TIS has an extensive ELL (English Language Learner) program that supports students learning the English language while still learning essential academic content in the classroom. In our inclusive program the ELL teacher and the classroom teacher coplan and coteach to ensure that students are acquiring language skills and gaining access to the curriculum thus developing both language and cognitive skills.
We use an external test called WIDA (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment) to measure growth of our ELLs and to design instruction, as well as the IB Language phases, that will meet their learning needs. We test students at admissions to determine language needs when students are placed in an age appropriate grade. The WIDA test is administered twice throughout the school year. All students with limited English will receive additional language support as needed.
IN PYP ELL teachers spend a half day in each class providing ELL support and planning with the classroom teachers.The levels indicated below determine what level each child is performing at and helps the teachers design instruction for each child. A child will no longer receive ELL support when he reaches level/phase 6 and is functioning at a level equivalent to a native English speaker.
In MYP ELL students are placed in a Language Acquisition program that meets their needs. Level/phase 1-2, 3-4, and 5 students take separate Language Acquisition classes and will move through the levels/phases as their language skills improve. Once students complete level/phase 5 they are now placed in a Language and Literature class which indicates that students can perform at the same level as native English speakers.
In DP students need to be performing at least at a level/phase 5 when entering D1. ELL students have the option to choose Language B or a higher level Language and Literature options but students must demonstrate they can perform at this higher level.
Description of WIDA Proficiency
Levels/ IB Phases
WIDA level/IB Phase 1
Knows and uses minimal social language and minimal academic language with visual and graphic support.
WIDA level/IB Phase 2
Knows and uses some social English and general academic language with visual and graphic support.
WIDA level/IB Phase 3
Knows and uses social English and some specific academic language with visual and graphic support.
WIDA level/IB Phase 4
Knows and uses social Englsh and some technical academic language.
WIDA level/IB Phase 5
Knows and uses social English and academic language working with grade-level material. PYP students will be monitored, MYP students may be moved to
Language and Literature.
WIDA level/IB Phase 6 Entering
Knows and uses social and academic language at the highest level measured by this test. The student no longer needs ESL support.