NIST values the linguistic and cultural diversity of our community members. Over 50 nationalities are represented, and a wide variety of different languages are spoken. Learning opportunities for all students are enriched by our diverse linguistic and cultural communities.
At NIST we cater to a range of language needs by offering an EAL programme that is fully integrated into our curriculum. Upon arrival at NIST, our learners may understand, speak or be literate in more than one language and may have some experience in English, but will require support to acquire academic language proficiency. Factors such as age, previous educational experience, knowledge of other languages and levels of literacy in their first language will all impact on the development of children’s language skills and their learning across the curriculum. Parents are strongly encouraged to help their children maintain and develop their mother tongues. We are committed to fostering a strong partnership between home and school in order to facilitate language learning.
In Years 1 to 6, an EAL specialist is attached to each year level who collaborates with class teachers to develop differentiated teaching and learning engagements that allow EAL learners to access the curriculum. This form of curriculum support is structured to extend and develop the knowledge and skills students need to further close the academic language gap between themselves and their native-speaking peers.
In the elementary school, we understand that language learning is a process of learning language, learning about language and learning through language. Therefore, the elementary EAL goals are to:
- encourage ongoing development of the mother tongue, which is vital to affirming identity and culture, extending language, and scaffolding meaning
- collaborate to provide intentional and explicit teaching and learning engagements that focus on contextualized language use through inquiry
- support purposeful and meaningful inquiry that leads to conceptual understanding
- activate prior experience and current understanding as a starting point for inquiry
- collaborate to create a safe, stimulating environment where language risk taking and translanguaging are encouraged
- attend to and advocate for the social and emotional needs of the child
- differentiate teaching and learning engagements to enable all learners to access the curriculum
- support reflection as an integral part of the language learning process
In Years 7 to 11, students follow the MYP English Language Acquisition Programme, either at Phase 3 or Phase 5. EAL students receive direct instruction in MYP English Language Acquisition in place of MYP English Language and Literature. In addition, they are supported in their Humanities and Science classes by an EAL teacher.
The principal goal of the programme is to help EAL/English Language Acquisition students acquire sufficient competence in English to succeed at levels comparable to their non-EAL peers.
In Years 12 to 13, there is currently no provision for EAL students. However, students who finish the MYP still enrolled in the EAL program will have the opportunity to select IB Diploma English B as their course of study.
EAL in Secondary at a Glance