As an international school, our students come from all over the world, speaking different languages. The multilingualism of our ELL students enriches our school and our diverse global community. However, to become fully competent in the use of curriculum/academic English in the Alberta Curriculum is a long process, and for some students, that requires long-term support and monitoring.
The Importance of Academic English
Learning a language for social purposes develops more quickly that many students are able to communicate socially in one to two years. Still, there is a significant divide between a grasp of social language and how to use academic language effectively. In addition, academic language is far more challenging and it requires a much longer time to master.
At CIS, our ELL program is available for students from Grade 2 to 9, who do not speak English as their first language and, therefore, have limited experience in an English-medium school. With this program, students are given opportunities to study in an intensive system to attain both social and academic language.
ELL at CIS: Academic Excellence for ALL
The ELL program at CIS aligns with our aim to support students achieve their individual academic excellence. Every child is unique in his/her learning. ELL students are not a homogeneous group; their needs vary according to a range of factors. At CIS, ELL is not about memorizing vocabulary; we provide a range of teaching and learning activities to meet curriculum demands and different learning needs/styles.
Our ELL learners are assessed 2-3 times per year at the beginning, middle and/or end of current school year. Results of these assessments along with their class performances allow our professional teachers to determine students’ individual growth in language abilities and adjust the best possible ELL program for them.
Leveled reading materials and textbooks are available for all ELL students. Junior High ELL students receive extra learning support/vocabulary/reading and practicing materials for them.
Elementary ELL learners have 9 periods per week in pull-out and after school sessions to focus on English skills and core subject learning.
In Junior High level, ELL students receive in-class support from teachers in all four core subjects of the Alberta Curriculum (English, Math, Social Studies and Science), helping them improve Academic English skills and directly enhance learning outcomes of Alberta Curriculum all at the same time.
In High School, CIS offers ESL as a credited course to support out students that need additional support in English.
Benefits of CIS ELL Program
CIS is proud to have a strong and caring ELL teaching team, supporting students conquer any challenge and achieve Academic Excellence. By providing ELL support, we hope:
• To proactively remove barriers that stand in the way of our ELL students’ learning and educational achievement, so that they can access the mainstream Alberta curriculum when they are ready.
• To have minimal impact on ELL students’ classes so that they may participate as fully as possible in the Alberta curriculum i.e. teach within the classroom as much as possible and integrate/differentiate learning.
• To raise their level of English to a standard where they no longer need ELL support.
• To provide our ELL students with a safe, welcoming, nurturing environment where they are accepted, valued and encouraged to participate.
We Need Your Support too!
In this long academic journey, we need you, our parents, too! Leveled reading plays an important role in English improvement, ELL students have their own leveled reading materials home for them to continue practicing. Read with your child(ren) everyday, discuss the books they are reading, make it a habit. You’ll be surprised how much it will help with their confidence in language learning!