Language Policy. This policy should be read in conjunction with the following IB publications (available on the OCC):

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1 Language Policy This policy should be read in conjunction with the following IB publications (available on the OCC): Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes Language and learning in IB programmes October 2014

2 AIMS AND BELIEFS Language provides us with a means of communicating with others and a tool for learning about the world. Language teaching and learning at IS Modena simultaneously involves: learning language as learners listen to and use language with others in their everyday lives learning about language as learners grow in their understanding of how language works learning through language as learners use language as a tool to listen, think, discuss and reflect on information, ideas and issues (Halliday 1980). As an IB World School we believe that language is not only a means of communication but it is a key part of our cultural identity and therefore something to be celebrated and shared within our community and our students are encouraged to maintain and develop their mother tongue. The language of instruction at IS Modena is English and we believe that all students should have the opportunity to become proficient in the language. From Grade 1 onwards, students who are new to the English and/or Italian languages learn both as soon as they enter school to help them integrate into the local community and to enhance their international awareness. Those students following the DP may choose to continue with both of these languages as their Language A or Language B course. We recognize the fact that for many students they are learning in a language other than their mother tongue and we offer an English as an Additional Language programme to help support them in their learning and their integration into the school environment. Language is integral to all aspects of our lives, no matter what age or subject area. Teachers in all three programmes are considered to be language teachers and take responsibility in supporting the development of language for all students. IS MODENA LANGUAGE PROFILE Around 80% of our students speak English as an additional language. They come from approximately 26 different countries and speak around 18 different languages. Both our teaching and administrative staff speak English and many are also proficient in at least one other language. ADMISSIONS The International School of Modena accepts students without discrimination of gender, race, religion or nationality.

3 Presently we accept students into Kindergarten to Grade 9 classes, at any time during the year regardless of English Language proficiency. Our EAL provision is explained to parents at the time of applying to the school. Students from Grade 1 onwards are assessed by the EAL teachers to decide on the level of support needed. Students with limited or no English are strongly encouraged to take English lessons before starting at the school. Students applying to join Grade 10 or above are required to sit an entry test and submit school reports to ascertain their level of English proficiency. During the admissions process, a language profile is created for each student which is then further developed and used to determine EAL support. LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION IS Modena students experience an enriched language immersion education in which English is the primary language of instruction and one of the many languages of social interaction. Through the IB Learner Profile, students are encouraged to develop their understanding of the English language through inquiry based learning engagements which support their development as effective communicators. All subjects are delivered in English, apart from Italian, French and specially arranged mother tongue classes. As access to learning is ultimately dependent on the students ability to comprehend and communicate effectively in English, it is a primary goal of our programmes (PYP, MYP & DP) to bring all students to a level of competence in this language which enables them to have full and effective access to our curriculum. Students learn language throughout each day, in each subject area in purposeful and authentic ways that help to develop and encourage their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English. Teaching, learning and assessment will be differentiated at appropriate levels using a variety of strategies, with students grouped in various ways depending on learning styles and individual needs in accordance with IS Modena s Inclusion policy. Since it is a primary goal of IS Modena to educate students to become highly competent and fluent speakers, readers and writers of English, particularly in preparation for the IB Diploma Programme, all members of the school community - teachers, parents and students themselves - are considered responsible for promoting and enhancing the use of the English language. ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE At the International School of Modena, we believe that beginning English speakers benefit from being part of the regular classroom environment, where they can naturally acquire the language through experience. However, to develop their confidence further, we provide additional language support depending on the individual s needs. The EAL sessions aim to give students the necessary skills to develop the language and access learning in the classroom.

4 EAL support will consist of both pull out sessions and in class support. The type of support and the frequency of the sessions will depend on the individual s needs. EAL lessons will focus on developing communication skills using a range of teaching strategies and will include listening, speaking, reading and writing. The initial emphasis of EAL lessons will be speaking and understanding the language. They may also be linked to class work where appropriate. Students joining the school in MYP1 (Grade7) with no English will receive EAL sessions instead of attending Language A: English. The EAL teachers will meet new students from Grade 1 to 9 to assess their level of English and the support required. They will also begin the student s language profile. Students wanting to join MYP4 (Grade 10), MYP5 (Grade11) or the DP will be required to sit an admissions test. The programme coordinator, EAL teacher and class/subject teacher will meet with parents and the student prior to them joining the school to discuss their needs and how they will be supported. Parents will regularly be kept informed regarding the progress of their child. The decision to exit the EAL programme will be jointly made by the class teacher (PYP)/Language A: English teacher (MYP), EAL teacher and programme coordinator. ITALIAN HOST COUNTRY LANGUAGE Awareness of various languages provides learners with multiple and diverse worldviews, enhancing their international mindedness. All staff and students will have opportunities to learn about Italian language and culture. From Grade 1 Italian is taught in two parallel streams, one for native speakers (Language and Literature) and one for those students learning Italian as an additional language (Language Acquisition). According to a student s needs and level of proficiency, teachers may decide to move a student from the additional language class to the native speakers. We believe it is important to allow the students in early years to consolidate and develop their mother tongue and/or English before beginning formal lessons in an additional language. Therefore formal timetabled lessons in Italian are taught from Grade 1. Informal opportunities for students to use and be exposed to Italian will occur regularly within the Early Years classrooms. No additional EAL support lesson will take place during timetabled Italian lessons. A variety of strategies are applied in order to meet different learning styles and individual needs. To fulfil individual potential, skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and media literacy are developed. OTHER LANGUAGES Studying a third language is a requirement for all MYP students at IS Modena. French is offered as a Language B course from Grades 7 to 13. DP students may also study their mother tongue at Language A: Literature Standard Level using the IB s School-Supported Self-Taught programme. The school has access to an international network of experienced online tutors.

5 MOTHER TONGUE Academic research states that the development of a student s mother tongue will support their learning in other languages. They should be encouraged to use their mother tongue for research and to develop their cognitive skills. Parents can further support this by encouraging their children to read and discuss their school work in their mother tongue. Our Mother Tongue Programme will aim to provide teachers according to demand for languages requested. However, this is dependent on the availability of a native speaker to run the course. Mother Tongue sessions will provide students with opportunities to explore their own culture and extend their language abilities and communication skills. They are not meant to be purely language lessons. Both culture and language are explored throughout the programme with the understanding that the two cannot be separated from one another. In order to participate in the Mother Tongue sessions, the student must be fluent in that language. The school further supports the development and value of mother tongue languages by organising an annual book week, with reading in all mother tongues of the school along with International Mother Tongue Day. LIBRARY AND MEDIA RESOURCES The use of the library and other sources of information literacy are vitally important to the learning of the students. The ability to access and use these resources successfully is a key skill for all subject areas and ages, giving students the skills necessary to become independent, lifelong learners. The library contains a range of materials including books, journals, periodicals and ebooks. These resources are being expanded regularly and although predominantly in English, a number of other common languages in the school are also well resourced. There is an IT suite containing computers linked to the internet, and students from Grade 3 onwards bring their own devices (ipads in PYP, tablets or laptops in MYP/DP) which can be used to enhance student learning. The Academic Honesty Policy sets out how each grade level is expected to reference the information literacy that is available. ASSESSMENT The length of time needed to gain proficiency in a language will vary from student to student. Teachers will assess the students regularly, differentiating accordingly. Students in PYP are assessed on their reading, writing, speaking and listening through a variety of strategies which are specific to their language requirements and in accordance with the Assessment Policy.

6 In the MYP there are task-specific expectations and rubrics. All students receiving EAL support will receive detailed clarification of the criteria. In the DP, assessment practices follow those laid-out in the Groups 1 and 2 subject guides. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Although the role of the teacher in the student s development of English is crucial, at IS Modena we recognize the vital contribution parents make in supporting their child s development in this process. Therefore parents are encouraged to promote: - reading, both in their mother tongue and in English; - discussion of school activities; - engagement in shared learning experiences. Students themselves are required to take responsibility for engaging fully with their learning and use of the English language. Therefore they are encouraged to work hard both at school and at home, taking responsibility for their own language development. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT As teachers across all three programmes are responsible for the language development of the students they will receive on-going professional development. EAL teachers will offer regular professional development for all teachers in order to help them support student learning in a language other than their mother tongue. They will also offer support with planning and implementation of strategies. REVIEW PROCESS This policy document will be reviewed as and when programme coordinators deem it to be necessary and in any case no later than 5 years from the date of publication. Programme coordinators will ensure its implementation through planning meetings, classroom visits and appraisals. It is shared with all stakeholders.

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