Given our diverse student population and our commitment to success for all, we offer a comprehensive programme of English as a Second Language (ESL) support in all sections of the school.
At the Elementary School we offer two types of ESL support: beginners and inclusion. Our beginning ESL students are withdrawn from their grade level classrooms for up to three periods a week for language instruction. More proficient ESL students are offered inclusion support, which means they are supported by an ESL specialist teacher in their classroom. Exit from the ESL programme is determined through discussion between the ESL and mainstream teachers.
Upon entry into Middle and High School, all non-native speakers of English are required to take an English Language placement (MAC II) test to determine their English placement and whether or not they will need ESL support. The MAC II test is a comprehensive test that determines a student’s English language speaking, reading, writing and listening ability. As part of the MAC II reading comprehension test, the students DRP (degrees of reading power) score will be determined. The DRP is a measure of reading comprehension ability that indicates the most difficult text a student can comprehend with the help of a teacher or parent. More information on this test can be found at Questar Assessment, Inc.
If support is necessary, students in Middle and High School will receive an English language support class as well as in-class support in their Humanities and Science classes. In grades 6 and 7, a Foundations English Program is offered for students who are beginners in English. Exit from this program is determined through the MAC test and teacher recommendation. In both the High School and Middle Schools, after school programs are run to help students with their acquisition of English.
In order to ensure the best inclusive classroom environment for our ESL students, all teachers at ISS are required to take the Teaching English in the Mainstream: Language Learning Across the Curriculum course. This is an accredited ESL training course that focuses on inclusive teaching practices for ESL students, and takes approximately 50 hours to complete over 6 months. More information about this program can be found at www.unlockingtheworld.com.
At ISS we are committed to supporting and including your child in his or her classes so that they can not only become successful English language learners, but also successful in his or her content area subjects.