English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
Aoba is proud to serve a large population of students from many nations, cultures, and language backgrounds. Our EAL program is a research-based language acquisition program that directly aligns with the IB philosophy and pedagogy.
Our EAL Goal/Philosophy
Our goal is to ensure we support all children to be able to fully access the IB curriculum.
- in the value of language for the authentic communication of one’s own feelings and thoughts, and for becoming an active local and global citizen.
- in the integral and life-changing power of literacy and expression. They are essential to helping us interact and thrive in our complex and ever-changing world.
- in the need to celebrate and support multilingualism inside and outside of our school environment. The ability to communicate fluently using a variety of languages is critical to success in our interconnected world: personally, academically, and economically.
- EAL students learn most effectively in an environment where education professionals plan and practice collaboratively for the cognitive, linguistic, and social development of multilingual students.
How It Works
EAL in the MYP
Beginner EAL students in grades six through eight receive small-class support while being immersed in mainstream classes for social inclusion and contextual enhancement of language acquisition, with the goal of moving them into the full MYP as soon as they move beyond Phase 2 of Language Acquisition. We employ the MYP curriculum to support these students to progress through IB Phases 1-6, and we also use the WIDA assessment as an additional assessment tool. The students are taught according to the MYP Language Acquisition guide and are assessed against the related criteria by qualified teachers who have completed IB-sanctioned training. Upon successfully exiting Phase 6 of Language Acquisition, students enter the standard English Language & Literature course, along with the mainstream students who take Language & Literature as their English course.
In the 2015–2016 school year, after an analysis of our data from our IEPP goals and WIDA assessments, the EAL program at Aoba improved our students’ English proficiency by over one full point on average (on a five-stage scale). This is a tremendous achievement that would normally take at least a full year or longer to achieve (based on the CALP model from Professor J. Cummins).