At TIS, we are committed to providing the highest quality language support for our English Language Learners. All of our teachers are trained to support our English Language Learners in general education classes; however, some students are eligible for additional support in our Intensive English program. Since most of our students are English Language Learners, the Intensive English program is one of the most important programs that TIS offers, and we are extremely proud of the high level of success this program has seen.
The foremost component of our Intensive English program is the reading and language arts classes, which are held during the school day. From age 6 through secondary, our students are placed in small groups of no more than seven students and receive instruction in phonics, reading comprehension, grammar, and writing from a highly skilled and trained educator. Placement into groups is based on a combination of factors including age, English language proficiency, performance on standardized tests, and teacher observation. As students improve, they are sometimes able to move to a more advanced Intensive English group, and as a result they may have different IE teachers throughout the year.
In addition to our reading and language arts classes, we also offer additional English support classes for some eligible students. These classes typically occur when other students are taking a foreign language or “special” class. During this time, students work on a variety of skills including content area vocabulary and communication.
We use a variety of tests to measure progress in our Intensive English classes. Initial placement is based on performance on the Standard English Language Proficiency Test. This test measures a student’s ability in listening, speaking, grammar, reading, and writing. The following tests are administered throughout the year to measure progress in English proficiency:
- Standard English Language Proficiency Test
- Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Test
- Fountas and Pinnell
Once our students have achieved a level of proficiency that is sufficient to allow them to succeed in general education classes, we transfer them out of the Intensive English program. Research shows that it usually takes between three to seven years to achieve Academic Language Proficiency in English. Some students, through hard work, determination, and an aptitude for language, are able to exit the Intensive English program in less than three years. But each student is an individual, and it is impossible to predict how long it will take an individual student to achieve English language proficiency.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school. We look forward to working with your child to help him or her achieve their highest potential in English!