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MISY Myanmar International School Yangon

English as an Additional Language (EAL) for Primary

       Elizabeth Dickie

EAL stands for English as an Additional Language and is offered for students who require extra support or particular learning strategies to aid their English language acquisition. At MISY, the language of instruction is English and the school follows the English National Curriculum ESL Primary and Cambridge Secondary Curriculum. As the vast majority of students at MISY are learning English as an additional language, the EAL programme seeks to support learning throughout the primary and secondary levels.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Programme is a paid programme supported by four full time expatriate EAL teachers and designed to provide academic and social language support for non-native speakers of English from Year 2 through to Year 12. The primary purpose of the programme is to ensure that all students become proficient in English and achieve academic success. Therefore, language skills and strategies are integrated with content area and subject matter whenever possible. The EAL Programme addresses individualized needs and learning styles through one-on-one, small group instruction, so called pull-out lessons, and in-class support, also called co-teaching lessons, working with the EAL students in the mainstream classroom in consultation with the mainstream teacher.

The second purpose of the programme is to promote multilingualism and cultural pluralism. Based on the latest research regarding language and cognitive development, children should be encouraged to maintain and develop their mother tongues, be it Myanmar, Chinese or any other language.

Our EAL Programme promotes curricular integration and student engagement. We hold ourselves accountable for differentiating instruction and co-teaching with colleagues to best address each child’s learning style and language needs.

Primary entrance and exit procedures

For existing MISY students, students may be flagged for EAL support by their class teacher if they are worried about their English progress. At this point the EAL department will test the student using the WIDA model test (an international, standardised English Language proficiency test). New students can be referred to the EAL department by the admissions officer or Primary Principal. These students will then be administered a WIDA test to determine their English proficiency level. If they score below a level 4 in all, or nearly all, language skill areas. (Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading), the EAL department will accept the student into the paid EAL programme.

The following criteria are used for deciding when a student is ready to discontinue with EAL support:

  • The student’s scores on the WIDA assessment are all, or nearly all, on a level 4, in all four language skill areas. (Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading)
  • The SAT test is within grade level
  • The two last “Whole School Writing Assessments” and “Big Write” are within grade levels, NC levels.
  • The student’s reading level is within the grade-level or age level range, as indicated by ORT or A-Z reading assessments.
  • All, or nearly all, grade-level assessments and reporting documents (both formal and informal) show that the student is working confidently and competently at grade level.
  • EAL teacher, class teacher and parents agree that the student leaves EAL classes.

Please look through the handbook for more information about the EAL program at MISY.