Language Policy

Language Beliefs

Thomas Jefferson is a multilingual school as a fact, a right and a resource. A fact in that our students are from all across the globe. A right in that students have a right to continue to learn in their mother tongue as they learn other languages. And a resource, in that our student’s multilingualism helps them develop critical thinking skills and international-mindedness. While all students are required to learn English, all students are strongly encouraged to learn another language and support is given through the library and technology to support students use and development of the language of their mother tongue. We share and practice the belief expressed in Language and learning in IB programmes that “The ability to communicate in a variety of modes in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes intercultural perspectives” (p 1). At Jefferson with almost 1,000 students representing dozens of countries, promoting intercultural perspectives is not only an aim, but also an everyday necessity.

We believe all teachers at Jefferson are language teachers, that is every teacher helps develop students’ “ability to effectively read, write, listen, and speak.”2 We do this through the development of Approaches to Learning skills and in every subject area, communication is an objective and criterion for assessment. In addition, for weekly/daily learning experiences teachers should include content and language objectives

Rights and Responsibilities
Teachers will:

  • Use the SIOP content and language goals to support students.
  • Focus on key SIOP strategies
  • Follow the WIDA “Can Do’s”
  • Use additional WIDA strategies by domain

Students will:

  • Have the opportunity to develop and acquire languages (in a modified/sheltered and scaffolded learning environment)
  • Be able to demonstrate and receive language input through all language competencies (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
  • Have the right to demonstrate understanding in multiple languages.

Parents/Guardians will:

  • Have translators (for written and spoken communication) available upon need
  • Have access to resources available in multiple language
Languages Spoken at Home
Language Profile
Complete Language Policy
Language Policy – Updated February 2021