ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
A common language of learning
At ICS, we wish to ensure all learners are able to access our wonderful world-class programme. Those students who arrive at ICS and need extra support in English have access to our EAL Programmes.
English is the language of instruction at ICS, and therefore, developing skills in English takes particular priority in our language programme.
The EAL Programme provides a caring, flexible, and supportive environment to help students integrate socially and become successful academically. EAL support is provided to help children succeed in the classroom. EAL teachers and assistants help students to develop the language skills, learning strategies, and cultural awareness needed to be successful at ICS.
Upon joining ICS, students who are non-native English speakers are assessed by an EAL specialist who both determines their specific needs and designs a programme of support. Understanding that language acquisition is a developmental process that takes place over a number of years, we strive to provide a customized support programme that may include both in-class assistance and small group lessons outside of the regular classroom as needed.
The EAL curriculum focuses on the development of oral communication (both listening and speaking), as well as reading and writing skills in English. Students learn both social and academic language in these lessons, allowing them to interact socially with peers, and be successful in their classes.
As a school with an exceptional track record in the linguistic development and achievements of our students in English as an Additional Language, we have continued this tradition through the creation of Alegría, an Intensive English Acquisition programme that enables English language learners to access the IB curriculum at our school.
Unique to the Inter-Community School and driven by a commitment to enabling students to learn in the English medium, the Alegria programme is designed to propel students’ English language proficiency while working in conjunction with our Middle Years Programme, guided by our expert English as an Additional Language educators.
EAL in Our Primary School
The Primary School EAL department aims to meet the specific needs of students for whom English is a second or additional language.
In addition to promoting cognitive growth, language is an important factor in maintaining a student's cultural identity, and in developing intercultural understanding.
EAL in Our Secondary School
As part of our application process in the Secondary School, specialist language teachers assess the English level of new students to decide on an appropriate level of support. For English beginners starting ICS in Grades 6-8, we offer a completely adapted programme called the Alegría programme, as detailed above.
For students who are developing their language, we offer English Language Acquisition classes in Grades 6, 7 and 8 and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) for students in Grades 9 and 10. These lessons allow students to improve their academic fluency in a small class.
Additionally, the EAL team provides support across all other subjects to ensure students can access the learning equitably, regardless of their home language, by working with subject teachers to adapt teaching and activities accordingly.
Language expectations increase as students move through the MYP and, therefore, we are currently not able to support English beginners in Grades 9 or 10. Furthermore, the language level of the Diploma Programme is advanced, and students therefore need a proficient level of academic English in order to access learning in Grades 11 and 12.