English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme is designed to equip each student with the social and academic language skills necessary to seamlessly enter the multicultural community and gain unhampered access to learning opportunities at BIS. In the process of additional language acquisition, EAL students transfer literacy and cognitive skills from their Mother Tongue (MT) and thus contribute unique perspectives enriching the learning environment at our school.

Through a home language survey, English language skills assessment and review of recent academic records, the EAL department identifies the level of each student’s English proficiency and recommends appropriate placement in the language acquisition continuum to facilitate academic and affective growth.

EAL in the Secondary School

Students in Grades 6 - 8 just starting to learn English are placed in the Newcomer Centre where they engage in academic content-based English instruction in the areas of English, Humanities and Science.

Intermediate English Language Learners in Grades 6 - 10 join the MYP English Language Acquisition class. Here students develop academic language skills including text comprehension and literature appreciation, grammar and usage, sentence and paragraph composition, vocabulary development, oral fluency and focused listening. The units of study and assessment tasks in this course, explore from multiple perspectives the concepts of culture, creativity, communication and connections, and are designed to prepare students for the IB DP English B or transition to MYP English Language and Literature class.

EAL students entering BIS in Grade 11 are placed in English B to study in the IB Diploma or High School Diploma programme.

Every EAL student at BIS has the opportunity to continue learning his/her native language in the Mother Tongue programme. The level of Mother Tongue literacy is the single most reliable predictor of the student’s English language acquisition and academic success. The maintenance and continued development of Mother Tongue affords students with extensive academic, professional and cultural opportunities otherwise lost if MT were to be neglected.


Compliments for our EAL Deparment


17th October 2016

We welcomed 5 Japanese teachers including the principal for lesson observations, and we received some excellent feedback:

"On the whole, I had the impression that BIS places great importance on critical thinking skills, communication skills and expression skills. The atmosphere which encourages students to demonstrate their personalities is marvelous. The teachers showed us contents and methods which we have to follow in Japan. I learned a lot today."

Thank you to Aki Schwan for sharing this information!



18 November 2016

The Japanese research group 'Language Development of Bilingual Children' of the Otsuma Women's University have been visiting BIS.

This is their feedback... words like these make us proud having such amazing colleagues at BIS!

"We were deeply impressed by the harmonious classrooms where children from diverse cultural backgrounds study together.

The deployment of multilingual mother tongue education at BIS was impressive in particular. On top of being a prominent leader of international schools which provides precious language and cultural education in English, we witnessed the careful implementation of mother tongue education at BIS and how BIS regards each student's language and their culture very highly. We believe that the BIS educational practice which supports not only English native students but also non English native students carefully and treasures all students would be a model education in the globalized world.

Furthermore, it must be extremely difficult for newly transferred students to adjust themselves to the new learning environment, but BIS staff dealt with them carefully not only supporting their language acquisition but also their mental state and personalities.

We observed Japanese lessons on that day. It was clear that Mother Tongue hours are really important for the students to expand their literacy skills and to maintain their self-efficacy.

Lastly we thank the teachers who warmly welcomed us from the bottom of our heart for their kindness."

Thank you to Mr. Janusz Rzońca, EAL Coordinator, Mrs. Aki Schwan, MT and EAL Teacher, Mrs. Alexis Focken, EAL Teacher, Mrs. Michiyo Yamamoto, Japanese Teacher and Mr. John Barker, Secondary School Principal for organizing this!

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