Weber High School

Weber High IB Language Policy


 Weber High Mission Statement

 

Weber High School will establish a supportive learning community which fosters creativity, encourages curiosity, and promotes critical thinking. Weber will create a challenging learning environment that encourages effective communication, life-long learning, and compassion that prepares students to serve in a global community.


Philosophy

The mission of Weber High School is to provide an environment that fosters creativity, encourages curiosity and promotes critical thinking. Weber will also create a learning environment that will encourage effective communication, this statement along with the IB Learner Profile establishes the foundation for our language policy. 

Weber High has always valued our communication through language as is evident by our six writing traits (Voice, Word Choice, Idea Development, Organization, Conventions, and Sentence Fluency) that we study across all curriculum areas. Each teacher has always had the responsibility of helping students to obtain knowledge, understanding, and the ability to communicate within their subject areas. We believe that language is the primary means of learning and communicating therefore we consider all of our educators to be language teachers.

School Language Profile
As evident in our school profile, the community of Weber High School is racially and culturally homogeneous; as of 2016 the student population is 88% Caucasian, 7% Hispanic, and 5% other which includes Asian, African American, and Pacific Islander.  Weber High does not have a large population of students who speak English as a second language with only four students receiving ESL services. With English being the primary language of communication in our community, English is the main language of instruction for all students and teachers at Weber High School with the exception of our foreign language classes in which we offer Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and American Sign Language.

Language Instruction
Weber High students are required to take 4 years of English to meet graduation requirements. For Language A, Weber will be offering Language and Literature in HL and SL.  These courses will be taught in our primary language of English. We acknowledge the importance of language proficiency which includes written language (reading and writing) and oral language (speaking and listening) across the curriculum. We understand that teaching language continuously through a student’s education is crucial and that connections are made across the curriculum through language. All students involved in the IBDP will be taught sentence structure, grammar, and communication skills across all courses.

All Weber High Students are encourage to study a foreign language.  In fact we offer courses in Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and American Sign Language. For Language B, Weber High will be offering Spanish SL.  We made this decision solely based on the popularity of each language and the amount of prerequisite offerings available at our feeder junior high schools. In the future we hope to include other languages including Ab Initio languages as our IB program grows. 

Language Development Across the Curriculum
Weber High teachers encourage students to develop language skills by reading and writing in all courses. They help develop writing and communication skills through the practice of our 6 writing traits.  Teachers mentor students on using the 6 writing traits below:

Voice

Tone

Style

Sensitivity to Audience

Engaging

Enthusiasm for topic

Readability

Personality

 

Word Choice

Wording

Phrasing

Accurate use of words (terminology)

Conciseness

Avoidance of Jargon

Avoidance of Redundancy

Vigorous

 

Idea Development

Content

Originality

Clarity

Accuracy

Detail

Insight

Vivid Writing

Organization

Structure/Order

Logic

Flow of Ideas

Transitions

Sequencing

Inviting Introduction

Satisfying Conclusion

 

Conventions

Correctness

Spelling

Punctuation, Capitalization

Usage and Grammar

Paragraph Placement

Minimal need for editing

Sentence Fluency

Sentence Structure

Sentence Formation

Sentence Variety

Grammatical Structure

Readability

Directness

Smooth Flow

In addition to writing, teachers encourage students to read across the curriculum. Teachers use a variety of practices and tools to differentiate reading instruction such as outlines, graphic organizers, word lists, and Frayer model diagrams. Students are encourage to read outside of the classroom and students are encouraged to read for pleasure.

Students are also provided ample opportunities to communicate orally and utilize and develop their oral language skills. Beyond daily conversations, students are given the opportunity to develop their oral language skills through presentations, debates, speeches, songs, and dramatic readings.  It is the teacher’s responsibility to model correct language usage in conversations and instructional presentations.

Promotion of Other Languages
The IB Program at Weber High School has every intention of expanding its Language B offerings. It is the desire of the administration and community council to offer other languages when the finances are available. Until then, Weber High does offer language courses in Chinese, French, German, and American Sign Language for students who want to learn a third language.

Mother Tongue Support
Even though the vast majority of the students at Weber High School are English speakers, we recognize the importance of supporting a student’s mother tongue.  At Weber High School we do this through ESL services, teacher support, and media material available in our library. Some resources, including translated works, and textbooks are already available in our library for languages that we are currently instructing. We acknowledge that language is central to learning and make every attempt to support a student’s mother tongue while developing proficiency with the English Language.