Investigating language policies in IB World Schools (2014)

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Molly Fee, Na Liu, Joanna Duggan, Beatriz Arias and Terrence Wiley—Center for Applied Linguistics

This study investigated language policy development and implementation in eight International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools to illuminate the exemplar practices, common struggles and contextual factors that play a role in language policy design and enactment. The researchers employed in-depth, multiple-site case studies utilizing a combination of document analysis, interviews and observations in the eight schools. Schools were selected from all three IB regions and included both continuum and non-continuum schools as well as both public and private schools. Study findings suggested that widespread participation, buy-in and ownership among teachers and staff are critical for developing and maintaining a relevant and effective school language policy. Additionally, respondents reported that professional development was valuable in implementing a language policy, and the researchers recommended that a minimum amount of professional development related to language policy should be required of all teachers and staff. Lastly, the study indicated that the national and regional linguistic context in which a school is situated has a substantial influence on how schools interpret language and develop their language policies.

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