Language Policy

I. Rationale

The Learner Profile attributes and the Approaches to Learning are the foundations of this policy. As an IB candidate school, RIS policies promoting languages closely follow the IB Publications, MYP: From Principles into Practice (April 2023), PYP- From Principles into Practice (Dec 2018) The curriculum is delivered with English as the main language of instruction. Norwegian language and culture is given significant status as the language of the host country and is a legally required subject for all students. (LK20 mapping) “A language policy is an action statement… It is concerned less with where the students in a school are going, and more with how they are getting there.” (Guidelines for Developing a School Language Policy, 1) “Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating; therefore it permeates the whole curriculum. Indeed, all teachers are language teachers, continually expanding the boundaries of what students are thinking about. Mastery of one or more languages enables each student to achieve their full linguistic potential.” (Language and Literature in the MYP, Page 4) “The IB learner profile is integral to learning and teaching language in the PYP because it represents the qualities of effective learners and internationally minded students. The learner profile, together with the other elements of the programme—knowledge, concepts, skills and action—informs planning and teaching in language.” (PYP Language Scope and Sequence, Page 2)

II. Philosophy

At RIS, we are committed to providing a nurturing and inclusive learning environment that caters to the diverse language needs of our students. We recognise the importance of language as a means of communication, inquiry and expression and we aim to foster multilingual learners who have cultural understanding and effective communication skills.

“Language wraps itself around, in, through and between everything that we teachers and learners do in the classroom.” (Ritchhart 2002: 141)

III. Purpose of this policy

● To achieve a common understanding of our learning intentions for language teaching and learning
● To identify the diverse language needs of our RIS students and put into place best practices to address these
● To establish expectations on the implementation of practices that reflect our mission and vision.

IV. Language Beliefs

At RIS we believe:
● Language plays a vital role in the construction of meaning.
● Language skills are acquired most effectively from using language in a variety of relevant contexts.
● All learners are language learners.
● All teachers are language teachers.
● Language learning includes home/family language, languages of the school, additional languages and literacy (reading, writing, viewing, presenting, listening and speaking).
● Language learning contributes to developing international mindedness.
● Language is taught through inquiry-based as well as structured instructional methods.
● Language is the means for inquiry, which allows students to make connections and develop understanding.
● Language is learned through meaningful disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary units of inquiry.
● We acknowledge the significance of mother tongue languages.
● Language learning takes place where risk-taking is encouraged, and error-making is considered inevitable and necessary.

V. Practices that reflect our beliefs

● Establishing learning environments that cultivate a language-rich environment, engaging students in meaningful learning with communication at its core
● Language should be taught through the relevant, authentic context of the units of inquiry.
● Facilitating students’ access to well-structured reading and writing programs to enhance their language proficiency and promote skill development
● Providing students with diverse resources and multimedia tools to enhance their learning opportunities.
● Regularly assessing and documenting students’ language abilities to inform teaching.
● Structuring and differentiating language learning through a variety of approaches based on students’ needs.
● Working towards creating a library that is representative of the cultures and languages in the school, which motivates students to read in a variety of genres and multiple languages.

VI. Support and Enhancement Strategies

● RIS recognizes the significance of ATLs in enhancing language and uses these approaches to learning in language development
● In teaching, learning and assessing, phases of language learning – as suggested in PYP and MYP practices – are referenced to identify the levels of the students in rendering appropriate support.
● Differentiated instructional plans for varying learning needs
● Professional Development offered to teachers to develop best practices towards teaching and learning.
● Clubs that offer developed engagement, scaffolding and extension of skills required to develop the Approaches to Learning.
● Collaborative planning sessions aimed at building collective responsibility of teachers to develop the language of all students.

VII. Languages of Instruction

1. English as the main language of instruction English is our language of instruction underpinning our inclusive learning community. The learning of Norwegian, as language and literature, and Language Acquisition provides students with an opportunity to understand and develop the values of the host culture. Additionally, Spanish Language Acquisition throughout MYP, promotes international mindedness and supports creative thinking in students.

2. English Language Learners (ELLs) We understand that ELLs constitute the largest proportion of our language environment at RIS. RIS provides English language immersion for ELLs, with teachers being aware of the needs of both ELLs and mother-tongue English speaking learners.ELL students are assisted through a range of different approaches, which may include individual guidance, differentiated teaching and learning outcomes within the mainstream class.

3. Norwegian in the PYP and MYP We understand the importance of the development of our host language, Norwegian. At RIS, we facilitate regular lessons in Norwegian at every grade level. We continuously look for opportunities to enrich the language learning environment through the procurement of the most necessary resources. We endeavour to create a strong Norwegian language culture through language immersion in the classroom. Specialised support in Norwegian, through the study of Norwegian Language Acquisition, is provided for those learners identified. We benchmark ourselves against the national curriculum standards for Norwegian as specified by the Norwegian Directorate of Education.

4. Mother-tongue in PYP and MYP “The language profiles of students in IB schools may be complex and diverse; however, the influence of mother-tongue development is significant for all learners. It is acknowledged that development of mother-tongue language is crucial for cognitive development, and in maintaining cultural identity. Success in mother-tongue development is a strong predictor of long-term academic achievement, including acquisition of other languages.“ (PYP Language Scope and Sequence)

The school values each student’s mother-tongue language capabilities, and encourages students to continue developing their native languages. Additionally, the school aims to enhance knowledge and tolerance of various mother-tongue languages through the selection of resources taught and cultural events.

VIII. Language Learning Across the Curriculum

1. English Language in PYP Starting in Grade One, the classroom is an English immersion environment and differentiation is facilitated based on the students’ assessed language needs. Our Language Scope and Sequence implements strands from Lucy Caulkins & TCWRP (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) Colleagues Reading and Writing Workshops (PYP), IB Curriculum Documents and the (LK20) National Norwegian standards as guides for planning language development across the school. Our approach constitutes a balanced literacy approach to Language Acquisition and Language and Literature. In PYP the English language is taught through the units of inquiry with emphasis on reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting.

2. Norwegian Language in PYP In Norwegian PYP, the language is taught through making connections to the units of inquiry with emphasis on reading,writing,listening,speaking,viewing and presenting. We offer four lessons per week from Grades 1-6. Language and Literature in MYP In the MYP, we offer four lessons of Norwegian Language and Literature per week from Grade Seven to Grade Ten. For learners of Grade Nine and Ten, we offer English Language and

3. Language Acquisition in MYP
a. English In Grade Seven and Eight, we offer Language Acquisition at the ‘Capable’ level.
b. Norwegian Students identified as Norwegian language learners at ‘Emergent’ or ‘Capable’ level are pulled-out from their Norwegian Language and Literature class and placed in a Language Acquisition class, according to their level of proficiency.
c. Spanish We offer Spanish as Language Acquisition at ‘Emergent’ level across the MYP.

IX. Language Assessment

1. In the PYP, Language Scope and Sequence is divided into these categories:
● Oral language (listening and speaking)
● Visual language (viewing and presenting)
● Written language (reading)
● Written language (writing)

2. In the MYP, in order for students to integrate into the school and IB Curriculum, we offer diagnostic assessments to identify their current level of proficiency and language needs. Across the year, assessment takes place according to the following criteria, which are assessed at least twice each academic year:

a. Language Acquisition
● Criterion A – Listening
● Criterion B – Reading
● Criterion C – Speaking
● Criterion D – Writing

b. Language and Literature
● Criterion A – Analysing
● Criterion B – Organising
● Criterion C – Producing Text
● Criterion D – Use of Language

3. Language will be assessed formatively and summatively, based on the strands above and in accordance with the school’s Assessment Policy, the IB PYP Language Scope and Sequences, and the MYP Language Acquisition and Language and Literature Subject Guides.

4. All teachers will consider language development in their planning and assessment, and will support the acquisition of Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) and Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) in their teaching. Assessment will be carried out in all languages taught. This information will be used to inform differentiated instruction, and language needs will be taken into consideration when deciding on learning interventions and extra support. Progress in language development will be communicated to parents as part of the bi-annual reports.

X. Roles and Responsibilities in the Implementation of the Language Policy

● The Principal, Heads of Schools, Programme Coordinators and teachers are involved in the process of reviewing and developing the Language Policy. The Language Policy is a living, working document, referred to in the planning process, and for which the staff take ownership and responsibility.
● The principal is responsible for communicating the Language Policy to all members of the school community.
● Teachers are encouraged to look for new resources for their class environment and the school environment to facilitate language development. Purchases are authorised by school leadership. ● The Principal, Heads of Schools and Programme Coordinators are responsible for ensuring the Language Policy is implemented.
● Teachers are responsible for the implementation of the Language Policy

XI. System for Policy Review

The RIS Language Policy is subject to regular review and revision at the end of each academic year by the Language committee based on feedback from teachers, parents, and students. This ensures that our language practices continue to align with the IB mission, RIS mission, core values, and pillars and with the evolving needs of our community. Then, the final revised and updated version will then be made available to all stakeholders by posting on RIS website at the start of the academic year. Also, changes and updates will also be discussed with all staff and teachers during the in-service days at the beginning of the school year.

XII. References

● IB PYP language Scope and Sequence, International Baccalaureate Organisation, December 2018
● IB MYP Language Acquisition Subject Guide
● IB MYP Language and Literature Subject Guide
● MYP: From Principles into Practice (April 2023)
● PYP- From Principles into Practice (Dec 2018)

Language Committee:Daniel Valderrama, Megan Korsman, Maria Consuelo Pedraza, Anne Lene V. Elfstedt, Vilde Synnestvedt, Catherine Johansen, Kesaia Naisara