English Language Support
The EAL programme serves the needs of non-English speaking students from beginning to advanced levels. The purpose of the EAL classes is to enable the students to reach a sufficient degree of proficiency in the English language to be able to participate fully in mainstream classes. Students in grades pre-K through 8, whose first language is not English and who are deemed to need help with their English language skills, are given appropriate EAL support. Each student is assessed on entry and a programme is tailored to meet the student's needs. For some students, this means regularly scheduled, small group sessions, offered in place of some core subjects, which they attend until they reach the proficiency in English commensurate with their age and grade level. For others it means periodic support, where help is provided with class work and homework. EAL teachers are also present in certain regular classes to provide assistance to EAL students while the lesson is being taught. EAL classes are small to allow for individualised, differentiated instruction. The focus is on grammar, syntax, spelling, vocabulary development, pronunciation and fluency in the four skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Teachers also provide support for mainstream subjects by reviewing class assignments, giving further explanations and reinforcing concepts and subject-specific terminology. By Grade 8, students are expected to be at an intermediate level of proficiency. Placements tests are given in September or whenever a child enters ACS, and diagnostic assessments are made throughout the year to determine a student's readiness to move into a core class.