Language Policy

Philosophy:

Language is essential to inquiry and central to children’s intellectual, social, and emotional development. Through language, Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary students acquire the ability to think, learn, develop social skills and values, and acquire knowledge. At Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary, the staff believes that all teachers are language teachers and that language is essential to all learning. Language enhances intellectual growth while fostering communication. Language instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners and occurs with the understanding that students bring unique cultural experiences to every situation. We believe that recognizing and supporting our students’ mother tongue language is crucial to their development. Opportunities are provided for our students to exemplify as communicators, so that they understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. Language provides the tools for students to interpret the world around them.

Goals:
Students are expected to:
· communicate effectively through speaking, reading, and writing.
· access information from various sources through reading and listening.
· appreciate cultural diversities through exploration of different languages.

Teachers are expected to:
· provide a learning community that promotes and supports language diversity.
· use active learning strategies appropriate for linguistically diverse students.
· model and support the development and use of language.

The learning community is expected to:
· actively promote the development of mother tongue languages.
· encourage a second language acquisition.
· model and encourage the effective use of language.
· encourage exploration of languages.
· collaborate with vertical team.

Practices:
Language of Instruction
Instruction is conducted in English and Spanish through best practices including but not limited to: differentiated instruction, small group and individual instruction, opportunities for authentic language use, vocabulary, and application of language objectives for each unit of inquiry. Teachers create print-rich learning environments to teach and model effective language and stimulate further inquiry for all students.

Bilingual/ESL Instruction:
Bilingual and ESL teachers provide instruction for all students whose primary language is not English. The district time and treatment of bilingual/ESL services are determined by the students’ needs and abilities. Bilingual/ESL students are monitored every 6 weeks to ensure academic progress.
Language Acquisition (Additional language):
All students, Pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, at Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary receive Spanish and English instruction. Lessons are conducted by all teachers. Instruction includes the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing in an additional language.

Assessment:
Language is assessed according to the campus assessment policy.

Language Policy Review:
As a staff we review the language policy annually.