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Process ACADEMIC AND THE COMMUNITY Document LANGUAGE POLICY. Person Responsible Document Version Valid From Rectora 03 October PDF

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Person Responsible Version Valid From Rectora 03 October 2018 Cause of Change Created 01 - October 2015 Updated 02 October 2016 Updated 03 October 2018 Control of Changes in the SG ation Change Made Improvements
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Person Responsible Version Valid From Rectora 03 October 2018 Cause of Change Created 01 - October 2015 Updated 02 October 2016 Updated 03 October 2018 Control of Changes in the SG ation Change Made Improvements of concepts Include bibliographical citations Change of format code Change of format code The term reading-writing project is included in the primary and secondary sections. The administrative language policy table is consolidated by ranges. Revised by Approved by Melissa Benedetti Quality and Accreditation Director Mary-Jo Gill Rectora 1 Index INTRODUCTION PHILOSOPHY GENERAL POLICIES POLICY IN PRE-SCHOOL POLICY IN PRIMARY SECONDARY POLICIES TEACHERS POLICIES POLICY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF POLICY FOR PARENTS VALIDITY OF THIS DOCUMENT BIBLIOGRAPHY INTRODUCTION This document has been designed in response to the need to have a clearly defined language policy throughout the institution. This document provides the parameters of the bilingual acquisition of the English and Spanish languages and their continuous development throughout the educational community of the British International School. Since we are aware that language is constantly evolving and redefining itself, our language policy is a dynamic document that is constantly being reviewed and developed. The British International School is committed to supporting multilingualism (Spanish and English as the main languages of instruction and French from Year 6 onwards) as a foundation to increase intercultural understanding and international mentality. The daily use languages at the British International School are English and Spanish. The institution provides selected services and documentation in both English and Spanish languages basically in order to support single-language teachers. BIS communicates with parents predominantly in Spanish and rarely in English. The instruction languages are: English, Spanish and French. In administrative terms, the language that is predominantly used in the administrative area, the Board of Directors, Managerial Council and other academic committees is the Spanish language and less often the English language depending on the specific aspect to be discussed and / or the audience. The specific strategies in the use of language in the three sections of the school (Preschool, Primary and Secondary) are based on the following foundations: s published by the Ministry of National Education that correspond to the General Law of Education, The European Council of the Common European Reference Framework for languages and the official language policy of the International Baccalaureate Organization and the reading and writing project. This takes into account the Basic Learning Rights, Learning Standards and curricular guidelines established by the Colombian Ministry of Education. At the same time, documents provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization are based on: Learning a second language and native language development: A guide for schools. 3 1. PHILOSOPHY. At the British International School, language is considered an essential element for mutual understanding by all members of the academic community as well as for the understanding of our environment and for transmitting this understanding to others. The British community views both Spanish and English as valid and appropriate means of communication and expression within an international and multicultural context. Adhering to the concepts outlined below, the language policy of the British International School seeks to provide the parameters in order to create students who are more capable linguistically and who have an international mentality. Bilingualism is the ability to speak, read and write in two languages and as various research suggest, bilingual education offers students additional benefits such as using two languages and being aware of two cultures. (Developing Dual Literacy: An Estyn discussion paper ). ... the honesty of IBO stems from the fact that we demand for all students to have as their first reference their own national identity: their own language, their own history and their own cultural heritage, no matter what part of the world they are from. Roger Peel, former general director of IBO (Learning a second language and development of the native language: A guide for schools ). The role of language, the native language itself, and the study of other languages in this context occupy a special place in the design of any program. Through language we access our culture and the culture of others. Learning and development of language from the earliest childhood plays a fundamental role in order to promote bilingualism and multilingualism in every sequence of programs . Helen Drennen, former director of academic affairs at IBCA (Learning a second language and development of the native language: A guide for schools- 2004). At British International School we put more emphasis on the acquisition of language from earlier stages so that when students reach high school they already have an excellent command in the use of both the English and Spanish languages. 4 Likewise, British International School offers French as an additional language from Year 6 onwards. What is more, we understand that for a school to be clearly international bilingual it must have teachers who, independently of their specialties, are also language teachers who have the responsibility to correctly develop the use of the language from their respective areas. With respect to the hourly intensity in Spanish and English, from Reception to Year 7, the school carries out a semi-immersion curriculum, as specified in the Institutional Educational Project (PEI). This means that students are exposed to both languages (Spanish and English) with different levels of intensity at different times and environments throughout their school life. 2. GENERAL POLICIES. Language plays an essential role in supporting the mission of the institution. The British International School is focused on preparing its students to be responsible, confident global citizens and also to have a genuine civic conscience. Within the community, the vast majority of students speak Spanish and a small fraction speak English as their native language. That is why we encourage all of our students to understand how both English and Spanish languages relate to their respective cultures. It is important to emphasize the fundamental role that teachers have in the process of acquiring a language and the school's conviction that the development of the native language is vital because it supports holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication. At British International School, the teaching of language, whether English or Spanish, takes as a reference the richness and diversity of the content. As research has shown, when new information is acquired and assimilated, students think, understand and appropriate meaning in a variety of ways. Therefore, it is understood that as a communication tool, language must be written, read, spoken and understood in different and varied ways. This enables the language teacher to respect and appreciate (i) the inherent variety in both English and Spanish languages while maintaining certain objectives and principles intact, and (ii) it addresses the wide variety and diversity of students included in any class. 5 The Spanish, English and later French language classes (from Year 6 onwards) not only provide an environment conducive to the learning of the respective language but also promote the comprehensive development of the student. Certainly, not only are these aspects on which we focus but also on the acknowledgement of the cultures that go hand in hand with these languages and this is aimed at acknowledging the international and multicultural mentality that the school emphasizes, according to the philosophy of IB. For Colombian law, the standards for a particular area and at a particular level, are a reference point in order to know what and how a student should learn. Therefore, these guidelines and standards of National Competences are taken into consideration together with the standards and practices of the International Baccalaureate Organization to establish reference points for each level and section at British International School. To Know and To Know how in order to be competent, is a fundamental characteristic of the standards that are defined for the benefit of education in our country. It has been established that a student must not only be able to acquire knowledge but also learn the language, learn about language and learn through language what is relevant to daily life and in this way to apply these different knowledges to the experiences of his/her life in order to be able to solve new problems that may arise. (Halliday 1980). The objective in using the language at British International School is for students to be able to express themselves independently, communicate effectively, interact with others as well as to develop cognitive competence in both the English and Spanish languages and from Year 6 onwards they begin to develop basic interpersonal communication skills in French. In accordance with the General Education Law of Colombia No. 115 (1994) and with the curricular guidelines of the present Language Policy, we consolidate in our students significant verbal and non-verbal communication skills, ensuring that they speak, listen, read and write with particular meaningful skills in the context of communication. Language in pre-school (from Nursery to Year 2), Primary (from Year 3 to Year 7) and Secondary (from Year 8 to Year 13) is taught through a rigorous, meaningful and cultural process that makes use of a wide range of reading, writing and oral strategies. With respect to grammar, it is characterized because it is taught through an analytical discourse such as its study in context. So in pre-school groups, Grammar work is carried out with emphasis on the process of meaning and 6 communication. As a policy throughout the institution in the classes taught in the English language students should communicate with each other in this language, in turn, in the classes taught in the Spanish language students will be required to use appropriate academic language with vocabulary that is characteristic of each discipline. It is also acknowledged that grammar, spelling and calligraphy are necessary aspects of a good written production that transmits a message that the reader understands. For this reason, the standards for evaluating written work are integrated and complemented by the evaluation criteria, the scope and the sequence of the IB organization. Throughout Primary and Secondary, the Language curriculum, specifically for Spanish and English, are in alignment from the point of view of teaching and learning systems and they complement each other. This objective is achieved by continuous curricular meetings throughout the institution. Since written production is considered a fundamental element of communication, its foundations are instituted in the first years of our education in order to have a solid foundation. The School Curricula, the curricular basis for instruction, include the study of characteristics of different genres, structure of paragraphs, integral coherence of text, debates and development of written creativity. Emphasis is placed on essay writing, text analysis and creative writing because these elements are fundamental to the IB Diploma program. In addition, the goal of teaching literature is to encourage reading habits in students. His/her learning leads to the knowledge and enjoyment of literature and in turn to a rigorous and critical response based on theory and literary criticism. The reading plan of the British International School is fully aligned with the recommendations of the IBO and we follow the same educational philosophy throughout the School, from preschool to Year 13. With respect to the IB Diploma, in Spanish students have the option of Language A. In English, for group 1, students have the option of studying Language A and Advanced (High) Literature and in Spanish, students have the alternative of doing Spanish: Advanced Literature. In group 2, students have the opportunity to take English B at a high (advanced) level. We also offer French from Year 6 to Year 11 and as an optional program in Year 12 and 13. In other words, students must register in either of the two groups; Group 1 (Spanish and English) or English in Group 1 and Spanish in Group 7 2, in exceptional cases when a student does not have the appropriate level in Spanish because his/her native language is different from Spanish. These students who choose to continue with French in Years 12 and 13 can do so as an additional language or as an area of Group 2 in the Diploma. For all these courses, there are texts that are used during these two years. The papers that are sent by the students are both oral and written and are based on themes (topics) and texts of known and unknown authors. It is very important to note that at British International School not all students are registered in the IB Diploma Program, however all teachers must teach according to the guidelines of the IBO and in turn students must learn according to these same guidelines. Throughout Pre-school, Primary and Initial Secondary, literary and non-literary texts are used as a vehicle for teaching the topics of each unit. It is from these texts that specific activities are created by area and by cross curricular topics (ie environmental sustainability) as well as school projects and other interdisciplinary studies. Also, different literary genres are considered as a basis for the choice of texts for each level. As in each grade level there are at least two assignments (works) that have national and foreign contexts. This contributes to generate the international vision to educate citizens of the world but at the same time a nationalist sense is included. In the last two years of high school (secondary) students are required to read and study at least 4 major works in English and 6 in Spanish each year. In preschool and initial primary school, the reference format for the scope and curricular sequence of the language units includes these 3 aspects: oral, written and visual communication. These involve oral comprehension and expression, reading comprehension, written expression, and visual and speaking skills. Therefore, for the choice of texts to be used, literary and non-literary styles that cover genres such as narrative, poetry and drama are taken into account. On the other hand in order to fulfill this task it is important to include texts with readings from a wide variety of cultures. The reading plan is varied and open to read other types of texts. These optional texts are taken from a list suggested for each level by the Spanish department, all these additional texts have guaranteed literary quality and are written by authors relevant to the curriculum and to the research units that are developed and therefore to the topics of the proposed units. 8 Throughout Pre-school, it is clear that the opportunity to acquire more than one language enriches children's personal growth and facilitates cultural understanding. For this same reason, language becomes an element after discipline that unites the entire curriculum. Our preschool considers language a tool to solve problems and process information in a stimulating and creative way. In this section, the development of the native language is valued and supported as much as possible and it also aims to enable children to have access to the English language. Additionally, it is important to note that our curriculum, in both languages, is flexible enough to support different levels of linguistic and literary development. The aim of language teaching at British International School is to transcend the classroom and therefore to establish links with the surrounding environment of the students such as the library, technology and their homes in order to optimize the acquisition of the two languages in a context that is more meaningful and practical. On the other hand, in secondary school, guidelines have been established for the production of written documents, poetry, literary exhibitions, individual and group projects as well as extensive essays. Standardized external English tests are offered throughout the institution for all students at key intervals in the children's development. This enables us to compare the progress of each student individually with international and standardized criteria that provide statistical results that are used in the adjustment of the English program. In Primary, the basic achievements for the English language are determined by the curriculum offered by the University of Cambridge that ends with the standardized tests designed by that entity in Year 6 (Primary Checkpoint Exams). Similarly, from Year 7 to Year 11, the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organization is offered. The core areas of the curriculum focus on reading comprehension, writing, grammatical conventions, the study of literature, and oral and listening skills. The evaluation is done in a summative and formative (training) way. 9 3. POLICY IN PRE-SCHOOL. In pre-school teachers will work on the development of skills that enable students to communicate with confidence in order to take an active part in the community to which they belong. In this section students will be in contact with Spanish and English from the first moment they enter the British International School (Reception). During these first 4 years, our goal is for the students to acquire basic communication skills in order to enable them to have simple conversations, to read and understand short texts of fiction and nonfiction and to write short sentences spontaneously. The link with the native language is important but English takes a leading role in Pre-school activities. For students who show difficulties in these communication skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), assistance is provided through the PRALE Program in order to reinforce learning in reading and writing, more intensive assistance is provided to solve the difficulties and thus facilitate the acquisition of both languages. Likewise, adaptations and reinforcements are offered as stipulated in the School's Special Needs Policy NEE. 4. POLICY IN PRIMARY. In Primary (from Year 3 to Year 7), learning the English and Spanish languages provides students with a fundamental tool that enables them to communicate widely and effectively in real contexts, both orally and in writing. They may also be able to interpret, present balanced arguments, make connections, make conclusions and hypotheses by using information implicitly and explicitly. The objective is for students to not only enjoy the study of language but also for them to analyze, contrast, complement, discuss and draw conclusions thus going beyond the enjoyment of literature, in addition to the reading and writing project - writing done with the purpose of developing reading and writing from a critical point of view. During this process the students will develop basic skills also through guided, silent and self-selected reading taking into account the appropriate grammatical structures for each level and in both languages. In Year 6, students take English exams of the University of Cambridge. This evaluation, which examines the knowledge acquired in English throughout the primary school, is externally qualified 10 and provides us with detailed feedback from this University that enables us to compare our performance with previous results of our institution and with other international institutions that follow this international curriculum. And in Year 5 and 7 they take the SABER tests of the ICFES in Spanish and they are also graded externally. The ev
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