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English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Pathways for English Language learners

The Stamford American English as an Additional Language (EAL) program offers a unique environment that sees students integrated into the mainstream classroom and supported by dedicated EAL experts.

Hear from Rena Brown, Director of English as an Additional Language

With our smaller student-to-teacher ratios, integration of all students regardless of English proficiency, and strategies such as “purposeful grouping,” students feel like they belong to one big family, and every student has a voice in our diverse and vibrant community.

The EAL program is available to all students from KG2 through Grade 10 and continues until students can participate meaningfully and independently in English in all subjects.

Why Choose Stamford American's EAL Program?

It is widely understood that all teachers in IB schools are language teachers, but at Stamford American, the model of support is embedded in our approach to co-planning, co-teaching, and co-assessing.

EAL students are taught by highly qualified homeroom and subject teachers along with highly qualified English teachers. Every EAL student has at least one EAL teacher who supports them throughout the year as they move toward independence in English.

EAL students also have a “shoulder” partner with whom they speak the same native language, and then switch to a “face” partner – where they converse with a student who speaks a different mother tongue, encouraging them to speak in English. This technique uses Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS): they learn the social language of their peers.

In this setting, students can gain confidence to deal with the challenges of instruction in their additional language while continuing to benefit academically as well as socially and culturally from immersion in the mainstream school.

Pathway to Independence

In addition, we provide each EAL student with tailored support based upon their unique needs academically, socially as well as emotionally. The extent of assistance each child receives initially depends on their level of English competency. At Stamford American we generally deploy a two-tier system, depending on their grade level:

Level A EAL – Entering, Emerging, and Developing (low-mid level) sees students integrated in a homeroom class with the exception of 80 minutes of English language instruction each day.

Level B EAL – Developing, Expanding, and Bridging (mid-high level) involves students being fully integrated in mainstream classes and receiving support from our team of co-teachers each day.

Meet the EAL Leadership Team

“As Director of the EAL program at Stamford American, I have focused on supporting English language learners across all grade levels, supporting teachers, designing and implementing our comprehensive EAL programs alongside my team of EAL teachers. It has been an honor to work alongside such a dedicated group of teachers and leaders for the past 9+ years. I previously lived and worked in the U.S., Mexico, Shanghai and Singapore over the past 28 years.”

Rena Brown

Director of EAL, Bilingual, and Home Languages

“I teach small-group, supplementary literacy intervention, designed to provide powerful, daily, small-group instruction for EAL students. My belief is that the focus must be on supporting the language learners and making sure our diverse student community is supported and celebrated”

“Prior to moving to Singapore I lived and worked in the U.K.”

Ruth Hinchliffe

Elementary EAL Head of Department

“I feel quite privileged to work with a team of dedicated English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers in the high school. In addition to the Language Acquisition classes we offer in grades 9-12, we enthusiastically support our English Language Learners through individual Language Coaching. And to help our students be successful in an international school context, we routinely collaborate with mainstream teachers to more effectively address the needs of students who are developing their academic English.”

“I have been teaching English and leading language teaching teams in Japan and Singapore for more than 20 years.”

David Schneer

High School EAL Head of Department

“As the Middle School EAL Head of Department, I feel lucky to be working at Stamford American because of its outstanding resources for language learners and dedicated teachers.  I am a passionate English Language Acquisition teacher, and I work as part of a team that supports students through Language Acquisition classes and English Skills Development classes. We also provide language support to staff members through the use of co-planning, co-teaching, and professional and learning opportunities. As a team, we thrive on cooperative learning, translanguaging, and remaining on top of current trends in the language acquisition world.

I have taught a mix of English Language and Literature and EAL to students in both middle and high school.  I have taught for 15 years in both the USA and Singapore.

Lindsey Stetson

Middle School EAL Head of Department

Graduation to Independence

Many factors determine the length of time needed in any EAL program. On average, Stamford American finds the journey usually takes between 2-4 years for a student to become fully independent. It’s important to remember that language learning is not a race but an individual journey.

By learning English as an additional language, students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their world, inspiring them to create their own unique future.

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