One of the 21st Century School-wide Learning Expectations at Korea Foreign School is to prepare students to be effective communicators who communicate clearly and accurately in English, yet respect linguistic diversity. Korea Foreign School has a large population of students that are English Language Learners (ELL), and it is the goal of KFS to enable all these students to achieve academic excellence in learning English. There are many different tools, resources, and methods that are implemented at KFS to support these learners.
All students who enter Korea Foreign School that speak a language other than English at home qualify to be in the ELL program. To determine which services are needed for these students, the WIDA MODEL (Measure of Developing English Language) proficiency assessment or the W-APT is given to the students. This assessment gives teachers, parents, and students a better gauge of what knowledge, skills, and understanding the students possesses in the English language. It measures the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing while incorporating the language used in Social Studies, Math, Science, and Language Arts. Student’s are rated on a level of 1-6 in each domain and are also given an overall language proficiency score. The attached rubric of CAN DO statements gives a clear picture of what students are able to do at each level as well as the English Language Proficiency Descriptors on the following page.
At Korea Foreign School, students who score a level 1 on the WIDA MODEL and have been at RIS for less than 3 months will go to an intensive newcomer program. This program will build a foundation of basic English skills that are necessary to flourish in the mainstream classroom. Students will be pulled out during the Language Arts block and World Languages Classes to receive this introductory language support. Decisions for intensive and foreign language pull out will vary based on individual student’s needs. The ELL teachers and homeroom teachers will work together to determine the best situation for each student.
1.1.a Say and write the letter names of the Roman alphabet
1.1.b Know letter sounds of the Roman alphabet
1.2 Request permission to use the bathroom
1.3 Listen to, understand, and respond to common teacher directions
1.4 Understand school environment
2. Introducing Myself
2.1 Tell name, age, grade, address, phone number, native country, and birthday
2.2 Use basic expressions of courtesy, greetings, and departures
2.3 Express basic emotions
3.1 Use simple weather vocabulary
3.2 Begin to use/understand terms related to time/calendar
3.3 Understands basic math terminology
3.4 Recognize and identify numbers 0-100
3.5 Have a basic understanding of how many, color, size, and shape
4.1 Reading Dolch sight words (depending on Grade level)
4.2 Name basic foods, meals, and menu items
4.3 Name basic articles of clothing
4.4 Recognize and name basic body parts
4.5 Use basic positional words
5. Composing Sentences (ongoing)
5.1 Comprehend and produce simple questions
5.2 Basic sentence composition[/su_spoiler]
6.1 Use common verbs-be, do, have
6.2 Form simple subject/verb agreement
Due to the low student-teacher ratio, students are able to receive excellent support in the mainstream classroom. Teachers are able to modify their lessons to meet the needs of the ELL students. Korea Foreign School believes that every student must learn the grade-level content and standards which is why the sheltered method of instruction is very valuable. All ELL students are learning the necessary grade appropriate knowledge and skills while also obtaining English development through the lessons. Language development is learned best through content.
ELL teachers and assistant specialists work closely with the mainstream teachers to collaborate on the best way to support the ELL students. At KFS there is co-teaching, small group work, and one-on-one support for ELL students.
Furthermore, students learn best from those who are demonstrating usage of the language at a mastering/fluent level which is why it is important for ELL students to be in the mainstream classroom. The students will try to emulate the abilities of their classmates, thus improving their own learning.