[lg policy] Sturgis Charter Public School: Language Policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 15 21:06:27 UTC 2011

Sturgis Charter Public School Language Policy

Philosophy: What do we believe?

Sturgis Charter Public School believes that language acquisition plays
a vital role in the educational lives of our students. Language
provides students with an opportunity to access and understand
different perspectives of the society under study. Although an
understanding of vocabulary and syntax are crucial, a great deal of
emphasis is spent on the cultural aspects of language learning. Our
philosophy recognizes that language has larger implications beyond a
systematic means of communicating; language greatly reinforces
critical thinking skills and provides an avenue to explore the mindset
of people from around the globe.


Why do we teach language?

Language appreciation and skills are taught across disciplines and
this dramatically impacts and enhances student understanding of
subject content knowledge. At Sturgis, we understand that learning
multiple languages provides our students with skills necessary to
thrive in the 21st century. Language acquisition reinforces cultural
awareness and international-mindedness.

Whole School Guiding Principles:

What must we bear in mind when designing and implementing language policy?
A great deal of emphasis is placed on giving Sturgis students the
tools to access language learning. The study of foreign languages,
both written and spoken, allows students to approach language learning
in a variety of ways. For example, the study of African writers in
English A1 and French B, Greek mythology in Latin or an investigation
of modern art and music in Spanish B. Teachers want to encourage
students to investigate not what is being said, but how. Guided by the
need to give a rich and deep understanding of the material, an
appreciation of the perspective of the writer is critical. Language,
both foreign and mother-tongue, plays a significant role in all
courses at Sturgis. For example, in Theory of Knowledge and History
courses, students are asked to reflect on the deeper meaning of words
and phrases.

In English, interpretive techniques are employed to allow students the
means to understand setting, characterization, action, style and ideas
of the works studied. Students are asked to continually analyze plays,
poetry and literature in subjects from French and Latin to Theatre and
Theory of Knowledge.
Students also master vocabulary and symbols that allow them to
comprehend scientific research and develop skills for discussing and
critically evaluating data. This development of scientific and
mathematical literacy is essential for completing Group 4 work and
even Math projects in Group 5.

Latin is also significant because it allows students to excel in the
vocabulary of other languages and it assists them in their Group 4
subjects as well. We continually ask students to be not only
communicators and thinkers, but also to be risk takers and
open-minded, all characteristics from the IB Learner Profile.

More at: http://www.sturgischarterschool.org/academics/documents/2.LanguagePolicy.pdf

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