English for Speakers of other Languages
At UISZ we believe that languages are developed in context; words do not make much sense if they are not attached to the reality they represent. There is a difference between the social language we use with friends and family and the academic language proficiency we need to succeed at school.
This is why we have developed a comprehensive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme that emphasises the demands of a rigorous academic environment. An inclusive and balanced academic plan that takes into account the social needs of teenagers, as well as the academic challenges they face everyday, ensures that pupils can transition smoothly into the mainstream MYP/DP programme.
New students whose first language is not English take an internationally recognised placement test. The results of this test will determine the level of support students will receive to develop their English Language Proficiency more effectively.
Language Acquisition Phases
The English Language Acquisition classes are organised into six phases. The phases do not correspond to particular age groups or MYP year levels. Students do not necessarily begin in phase one – they can begin at any phase, depending on their placement score and/or previous experience learning English, and may transition into English Language and Literature if they demonstrate high levels of proficiency in phases 5 and 6.
Academic Language Development
While the Language Acquisition classes focus primarily on the development of communicative abilities, 3 hours a week of Academic Skills classes are geared towards supporting the acquisition of English and improving and developing social skills and study skills in English.
The abilities gained in these classes will allow English Language Learners (ELL) to interact more comfortably in English, ask and answer questions, deliver presentations, and feel more comfortable using English. A combination of grammar content, vocabulary, and cultural content embedded into contextualised units is the key to ensure high levels of success.
To make sure ELL do not fall behind in their studies, UISZ has put together a support scheme that includes differentiated instruction in Arts, Maths, PHE and Design and a Structured English Immersion (SEI) model in Sciences and Humanities.