MANY MOTHER TONGUES
ASP is proud to serve a large population of students from different national, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and we strive to respect, value, and celebrate our diversity. Through our English as and Additional Language (EAL) program, non-native English speakers in Grades 1–8 can acquire the level of English needed to communicate effectively and successfully in both social and academic situations. The EAL program is also committed to valuing home culture and mother language development as an essential component of successful English language learning. Read on to learn more about our core beliefs around EAL education.
Language acquisition is a complex and life-long process. According to research, language learners usually acquire social English in 3-5 years and academic English in 5-7 years.
Learners acquire language at different rates and with different learning styles. We work together to respond to all student needs through meaningful and relevant interaction.
Our students have numerous home cultures and mother languages. Our community is inclusive, and connection to home culture and mother language is an essential component for happy, engaged students.
Students acquire language more quickly through immersion, and should be integrated into the classroom as soon as possible. EAL students are provided with the language support necessary to facilitate their success.
The level of a person's English language proficiency is not a measure of intelligence, nor is it an indicator of they know. Students are encouraged to take risks and realize their full potential. A high-level of self-esteem can only enhance language acquisition
We believe that mother languages are vitally important. First language proficiency supports new language development; ASP believes it is essential that parents maintain and develop students' mother languages.
WHAT IS EAL?
English as an Additional Language (EAL), together with Learning Support, is one of our key Support Services. While the language of communication and instruction at ASP is primarily in English, our students come from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. EAL students and their families are valued members of our school community.
New students whose mother language is other than English are assessed by the EAL team to determine their English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The results of these assessments determine whether students need to join the EAL program, and guides their placement within the program according to their reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. Students may progress to a higher-level EAL class (or exit the program entirely) at any time during the school year, depending on the level of proficiency they achieve in relationship to the EAL standards and benchmarks.
Your child will receive differentiated EAL support based on their level of English language proficiency within an immersive and inclusive environment. The EAL and classroom teachers will teach to your child’s next level of English language development. For example, if your child is an ‘early intermediate’ writer, your child’s teachers will teach to the next level of development or the ‘intermediate’ level. Your child’s teachers will do this for all skills areas.
Language learning takes time, and numerous factors [link to PDF?] can influence the rate at which students learn English. Research shows that the average beginning-level student in an immersion program will learn social English in 3–5 years and academic English in 5–7 years (Cummins, 2010). It is a long process and cannot be ‘rushed’. For example, if a student exits the EAL program too early, he or she will find that the classes are very difficult to understand and participate in since the English will often be beyond their level of comprehension.
OUR EAL TEAM
Our EAL program is staffed by trained educators committed to creating an environment in which each student feels secure in meeting the challenges of ASP's English-language academic and social life. Our educators know each of our students very well, and instructors are always in close contact with classroom teachers and administrators to ensure that there is a clear understanding of each of the EAL student's needs, progress, and classroom placement. This information is regularly and systematically communicated to the parents who help both at home and at the school with their child’s language development. As a community, we strive to create the best possible language-learning environment for your child to succeed at ASP and beyond.
Lower School students in Grades 1–5 are eligible to join our EAL program. For more information about EAL in the Lower School, please review our dedicated Lower School Support Services page.
Students in Grades 6–8 may join our EAL program. For more information about EAL in the Middle School, please review our dedicated Middle School Support Services page.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THEIR CHILD LEARN ENGLISH?
- Encourage your child to make friendships with children from other countries.
- Keep using your mother language at home in speaking and reading.
- Encourage your child to join after school activities and have English play dates.
- Give your child plenty of positive praise.
- Encourage your child to read.
- Remember learning English takes time.
- Be patient.
- Criticize every mistake your child makes.
- Over correct your child's mistakes.
- Overload your child with extra homework.
- Translate books word for word. Instead, focus on the ideas.
- Forget that making errors is a natural part of the learning process.
- Forget to praise your child.
- Let your child study all the time; they need to play, relax and enjoy their family and friends.
INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING
EAL learning at ASP values and celebrates students’ mother language, cultures, and personal identities
- the EAL TEam