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EAL in Primary 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
  • Written language – writing

How is my child placed in the EAL programme at UISG?
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.

How much support will my child receive?
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.

How is my child assessed?
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.

When will my child exit the EAL programme?
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 Students may no longer need to be withdrawn from class but EAL teachers and homeroom teachers will continue to support and monitor progress.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).

How important is Mother Tongue support? 
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.

EAL in Middle Years Programme

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.

EAL in Diploma Programme

Students Enroling in English B Standard Level or ab initio classes also receive additional EAL support throughout their DP studies. EAL classes are timetabled on a weekly basis to provide adequate support to students. This includes reinforcement in grammar, writing and reading as well as aiding students specifically with their report writing and further education application. The English teaching staff at UISG have a wealth of experience teaching second language learners worldwide in a variety of educational establishments using the best practices to ensure all students are maximising their true potential.