Hoover Meredith 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 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 skills within and across subject areas.
Language learning and teaching is an ongoing partnership between our schools, students, and parents. Parent and community support of this language policy is vital to its success.
English is the primary language of instruction, learning, and communication used in the schools. Students participate in at least one Language A (English) and one Language B (Spanish or Mandarin Chinese) class.
Language & Instruction
The primary language of instruction in the MYP is English. All teachers are considered language teachers.
• Teachers model proficient literacy behaviors.
• Teachers and students work together to practice and develop literacy and communication skills.
• Students are expected to demonstrate literacy and communication skills both independently and in group settings through the practice and use of appropriate MYP Approaches to Learning skills.
Within this structure, 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.
The study of a language acquisition aims to encourage an appreciation for and understanding of other languages and cultures; and to provide a skill base for further language learning. Language acquisition course offerings in the MYP Years 1-5 (6th-10th grade) are Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Students learn to speak, listen, read, and write in a second language. Language acquisition study in the MYP should be sustained in the same language over the five years of the programme
More than 40 mother-tongue languages are spoken by students who represent more than 35 nationalities. Other than English; Karenni, Spanish, Karen, Chin, Vietnamese, and Arabic are the most common mother tongues.
Mother Tongue Support
The schools’ campus supports continued development of mother tongue language skills for all students. Hoover and Meredith provide the following services:
• Bilingual Support Outreach Workers who provide services to ELLs and families to strengthen the relationship between home, school, and language minority communities. Workers are cultural liaisons and assist ELLs in the classroom. Outreach workers spend a minimum of one hour each day working with parents and community members to support students and families.
• Oral interpretation and written translation in classrooms and other school settings, as needed
• Offer support in Arabic, Bosnian, Kirundi, Swahili, French, Spanish, Karenni, Burmese and others, as necessary
At Hoover-Meredith, we recognize that a strong level of knowledge and understanding in the students’ mother tongue is vital to the students’ development of an additional language. The majority of H-M ELLs speak Karen, Karenni, or Spanish. We encourage parents and students to speak and develop their mother tongue at home. This strengthens the child’s language skills, while instilling a sense of importance about his/her culture. In addition, resources are available to support mother tongue development and assist in communication with these families.
• Written parent communication is translated into as many mother tongues as possible.
• Multilingual Community Outreach Workers are used regularly when communicating directly with families at school events. Outreach workers have a minimum of one hour each day scheduled to communicate with parents and community members.
• The Technology Learning Center includes reading materials printed in numerous languages.
Preferred Bibliographic Style
MLA is the common style of citation of sources in student work for all departments
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 devices are permitted. Outside of class, students may speak a language of their choice.
For a complete copy of our Language Policy, please contact Holly Meagher, IB Coordinator.