Students at ISNS come from many different countries and speak many different languages. Most have had some English language instruction in their previous schools. Students have an English language assessment as part of the admissions process prior to their enrollment interview. The results of these assessments provide necessary information for appropriate grade-level and course placement as well as a means of determining the level of EAL support necessary.
ALL Students in Grades K5 to 11 are assessed using various standardized assessments. The Cambridge ESOL examination system can determine proficiency level of non-native English students. Fountas & Pinnell benchmark assessments, writing samples evaluated based on 6 Traits rubrics, and an analysis of a student’s proficency in reading, writing, speaking/listening, and viewing/presenting, based on both IB and New Brunswick (Canada) Language Arts standards, can provide a thorough understanding of a student’s English level.
In the first month of the school year, in order to make a plan to best support each students, our EAL and homeroom teachers assess students using Fountas and Pinnell leveled reading texts and an on-demand writing sample. We see each student as having unique needs, and, so we can best serve them, it is important that we take this time to get to know our students.
The EAL teachers work alongside the homeroom teachers (co-teaching) to plan and teach learning engagements that allow all learners to access the curriculum and build upon their English skills. The EAL teachers generally support students inside the homeroom classroom, although small groups of students might work in another classroom at times (as needed).
EAL teachers plan lessons with the homeroom teacher and teach with them in the classroom during reading and writing lessons. The EAL teacher focuses on supporting students who need to develop their language and literacy skills. They may work with a group of students, an individual, or with the whole class. Input from EAL teachers is be based on the needs of students and may include guided reading, phonetic skills, word work and reading and writing strategies. Students’ progress is monitored throughout the year to ensure they are receiving appropriate and targeted support.
MYP English Language Acquisition Programme
In Grades 6 to 10, students follow the MYP English Language Acquisition Programme, either at Phase 3 or Phase 4. EAL students receive direct instruction in MYP English Language Acquisition in place of MYP English Language and Literature. In addition, they are supported in the main subject classes by Language teachers if it’s necessary. The principal goal of the programme is to help English Language Acquisition students acquire sufficient competence in English to succeed at levels comparable to their non-EAL peers. In Grades 11 to 12, there is currently no provision for EAL students. However, students who finish the MYP still need extra English support will have the opportunity to select IB Diploma English B as their course of study.