English as Additional Language

The school believes that language is at the core of human experience.  The school recognizes that ELL students enter AISV with proficiency in their mother tongue, valuable life experiences, and varying degrees of formal schooling, but without complete proficiency in English.  The school's mission is to assist these students to acquire or to improve their communicative skills in English.  The aim is to enable the new students to become independent and confident listeners, speakers, readers, and writers in English, to become participants in the academic program of the school and to integrate quickly into all school activities.

As a matter of policy, all students in Gr. K-11 for whom English is not their first language, will be tested, regardless of the number of years they have gone to other international schools, grades or reports from other schools, or prior classes in English.  The ELL test does not determine admission to AISV but only to determine if a student is to be placed in the ELL program and at what level.

When a new student in Gr. K-11, whose mother tongue is not English, is admitted, s/he will be administered the WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) which measures a new student's English language proficiency level and determines eligibility for ELL services and program placement.

Students entering AISV in September will be tested during the first or second week of classes. Students entering AISV at any other time will be tested as soon as possible by the ELL teachers. There are no fees involved in the testing of students and parents of all new students will be informed of the results - i.e. if the student will receive intensive ELL help and their "level" according to the WIDA standards based on six language proficiency levels (1-ENTERING, 2-BEGINNING, 3- DEVELOPING, 4-EXPANDING, 5-BRIDGING, 6-REACHING) that illustrate the continuum of language development within each language domain - listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

If a student entering the upper grades scores so low that it raises doubts as to them being able to meet minimal academic requirements, that information will be given to the Director. It is then possible that the Director may suggest to the parents that admission is not advisable, that the student be placed a year below the "normal" sequence, or that it is likely that the student will have to spend two years at the initial grade level. Again, in no case will a student's score be the sole determination for refusing admission to AISV.

If a student with little or no fluency in the English language is accepted at AISV, he/she will attend intensive  ELL classes five times per week in Grades K-5 during Language Arts classes in the morning and during the Foreign Language block of time for Grades 4-11. Therefore, the student will not have French, German or Russian lessons. The individual subject teachers and the ELL teacher will work cooperatively to provide an effective overall instructional program for ELL students.