English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Below, you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions, regarding admissions.

UISG is an :

  • EAL in Primary Programme
  • How is my child placed in the EAL programme at UISG?
  • How much support will my child receive?
  • How is my child assessed?
  • When will my child exit the EAL programme?
  • How important is Mother Tongue support?
  • EAL in Middle Years Programme
  • EAL in Diploma Programme

Our beliefs about language learning and learners shape our EAL support programme at UISG. Language is viewed as a resource and we encourage inter-cultural understanding and multilingualism in our students. Our EAL programme is scaffolded to meet the diverse stages of language development of each individual student.

Our programme is informed by the PYP Language Scope and Sequence. It recognises that language learning passes through phases and encompasses four components;

  • Oral language – listening and speaking
  • Visual language – viewing and presenting
  • Written language – reading

Senior students departing UISG, with a bi-lingual Diploma, are highly sought after by universities in their home countries. Our evidence indicates that students returning to Korea and Japan perform exceptionally well in national university entrance examinations because the IB programmes equip them with the skills to complete assessments with varied requirements. In 2015, six students have been offered scholarships to national universities in Korea and Japan.

A student who is a potential candidate for the EAL programme is assessed in an informal stress-free setting upon enrolment. Background information provided by the parents, observations by teachers, informal interviews, writing samples and reading records will give the EAL teachers insight into the child’s English proficiency. Parents will be notified when EAL support is determined.

EAL support is determined on an individual basis. Students may receive one or more sessions daily either through intensive or mainstream instruction. Some students may only need support several times a week or in content-specific areas.

There is no one method of assessment or test that can be applied to a child to determine their stage or level. Assessment is viewed as an ongoing process. Through daily contact with the child in small group learning situations and by collecting and analysing work, teachers gain a comprehensive view of the child’s development. EAL teachers assess students’ language proficiency and monitor students’ classroom performance in collaboration with classroom and specialist teachers.

EAL support is no longer required when the child demonstrates the language and skills necessary to work independently in the mainstream classroom. Students may no longer need to be withdrawn from class but EAL teachers and homeroom teachers will continue to support and monitor progress. As mentioned, it can take 5-7 years for a student to reach grade level Cognitive and Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).

Parents can play a crucial role in supporting their child’s language learning by maintaining and developing the child’s proficiency in the mother tongue. We currently offer Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Japanese and Korean mother tongue language classes. If the mother tongue language is not offered at school, we strongly encourage parents to continue to develop their child’s mother tongue proficiency. Research shows that EAL students learn English more effectively if they maintain proficiency in the mother tongue.

All students entering the MYP have their English level assessed as mother tongue or language acquisition, according to a baseline assessment that has been adapted from the University of Cambridge exam, PET for Schools. Depending on this assessment, the student is placed according to his/her

English proficiency. Students with advanced levels of English will go directly into all the mainstream classes. Students' English language levels are continually being assessed and reviewed in collegial discussion across subjects that lead to the movement of students within the English Language Acquisition phases, from phase 1 to 5.