The language of instruction at AAS is English: students learn in English. The change in language of instruction may be a challenge for students who are not proficient in that language. In fact, these students might need some language support when joining AAS.
All students for whom English is not their native language will take an English proficiency test (WIDA MODEL). This is done either after a student joins AAS or during the application review process.This test enables the language support team to gauge the student’s level of proficiency in English as well as determine whether or not the student needs language support.
Exiting the EAL programme depends entirely on student’s progress. The EAL team regularly monitors the student in other subjects and keeps track of their progress via formative and summative assessments.
Depending on the WIDA test result, students may be chosen to take the EAL (English as an Additional Language) class in order to help them bridge the language gap and ensure better academic performance. In addition, the EAL team works with the homeroom teacher to ensure that scaffolding and differentiation strategies are put in place for these students.
In Elementary the EAL class happens at the same time as the World Languages classes, so students enrolled in EAL are not able to take a foreign language.
Middle and High School
It is important to highlight the difference between social and academic language. Whilst a student might be proficient in the use of social English (everyday social situations, both written and spoken), they might not have been exposed to academic English (the language used in class and textbooks).
In Middle School the EAL class happens at the same time as the World Languages classes, so students enrolled in EAL are not able to take a foreign language.
The EAP (English as an Academic Language) class is available for students in grades 9 and 10. This class takes place during the elective block. Therefore, students enrolled in EAP are also able to take a foreign language.
Students joining the school in grades 11 or 12 are expected to have the desired level of proficiency in English which will allow them to cope with the demands of the IB programme without language support.