ESL Programme

What is ESL?

ESL means English as a Second Language.  ESL provides extra assistance for children whose first language is not English.  The purpose of the ESL program is to bring children’s English language skills to a level where they can do well in the mainstream classroom.

How are children selected for ESL?

Teachers and the school recommend students to the ESL team. A Parental Notification Letter is sent home if a student qualifies for ESL services.  Parents have the right to withdraw their child from ESL service but the school strongly recommends that they attend the course. New students to the school are automatically placed on the ESL course if they have scored poorly in the English component of the admissions test, as it is mandatory requirement.

Where do ESL students receive services?

APIS ESL Students attend classes in their regular classroom as well as in small pullout groups, depending upon age and previous experience with English. This is done during the regular English lessons to avoid students missing out in other subject areas.

How do ESL students receive ESL services in key stage 1 & 2?

Research shows that the most successful way to teach a second language is through a combination of vocabulary, phonics and academic content.  Therefore, our goal is to teach language through these contents by having our ESL teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers.  All students are learning the same content, but in a variety of ways and levels.  ESL teachers deliver instruction collaboratively in the classroom and in small pull-out groups to maximize resources and target instruction.  The primary objective of teaching language through this method is making grade-level standards and curriculum accessible to ESL students at all levels.  Our ESL teachers and APIS classroom teachers meet regularly to articulate content and language objectives, plan for co-teaching and assessments and reflect on student progress to meet the needs of all students.

How do ESL students receive ESL services in key stage 3?

The ESL program offers reading, writing class for all ELS students.  The class focuses on developing English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Students in these classes receive feedback and are expected to do any additional work or homework that helps support language development.

How long will my children be in ESL?

Many factors affect how long it takes children to learn English well enough to compete in the mainstream classroom.  One factor is the age of the students when they start to learn English; another factor is the type of education they received in their previous schools.  We hope that the 30 hours of support will be enough for most of our students but we will be constantly evaluating the students to make sure that we are providing appropriate services and adequate an time scale.

What role can parents play in ESL?

Parents can help their children learn by reading to them in their first language or in English.  Even if you don’t read, it is very important to look at books.  Talk about the pictures and ask questions.  Point out letters – show your child letters on signs and in stores.  Give your child paper and pencils and let them write and draw.  Take your child to places where they can learn such as nature centers, museums and libraries.