The English as an Additional Language Program has been designed to meet the needs of students who speak a language other than English. The primary goal is to develop language skills, which will allow students to be successful in their academic work as well as in everyday communication. At ISB, we believe that multilingualism is an individual and societal asset. Therefore, we wish our students to acquire English as an additional language rather than replacing their native language. Further, we believe that native language proficiency contributes to additional language acquisition.
Through the Sheltered Immersion Model, students learn language as they interact meaningfully with others in the language-rich environment of their mainstream class and as they study intellectually challenging content. EAL learners are supported in a variety of ways. EAL teachers support EAL students in their mainstream class by co-teaching, working with small groups or individual students. Our EAL staff also provide small group classes for some EAL students. In these classes, students learn and practice vocabulary, structures, and language functions that they will need to access the content curricula.
Language acquisition is a long-term process, with learners moving through developmental stages at varying rates. One of the biggest keys to success is the collaboration between the EAL support teacher and homeroom or subject teachers. Regular planning and co-teaching are essential in our model.