Curriculum | Faculty Language
English Second Language (ESL) Programme
ESL stands for English Second Language and involves the teaching of English to students who are either second language students in the early stages of learning English, or are first-language users requiring some extra support.
Like many international schools in Hong Kong, some of our students require special assistance in the learning of English. KIS has a vibrant and highly successful English Support Programme, whereby students who are lacking the fundamentals of the language are pulled out of mainstream English classes and taught in small groups by ESL teachers using a specially designed curriculum.
The ESL programme at KIS has been designed to give the appropriate support to students in need so as to enable them to flourish in an English-speaking environment.
Students are required to recognise and use the fundamentals of the language, and once these have been attained, students are pulled out of the ESL programme and continue with their English studies in the mainstream classes. Every student assigned to ESL receives a comprehensive English programme: Major areas of study include a focus on phonics/pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, writing, listening and speaking. Games are present in many lessons as fun activities enable students to maintain their level of enthusiasm for learning a language.
KIS is using age and level-appropriate course books from Cambridge University Press. These course books form the core of the programme, providing a detailed look at the language and also extra assessment of the students’ progress in English. These exciting courses are packed with activities that are fun, dynamic and involving. There are lively characters in the books that help children understand and enjoy whilst learning.
The ESL department also has a range of photocopiable materials from Cambridge. KIS uses resource books of supplementary activities for practising language skills with younger learners and teenagers. The intention with using these books is to provide enjoyable task-based activities that make learning fun, while exploiting children’s innate capacity to assimilate new information.
After School ESL
The school also has an active after school programme for ESL students designed around another Cambridge product, the Cambridge ESOL courses, where students can move through the different levels between Year 1 and Year 9 (Starters, Movers, Flyers, KET and PET). At the end of each level, students are evaluated and issued certificates that recognise their accomplishments; these ESOL certificates are also globally recognised and valid for life.
These after school ESL classes are held twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays between 3:10pm and 4:10pm, and are taught by qualified and experienced teachers on staff at KIS. Students cover all the grammar, vocabulary and spelling skills needed for these external exams, and spend a minimum of a month doing exam preparation work before the taking of the exam. Information concerning these ESOL exams is sent out to parents towards the end of the second term of classes.
Every primary and secondary ESL student receives regular homework, and this will be once, twice or three times per week depending on the age of the student. Parents and guardians are asked to check the KIS website daily so that they know what homework has been assigned and when it needs to be submitted.
Assessment / Testing
All students are assessed and tested regularly. Students’ progress in ESL is monitored by way of ongoing formative and summative assessments, such as teacher observations and formal regular evaluations. Secondary ESL students are also required to sit an exam at the end of each term, and this result determines whether or not they remain in ESL or can be pulled out of the programme and placed in the mainstream English class.
If you have any questions concerning ELS provision in the International Section at KIS, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mr. Howard Reddy
Korean International School – International Section