OTR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL LANGUAGE POLICY MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME


Policy Review: September 2022


Our Mission

OTR International School provides quality education to pre-school, primary and lower secondary level pupils within an inspiring, challenging, multilingual and international environment by ensuring individual follow-up and the well-being of each student. Our students are encouraged to become active and lifelong learners who show empathy, compassion and respect and help to create a better world.

Our Vision

OTR International School seeks to create a community of lifelong learners who are confident, balanced, caring and inspired to thrive in their life and workplace. Our school accepts children from the age of three offering a multilingual education. Pupils develop their bilingualism every day with qualified teachers whose mother tongue corresponds to the language chosen. Our school puts more emphasis on students’ personal development by encouraging them to be more creative and prepare them for life by making practical connections between their studies and the real world. We aim to further incorporate in our school’s mission and vision and cultivate as many of the properties and values outlined in the IB learner profile.


Philosophy

OTR is an international school based in Luxembourg. Luxembourg has a very rich history of multiculturalism which is reflected in our school. We value and take into consideration the cultural background, skills, experiences and interests of every student.

At OTR International School we view language as an essential tool for successful communication, understanding and interpersonal relationships. We acknowledge that all teachers are language teachers, as language transcends curriculum areas, which enriches our school community and creates a truly multicultural environment.

All teachers are officially qualified to teach in their language of instruction. Language acquisition is taught in context in a meaningful way. This results into the most effective language teaching and learning.

Teaching of additional languages is consistent with the diversity and multilingualism of the OTR school environment. This is implemented by employing the MYP Language Aims and Objectives. All students of the International Baccalaureate at OTR International school are encouraged to adopt the IB Learner Profile and to become lifelong learners.


Practices

Mother-tongue language and additional languages are maintained and developed, whilst promoting international mindedness, cultural awareness and respect for others. According to the IB MYP best practice, students explore language and learn how to analyse text, organise text, use language effectively and to produce text appropriately. Students are able to use and interpret language effectively for a variety of intentions and contexts.


Language teaching and Learning

Language teaching and learning is considered to be a continuous process at OTR school.

Language courses currently offered at our school are:

Language and literature • English • French Language acquisition • English • French • Spanish • German.

These classes are taught in the target language by a native speaker of the language. Additional after-school support language courses are offered for students to enhance language teaching in OTR School. Placement of students in different language groups in these courses is made following the recommendation of the language teachers of the school.

During lessons, students are given the opportunity to develop their skills in oral communication (listening and speaking), written communication (reading and writing) and visual communication (viewing and presenting). A variety of source materials are used e.g. texts from different times, places, cultures, geographical regions, historical periods and perspectives.

Finally, language courses are being offered as extra-curricular classes and they are optional and open to any student who wishes to enroll. In this context, the local language, Luxembourgish, is also being offered at OTR school, promoting thus not only the local language but also the local culture and ideas.


Use of Language in OTR School

Official language of the IB Programme at OTR

The official language of the IB Programme at OTR school, for communication with the IB Organization and for the preparation and submission of all required documents, will be English.

Languages of communication in school and outside the classroom.

The main languages of communication in the school are French and English. Having students from around 50 different nationalities in school, other languages are also occasionally used by students and staff in their everyday communication

Language needs of the community

We fully support students whose mother-tongue language is neither English nor French and encourage the strengthening of the mother-tongue language at home and at school, wherever possible. We recognize that strong mother tongue skills are essential both for effective foreign language acquisition and for effective conveyance of respective ideas.

Language skills and school library.

In OTR, the school library plays an immensely important role in developing language skills for the students. Starting from the primary school, all students have regular teaching hours in the school library where they come in contact with age appropriate literature works in English and French. In this context, ATL skills are enhanced, different subject areas are combined and diverse objectives are addressed based on the effective use of language in the school library.

Review and standardization process

OTR’s official language philosophy and policies are discussed over full faculty meetings, as and when necessary. Teachers from the same subject also meet regularly and discuss, moderate and standardize achievement levels and grades of students.

There is plenty of support material for languages (books, activities, audio and visual support etc.) readily available to teachers and students so that the transition between different levels and/or even courses and grades can happen as smoothly as possible.

Students, parents and teachers are kept informed about the language policy of the school both in general meetings that take place several times over the school year (starting at the beginning of each school year in September) and in one-to-one appointments that may be scheduled and made at any time within the year.

The MYP Coordinator and the management of the school are always in close cooperation towards reviewing, updating, adjusting and even revising language practices within the school. When adjustments need to be made, key IB publications are taken seriously into consideration in the review process.


Conclusion

This policy has been created after carefully considering all relevant documents and publications of the IB Organisation (including : Guidelines for developing a school language policy, Guidelines for school self-reflection on its language policy, The IB Language and Learning cycle (video), Language and learning in IB programmes, MYP: From Principles into Practice).

The purpose of this document is to inform all stakeholders about the practices implemented with regards to the teaching and learning of language(s) at OTR International school.

Language is a core element and an integral part of the IB MYP Programme at OTR International School. Language teaching and learning is an immensely important ongoing process that is constantly under review, with the purpose being for all of us at OTR school to be in a position to address at all times the language needs of the student, parent and teacher body of the school.

This document will be reviewed again in 2022.