Chandler Oaks Elementary School – an IB World School

Language Policy

Our Mission:

Together, the Chandler Oaks Elementary community of educators, students and families create an enriched learning environment where all feel safe, valued, and prepared to reach their full potential. Students are immersed in a detailed curriculum structured by Round Rock ISD and a technologically-infused environment within the IB Framework. Families are our partners in education; as one, we are learners who appreciate individuality and the world around us.

PHILOSOPHY

At Chandler Oaks Elementary, we believe language is a vital tool for learning, communicating and being an active member of a global society.  As communication in the world changes, we have the responsibility for supporting our students to be multilingual learners.  Language opens the mind and presents opportunities that will cultivate internationally minded citizens.

We believe language acquisition is best supported by a language rich environment including books, periodicals, environmental print, online resources, and teacher and student writing. All instructional staff members are language teachers with responsibilities in facilitating communication. Learning a language is part of forming one’s own identity, exploring thoughts and having an awareness of the thoughts and identities of others. It is, therefore, key to our personal, cognitive and cultural development.

Language is used to communicate our needs, feelings, ideas and experiences as well as understanding others.  We do this by appreciating, exploring, and reflecting on our ability to express ourselves using a variety of forms including literacy, math, science & technology, the humanities, visual and performing arts. Language, in all its forms and in all systems, is the fundamental way we learn about ourselves, about others and the world around us.

 

PRACTICES

We believe oral, written, and visual language permeates the whole curriculum.  Language is the medium through which the entire curriculum is taught and learned.  It facilitates communication and incorporates the skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and media literacy. There is a reciprocal relationship between using inquiry to facilitate language and using language to facilitate inquiry. All students are provided a safe, nurturing, language-rich environment that supports learning as well as social, emotional development and well-being. Our school community benefits from access to different cultures, perspectives and languages, which increase cultural awareness and international-mindedness.  We value and encourage students to respect the language, literature, and culture of their home country.  We strive to create a caring language community in which all students feel accepted and supported, thereby feeling confident to be risk-takers.

To add complexity to the student experience, all teachers are viewed and expected to maintain certain literacy standards with their course work.  All staff members hold students accountable to proper grammar and structure, both written and verbal in everyday interactions. Teachers provide ample opportunities for students to learn unique ways to communicate with each other; and tools and strategies evaluate student language acquisition. Students’ journal entries are tools to evaluate literacy.

The criterion used to assess student’s language development is consistent across subject areas to reinforce the idea that all subjects are connected and skills cross boundaries.

In order to achieve our aims, teachers will:

SECOND LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION

All students at Chandler Oaks Elementary receive Spanish instruction once a week. Students in Kindergarten receive a thirty-five minute lesson, while students in grades one through five participate in a forty-five minute lesson. Teachers remain in the Spanish classroom every other week to learn alongside the students. This enables the teachers to reinforce during the school day the objectives that are being taught.

During Spanish instruction, students learn to speak the language, but they also learn about language (how it works, similarities and differences between languages, etc.) and they learn through language as they explore the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. With all grade levels, the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) methodology is used; this approach emphasizes learning language through meaningful and personalized context. It moves students beyond the traditional focus on memorization of thematic lists of words to using language in real-world situations to communicate information, feelings, thoughts and ideas.

The Spanish Curriculum has been written by the RRISD IB elementary Spanish teachers; the following summarizes second language acquisition at Chandler Oaks Elementary:

MOTHER TONGUE SUPPORT

The faculty and staff are all accountable for communicating our support of mother tongue languages. We feel that students and parents who speak another language bring an added perspective to learning. We value their views and encourage them to share.  We utilize their knowledge as resources and guest speakers. Our library has books in the home languages of all our students and continues to look for more resources to support both second language acquisition and other mother tongue languages. As the language program develops, we continue to seek more opportunities to highlight and support other mother tongue languages.

ASSESSMENT

All students are assessed in their development of oral language, written language, and visual language including viewing and presenting; assessments used for the monitoring of language development include AIMSweb, Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) and the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS). Students in Grades 3-5 will also be assessed with The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in Math and Reading. Additionally Grade 4 students are required to take the STAAR Writing Assessment; Grade 5 students are required to take the STAAR Science Assessment. (See Chandler Oaks Assessment Policy for more detail.)

 

SUPPORT FOR LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Chandler Oaks has several support services available, as needed, to assist students in their language development.  These include:

PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW

RESOURCES

Franklin C. Martin K-8 Center; Nagoya International School; Handly School; Beacon Hill School; Alsup Elementary; Spicewood Elementary; James B Sanderlin Elementary

Collaboratively developed by the Chandler Oaks Language /Assessment Policy Committee Members:

Janet Stading, Coordinator

Dayna Collings, Librarian

Carol Imperial, Spanish Teacher

Karen Swint, Talented & Gifted (TAG)

Tammi Carter, Interventionist

Laurie Mutscher, Counselor

Lianna Sayegh, First Grade

Tracy Walpole, Second Grade

Amy Moore, Third Grade

Olivia Ortega, Fourth Grade

Kelley Hirt, Principal

Dana Green, Assistant Principal

5/17/2016                          Page