English as a Second Language

For non-native English speakers, SSIS offers a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) programme.

Pre-Nursery - Kindergarten

Students in the Pre-Nursery to Kindergarten are supported in the acquisition of English as a second language through a rich and inviting environment in which the language of instruction and teacher-initiated interaction is English. Students receive gentle and supportive encouragement to use English themselves as well as direct instruction in English language through age appropriate activities. Students with little or no English, also receive additional English language support through small group lessons.

Grade 1 - 5

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On entering the school, students from a non-native English speaking background who speak some English will be asked to attend an English language placement assessment. The results of this test will determine class placement to best meet the student’s needs based on a language continuum from the level of “absolute or near beginner” through to native speaker.

Students working at beginner English levels will attend additional small group English classes instead of Chinese lessons. Students may also receive  additional support within their homeroom.

Grade 6 - 7

All students applying for Grades 6 to 7 are given an English Language Placement Assessment. This test includes elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking English. Based on the outcomes of this test, students are placed in an English class so that they can receive the appropriate level of support.

In Grade 6 through 7 students are placed in classes along a language continuum from the level of “absolute or near beginner” through to native speaker.

Students with limited English attend an Intensive (Jump Start) English class. These students have 50% of their timetable comprised of English language lessons. In addition to English, students take classes in Mathematics, Art or Design, Physical Education and World Language.

Grade 8 - 10

All students applying for Grades 8 to 10 are given an English Language Placement Assessment. This test includes elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking English. Based on the outcomes of this test, students are placed in the appropriate English class so that they can receive appropriate support.

To be considered for entry into Grades 8 and 10, students are expected to be at a fully functional academic English level beyond that of an English language beginner.

Grade 11- 12

All students applying for Grades 11 and 12 are given an English Language Placement Assessment. This test includes elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking English. Based on the outcomes of this test, students are placed in the appropriate English class so that they can achieve maximum support.

For Grade 11 and 12 students are expected to be sufficiently proficient in English to be able to access the curriculum of their chosen programme. Assessment of suitability is carried out on a case by case basis by the ESL and relevant programme coordinators.