English language support

Our open-minded, thriving and positive cultural diversity is an enormous strength. Because we have students and teachers from over 60 nationalities, language is key to our students developing confidence, a strong sense of empathy for others and openness to multiple points of view.

English is the language of communication at SIS, but the majority of our students speak a different language at home. We therefore offer a complete programme of academic instruction to support English language skills across all levels. The program’s purpose is to not only to ensure that our students become proficient in English and achieve academic success, but also to increase confidence and deepen their enjoyment of the social and extra-curricular life of SIS.

Parents are strongly encouraged to maintain and develop their child’s home language as this provides a strong foundation for English language learning and is fundamental to a student’s emotional well-being.

The program offers a nurturing, small group environment for students to build confidence and cope with the challenges of instruction in English.

When a new student joins SIS, we assess their English language proficiency. The EAL department then structures an individual plan to meet not only the academic needs of the student, but also their social needs at various stages in their language acquisition process.

The students exit the program when they are able to effectively access the target language and fulfil their individual goals within the language domains – listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

In the MYP we assess the English language proficiency of new students who are then placed in the programme accordingly.

Students who require language support are given 4 EAL lessons a week (instead of regular English classes).

EAL classes are smaller than regular English classes. The focus is on language acquisition skills as well as helping students to adjust to their new school setting.

In EAL, we follow the same themes as the mainstream English classes, but with the EAL texts adapted to suit student levels. More advanced students, will often read the same text as the mainstream students but devote more time to developing comprehension skills.

The EAL teachers keep in contact with all subject teachers so that they can provide back-up support for students with assignments. Students can bring work from other classes to the EAL class and the EAL teachers may attend some lessons in other subjects and assist EAL students.

Students in EAL can opt-out of Language B (3 lessons a week).

Students entering the Diploma Programme at SIS are expected to have a sufficient level of English to be able to cope with the academic requirements in all their subjects, without language support.

We assess the English language skills of new students before they join the full Diploma Programme.

Students who need to concentrate on their English can take English B, which helps with English language acquisition. Limited English language support (1 to 2 lessons) is available for those who need it.