IB MYP Language Policy ~ 2018-2019
- The GCS Mission Statement, GCS Purpose Statement, and the Global Contexts/Explorations of MYP Unit Planning are the basis for our language philosophy and language policy at Goshen International Middle School (GIMS). Language is the foundation for all learning and a deep understanding of one’s mother tongue as well as gaining proficiency in a second language are essential for success in our increasingly multilingual and multicultural nation and world.
- GIMS is comprised of approximately half native English speakers and half native Spanish speakers. There are also small numbers of students speaking South-, East-, and South-Eastern Asian languages, French and Creole, Russian and Ukrainian. This diversity of language and culture has opened many opportunities for GIMS students to appreciate and learn from backgrounds beyond their own.
- English is the language of instruction for all students and teachers, with the exception of Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin language classes.
- Language A: English- GIMS is committed to deepening and broadening understanding of the English language for all students. All students take a language and literature course all three years. In addition, GIMS has a culture and policy that all teachers are language teachers, and so the instruction of English runs across curricula and grade levels. Also, the focus of weekly professional development for all instructors has been focused on increasing literacy for all students and there is no intention of changing that focus going forward.
- Language B: Spanish, French, German- GIMS is committed to encouraging all students to gain proficiency in a second (or third) language during their time here. GIMS currently offers four world languages for students to choose from. They begin their language instruction in grade 6 and continue with it throughout their middle school years.
- Language Acquisition Structures for English Language Learners:
- An ILP (Individualized Language Plan) will be created for each qualifying student.
- Teachers will receive detailed information about students’ language backgrounds and needs as language learners.
- Students are placed in classes with EL support, depending on their level of English acquisition, determined by WIDA testing.
- Courses offered to support EL students include:
○ EL Support Class for beginning language learners (Level 1 & Level 2)
○ Subject classes taught with an EL teacher, EL Collaborator, or an EL Paraprofessional as needed.
○ For Spanish speaking students more proficient in English, GIMS offers a Spanish-language class called a ‘Heritage Speaker’ course. This course is specifically designed for Spanish-speaking students to deepen language skills in their mother tongue.
○ Reading/Writing Strategies Courses (Read 180 and System 44) may be offered/encouraged as additional support.
- Expectations of Classroom Teachers of English Language Learners:
- Teachers are expected to collaborate with students, families and the EL teacher to better understand and meet the needs of language learners.
- Teachers are expected to provide necessary adjustments to classroom practices through the use of the students’ ILPs.
- Expectations of EL Teachers:
- The EL teacher will ensure English Learners are placed in classes with the appropriate supports, based on the assessment data gathered during the creation of the ILP.
- The EL teacher will utilize a consultation time in their teaching schedule to address strategies that may help specific teachers or students.
- The EL teacher will provide additional resources and strategies to the teachers to assist in meeting the educational needs of the students.
- The EL teacher will utilize assessment data to determine the effectiveness of the strategies.
- Additional Considerations:
- Teachers are encouraged to identify distinctions between social and academic language proficiency and to recognize that students often master social language prior to mastering more nuanced academic discourse.
- Teachers are encouraged to provide opportunities for all learners to develop cultural understandings of their own and other cultures.
- Through MYP unit plans, international mindedness is developed at the instructional level through “Global Contexts” as connections are made to the cultures around the world in each subject area.
- Going forward, GIMS will:
- continue to improve on current structures and practices in language support and learning
- look for future opportunities to expand Language B offerings
- increase opportunities for students to become even more literate in their mother tongue