Investigating Language Policies in IB World Schools

CAL conducted research on behalf of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization to examine language policy (LP) development and implementation in IB schools.

The following research questions guided the project’s overall approach:

  1. What are the key activities involved in the process of language policy development and implementation?
  2. How does the development and implementation of a language policy differ in various settings? and
  3. How are IB documents about language and learning and language policy used by schools and programs in their development and implementation of language policies?

The study employed an in-depth multi-site case study approach, utilizing document analysis, interviews, site visits, and classroom observations. Eight case studies were included, representing eight different countries in all three IB regions (Americas, Asia Pacific, and Africa, Europe, and Middle East), and both public and private schools. Although all eight schools had language policies in place, variations existed in the processes by which they were developed and the extent to which they were implemented consistently across the school. In some cases, language policies were developed solely by a high-level administrator while in others policy development involved school-wide dialogue including administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and students. In cases where it was developed through a school-wide endeavor, respondents demonstrated a higher level of comfort with and dedication to the school’s language policy.

The findings of the final report also included recommendations for IB schools on development and implementation of language policy.

Read the final report