We believe that language is a defining human characteristic and that learning language is at the center of core instruction. It is also integral to the development of the whole child— contributing to the intellectual development and social-emotional wellbeing of our students. New languages are best acquired through a continuum of immersive and extended learning experiences that start at an early age and continue through young adulthood.
Learning multiple languages and how language functions are accelerators of equity. They allow for deeper cross-cultural understanding and rigorous academic achievement. Building on the assets of our students’ heritage languages and cultures allows us to strengthen the individual and our community. By combining highly engaging, interactive and communicative language instruction with authentic, grade-appropriate content, students will have the opportunity to experience multiple perspectives and cultures as part of their education.
When students develop literacy in one language, learning other languages becomes much easier. An increasing number of students in Portland Public Schools will attain proficiency and literacy in more languages as a result of robust language programming in our district. The Maine Seal of Biliteracy thus becomes more realistic for more and more of our students!
I also started to get not an understanding of the language, but a feeling. An old wise man once said to me, “You only truly know the language once you start feeling it, not understanding, but feeling.”
Seal of Biliteracy recipient, Arabic and English
Language Instruction at PPS
We believe that language is a defining human characteristic and that learning language is central to core instruction and to the intellectual and social-emotional development of our students. Through the use of regular highly engaging, interactive and communicative instructional techniques and with authentic, grade- appropriate content, students will have the opportunity to learn about multiple perspectives and cultures as they learn content and language. With the key principles and practices listed below, we know that an increasing number of students will attain proficiency and literacy in more and more languages as a result of robust language programming and engaging instruction in the Portland Schools.
- Learning multiple languages and how they function is an accelerator of equity allowing for cross- cultural understanding and rigorous academic achievement.
- Building on the assets of our students’ heritage languages and cultures strengthens the individual and our community.
- Students will learn about the world, make interdisciplinary connections and enhance their communication skills in the language they are studying and in their home language.
- New languages are best acquired in a continuum of immersive and extended learning experiences that start at a young age and are maintained through young adulthood.