ESL Curriculum & Instruction
High School

Summary
The KIS English as a Second Language program at the high school level enrolls linguistically and culturally diverse secondary students who require intensive English language instruction and orientation to an English academic environment in an international school setting.

ESL Instruction
ESL students receive one to two blocks of English language instruction from an ESL teacher. The amount of daily ESL instruction varies according to the level of English language proficiency with those at the lowest level of English language proficiency receiving the most intervention. In addition to daily intensive English language instruction, students also attend a study hall where they receive academic support for the mainstream content classes they attend. All ESL students participate in mainstream content classes and take a number of elective classes.

The composition of the student population in each ESL level is multi-grade and heterogeneous. ESL classes provide structured instruction in the acquisition of the English language with specific emphasis on the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that are prerequisite for success in the rigorous academic environment of KIS. Instructional goals for ESL classes are based on the development of language proficiency within the context of an English/language arts curriculum. Students develop competency in understanding spoken English, using grammatically correct English to express social and academic needs and in organizing and clearly expressing their ideas in written English. Students explore an understanding of the human experience from a multicultural perspective as they develop reading and writing skills. Students are exposed to developmentally appropriate texts representing the genres of narration, poetry, drama and exposition. As students become more fluent with spoken and written English, they are also taught to analyze text from an historical and cultural perspective and develop critical reading and thinking skills. ESL instruction helps students develop readiness to succeed in mainstream classes.

Standards-Based Instruction
The ESL curriculum is based levels of language proficiency rather than grade level. The most current research on second language learning and acquisition identifies some general principles that are the pillars of this curriculum.
  • Language is functional and it is best acquired through meaningful use and interaction.
  • Language learning is culture-based, and therefore it follows that the teaching of culture must include the values, norms, and beliefs appropriate to the language.
  • Language learning is an on-going process. It is affected by the background of each student and progresses at varying rates.
  • Language processes (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) develop interdependently. Students need learning environments that provide opportunities to practice and develop these skills.

Curriculum
The ESL high school curriculum is designed to challenge students to think critically as they acquire and process the English language. The curriculum is designed to teach and reinforce the acquisition of all four-language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The incorporation of both literary and expository text provides opportunities for extended language development with authentic materials. This curriculum integrates Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and the four language skill areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The curriculum emphasizes the development of Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) for intermediate and advanced ESL students. This ESL curriculum focuses on using language for various academic functions and focuses on:

  • Reading and exposition
  • Academic vocabulary
  • Speaking to narrate, inform, and persuade
  • Purposeful listening to speakers and presenters
  • Writing sentences, paragraphs and essays
  • Making inferences, drawing conclusions, and evaluating text

This curriculum develops the academic language to prepare ESL students for mainstream high school classes.

Textbooks and Materials
The ESL high school curriculum uses a variety of textbooks and materials to support academic instruction and independent language learning . These include:

  • Longman Integrated Skills Series: Boost Reading
  • Longman Integrated Skills Series: Boost Writing
  • Longman Integrated Skills Series: Boost Speaking
  • Longman Integrated Skills Series: Boost Listening
  • Azar’s Basic English Grammar
  • Cambridge English Vocabulary in Use
  • The International Herald Tribune
  • SRA Reading Laboratory
  • Penguin Readers