Our primary language of instruction in English. To ensure that all students are given the best opportunity to succeed in all of their classes, we offer an English Language instruction and support program that is designed to give the students the English language skills they need to be successful in all of their classes.
Students who are learning English as an additional language are tested using the WIDA assessment. This tests their reading, listening, speaking, and writing levels. Students who demonstrate additional English language support based on WIDA testing are placed in the English Lab class. This class is designed to support students by teaching the skills and vocabulary needed to succeed in the Middle Years Programme courses, specifically Science and Individuals and Societies. Once students demonstrate high enough achievement on the WIDA test, they are transitioned into the MYP English Language and Literature class.
Students who score below level 3 on the WIDA are enrolled in a short-term program called Intensive English. This is designed to give beginning English learners an additional level of support to quickly be able to be more successful in all of their classes. This class is given in place of thier Individuals and Societies class.
We recognize the importance of learning the language of our host country and many of our parents inquire on how proficient in Chinese their child may become while attending SSIS. In our Early Years and Elementary school every child will have 40 minutes of Chinese instruction daily. These classes are designed to encourage a broader understanding of both the Chinese language and the culture. In our Secondary School, Chinese lessons are offered at a wide range of levels, from mother tongue to beginner. Students not studying a mother tongue other than English will study Chinese at their level. Students studying a language other than English as their mother tongue can choose to study Chinese as a third language, as well.
In keeping with the IB philosophy, maintenance of mother tongue is encouraged and supported at SSIS. We recognize that continuing to develop our students’ mother tongue and literacy skills in their home language is imperative in the development of their English language skills.
Presently we offer the following mother tongue programmes as part of the curriculum: German, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
Should there be a need and request we are happy to facilitate additional mother tongue lessons by providing classroom space for external tutors to deliver instruction, either face-to-face or online. Tutors are employed and compensated by the parents of the students involved in the program. In the past we have supported languages such as French, Czech, Dutch, Swedish and Latin.