An Inclusive IB World School

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Hangzhou International School
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English for Speakers of Other Languages

Student Support Services program for ESOL

Hangzhou International School welcomes students for whom English is a second or other language. HIS designs its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program to enable English Language Learning (ELL) students to become proficient in English as quickly as possible. High school students (grades 9-12) are expected to be proficient in English and able to access the curriculum. Every student enrolled in the school is placed in a grade level classroom with native and non-native English speakers, regardless of ESOL level.

Our ESOL program provides both push-in and pull-out services to ELL students in Grade 1 through Grade 8. Students’ English proficiency levels are assessed and their progress reported in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Our grade level and ESOL teachers take the language needs of all learners into account when teaching their lessons.

We expect that students who have little or no prior knowledge of English will take a year or two to reach a good communicative level in all aspects of the language. Students with a good communicative level of English will take a further 2 to 3 years to achieve a good academic command of the language equivalent to a native English speaker. All students are different and there will be variation between individual students.

ESOL in the Lower School

The HIS curriculum is delivered in English to children of different nations, languages and cultures.  We are proud that many of our children come to us as multilingual learners.  Our lower school provides a full ESOL program that supports English learners across all levels and content areas.  The role of our ESOL teachers is to aid our students in learning English, while having full access to the school curriculum.

We believe that ALL teachers are language teachers.  We know that basic social language can take 1-2 years to acquire and complex academic language can take 5-7 years.  As such, we provide support by collaborating and co-planning with classroom teachers in order to help all children successfully participate in the school curriculum.  We offer an environment in which children feel nurtured and comfortable whilst learning the language and skills they need to access the curriculum and build friendships. 

In the Lower School, ESOL teachers have common planning time with classroom teachers where they collaborate on classroom content and language objectives.  ESOL teachers share appropriate supports and strategies that help enhance students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills across all content areas.  However, there are times when students who are at the beginning stages of English language acquisition will need extra support outside of the classroom.  These sessions support classroom content as well as developing foundational literacy skills.