cultural subgroups better to maintain and transmit cultural identity within a multicultural community. 10

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