Language Policy

Dogwood Mission: 

Our mission is to develop a globally minded community enriched by differences, engaged in inquiry, and empowered to take action to impact the world.

Philosophy- What do we believe about language learning?

At Dogwood Elementary School, we foster a culture of language  learning and believe that language brings our community together.  Language is fundamental to identity, communication, and learning.  Our belief is grounded in the idea that all teachers and staff  members are language teachers and learners. Language learning  includes the development of home languages, languages of the  school, multimodal communication, additional languages, and  literacy. Language learning is integrated across the curriculum and  fosters a globally minded community that is enriched by differences,  engaged in inquiry, and empowered to take action that impacts the  world. 

At Dogwood, we create a safe environment to connect our diverse backgrounds and support the development of all components of  language learning. We value how language learning builds respect  for individual and global cultures and affirms the identities of our  students, teachers, and the greater community. We recognize that  multilingualism within our community enhances learning experiences  and strengthens relationships. This allows access and equity for all  students and deepens our international-mindedness.   

Purpose- Why do we value language learning?

At Dogwood Elementary we embrace multilingualism to enhance language learning.  Our school population encompasses 26 different languages and 57% of our students receive ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) support.   

language percent

Language learning is used to enrich, engage, and empower the Dogwood community. 

  • Language learning focuses on gaining proficiency in English through listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Language learning encourages continued development of home and family languages.
  • Language learning gives students insight into different perspectives and provides opportunities for enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.
  • Language learning strengthens our cultural understanding and our partnership with families.

Practices- How do we teach language?

At Dogwood, we recognize that language learning invites  internationally minded communication to support cognitive  development and cultural identity. We are committed to offering  opportunities for learning language, learning about language, and  learning through language. 

Language is central to all learning; teachers facilitate communication through morning meetings, opportunities for academic and social discourse, writing, reading, and math  workshops, and experiential learning opportunities. Through strategy  instruction and engaging literacy practices we develop confident  and independent readers, writers, and communicators. Therefore, all instruction at Dogwood is deeply rooted in language learning. 

At Dogwood, students receive instruction primarily in English and  take part in Spanish instruction. Spanish instruction is delivered  through STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math), as part  of our single-subject rotation. English language learners are  supported through immersion as well as through English Language  Development with an ESOL teacher. All teachers invite academic  and social discourse in students’ home and family languages. 

We embrace and respect global cultures by promoting the use of  home and family languages both in and out of school. New families  to Dogwood participate in a Welcoming Committee Interview in  which we learn about a students’ family and language profile. We  also share important information and resources provided by the  school. 

We value language learning to promote systemic change in our  society. Therefore, continuous learning is important for staff and  teachers. Through school, team, and individual professional  development we promote best practices for language learning  based on the needs of our school community.

Policy Review

In efforts to reflect the evolving language needs of our school, the  Dogwood Language Policy will be reviewed at least every three  years by the PYP Implementation Team. All updates will be made  public to our community including families, students, and staff.

  • Written Fall 2018
  • Updated Spring 2021
  • Reviewed again by Spring 2024

Language learning includes the development of home languages, languages of the school, multimodal communication, additional languages, and literacy.



“Language in the PYP.” International Baccalaureate: Program Resource Center. p 1. May 26, 2021.