Hoover Meredith Language Policy
Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School International Baccalaureate
Middle Years Program Language Policy
Hoover and Meredith schools are committed to language acquisition for all students, in all classes, across all subjects. Development of language skills, both spoken and written, is critical to strengthening communication and is an expression of culture. We value the linguistic diversity of our school communities and are dedicated to supporting mother tongue (native language) development as well as the acquisition of additional language. Multilingualism increases cognitive abilities including problem-solving, creativity, and memory as well a learner’s ability to communicate in diverse environments. All teachers are language teachers and are responsible for teaching language within and across subject areas. Language learning and teaching is an ongoing partnership between our
schools, students, parents, and community.
English is the primary language of instruction, learning, and communication used in the schools. Most students participate in at least one Language and Literature (English) and one Language Acquisition (Spanish or Mandarin Chinese) class. Immigrant and refugee students who require intensive support in English may not be enrolled in Language and Literature until they have demonstrated sufficient proficiency. They work towards Language Acquisition objectives throughout all courses.
Our students represent more than 30 nationalities and speak more than 26 mother-tongue languages.
Language of Instruction
The primary language of instruction is English. All teachers are language teachers. Students work to meet grade-level standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and media literacy. The scope and sequence of specific skills is prescribed by the Iowa Core Curriculum and supporting Des Moines Public Schools curriculum documents. Teachers model proficient literacy behaviors. Students work together to develop and practice literacy and communication skills. They demonstrate literacy and communication skills both independently and collaboratively.
Language & Literature courses are designed around the Iowa Core Curriculum and the MYP Language & Literature Aims and Objectives. Second language instruction adheres to DMPS curriculum standards and the MYP Language Acquisition Aims and Objectives.
• Preferred Bibliographic Style: MLA is the common style of citation of sources instudent work for all departments
• Language Expectations: Students are expected to speak and write in complete sentences, using academic language. During class, learners are expected to speak the language of instruction. Translating resources are permitted.
Standardized assessments are given in English. With the exception of Language Acquisition, subject area assessments are given in English with appropriate accommodations made for language proficiency. Please refer to the Hoover High School – Meredith Middle School International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Assessment Policy for more information on assessment.
Library and Language
All students have access to the schools’ combined library. It is open before, during, and after school. Most books are in English. The collection also includes a selection of books in mother tongue languages represented in our building, as well as offerings in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Students have access to print materials and laptop labs. Students also have access via the Internet
to a large digital library including text and audiobooks in English and other languages.
Professional development is provided for all teachers in the district to support the Iowa Core Curriculum, which includes standards for reading and writing in the MYP areas of Individuals & Societies and Sciences. Additionally, our district provides professional development focused on meeting the needs of language learners.
The study of a second language aims to encourage an appreciation for and understanding of other languages and cultures, and to provide a skill base for further language learning. Second Language course offerings in the MYP Years 1-5 (grades 6-10) are Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Students learn to speak, listen, read, and write in a second language. Staff counsel students to develop their preferred language throughout the course of the five years.
Mother Tongue Support
At Hoover-Meredith, we recognize that a strong level of knowledge and understanding in mother tongue is vital to the development of an additional language. We encourage parents and students to speak and develop mother tongue at home. This strengthens language skills while instilling a sense of importance about culture. Hoover and Meredith provide the following services:
• Bilingual Family Liasons provide services to ELLs and families to strengthen the relationship between home, school, and language minority communities
• Oral interpretation and written translation offered in Arabic, Kirundi, Swahili, French, Spanish, Karen,Kunama, andBurmese
• Heritage Spanish class is an option for Spanish-speakers
• The library includes reading materials printed in numerouslanguages.
• Guidance in earning the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy
Language Support Services
Specialized support for student language development is available through the English Language Learner program. Students are placed in the appropriate English Language Learner class based on state, district and curriculum assessments. The purpose of the ELL class is to support and accelerate English acquisition.
Des Moines Public School ELL Policy
A Home Language Survey provided to all incoming students to determine potential ELL services. Teachers evaluate students annually using the Iowa English Language Proficiency Assessment 21 to measure English language proficiency. Hoover and Meredith strive to meet goals for English Language Learners:
• To educate English Language Learners to the same rigorous curriculum standards as all students in the district while achieving English language objectives in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
• To promote pride in students’ cultural and linguistic identities and maintainculturalheritage while preparing students to actively participate within American society.
• To ensure that the educational process is a cooperative effort between families, communities, and staff
Review of Language Policy
An IB policy review team made up of stakeholders meets annually to review the practices of the partnership. The team reviews the current policies, communicates suggestions as needed, and communicates the policies to stakeholders. International Baccalaureate Publications Guidelines for developing a school language policy Guidelines for school self-reflection on its language policy