English Language Learners
AISJ not only recognizes its multicultural and multilingual environment, but commits to honoring its linguistically diverse members by supporting mother-tongue and heritage/home language (L1) learning and developing effective bilingualism through individual language development profiles for each student. AISJ also commits to support language acquisition for new and developing language learners.
We believe that the development of language skills is vital for the acquisition of knowledge, critical thinking, refining values and for social and emotional development. In addition to promoting cognitive growth, language is an important factor in sustaining a student’s cultural identity and intercultural understanding. Within this framework, and as an American international school, we promote the use of international varieties of English as our primary medium of instruction and communication.
All of our multilingual learners are assessed on their English Skills using the WIDA English Language Assessment to determine if support will be required and how much. This assessment is then used to track their progress over time and to inform support decisions. Unfortunately, we are not able to admit New to English students to our High School so the WIDA is often used to inform admissions decisions at that level.
In our other levels, PK to grade 8, we are able to take New to English students provided that we have the capacity within our program to meet their needs. The number of students who require English Support are capped based on the number of teachers available to serve those students and to preserve language diversity and to have sufficient English Language Models at each grade level. A WIDA screening may be required before an admission decision can be made at this level as well.