English language support

KIST recognizes that all teachers are language teachers and that language must be taught across the curriculum, not only in designated language activities. It is also recognized that each student is an individual with an individual learning style and individual needs. With regards to English proficiency, teachers tailor classroom activities to allow students to develop to their full potential. In addition to such differentiation, English language support is provided to students identified in need for such assistance.


Assessing for English language support

Before starting classes at KIST, students are pre-assessed by an English language support instructor or a relevant classroom/subject teacher using a standardized English language assessment, which is divided into the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The results of the assessment are used as the first indication of which level of support will be required from the classroom teacher and the instructor. While receiving English language support, student progress is assessed continuously through standardized reading level benchmarking, student work samples, participation in class discussions and observations. Progress related to English language support is reported in a supplementary report sent home with each semester report.


English language support in the Elementary School

In the Elementary School, English language support is provided from K1 through Grade 5 for non-native English-speaking students, with two main, overlapping purposes. First of all, for students whose level of English does not allow them to fully access our curriculum independently, English language support helps them to comprehend the material and concepts involved, and to express their understanding of this content. The second purpose of English language support is to facilitate the language development of English language learners. Depending on the language level of the students, and on the activity or lesson material at hand, language support may take one or more of the following forms:

  • Push-in, pull-out, and/or differentiation of instruction

A mix of two models of support, push-in and pull-out, is used to facilitate English language learners’ access to the curriculum and English language development. Pull-out is when one student, or a small group of students with similar needs, is taken out of the main lesson by the English language support instructor for a separate lesson. In contrast, the push-in model is when the instructor works within the main lesson together with the classroom teacher. In both cases, joint planning between the instructor and the class teacher ensures that the unit objectives are met for all students and that students’ language needs, individual learning style and other individual needs are all taken into consideration when differentiating instruction. To enable students the maximum opportunities to use language in meaningful contexts, particularly in their interactions with English-fluent peers, the push-in model is chosen most often. The instructor, therefore, usually provides differentiated scaffolding and adapted resources within the main classroom. However, there are times when a pull-out session is deemed the most effective way to achieve review of content or skills. A series of pull-out lessons may be established, however, pull-out sessions are often one-off lessons to consolidate understanding before returning to the next lesson in the main classroom.

  •  Language focused co-curricular activities and programs

As part of the Co-curricular Activities Program across the school, a range of academic clubs and support classes are offered. In the Elementary School, Learning Enhancement Academic Program (LEAP) support class are offered before school each day for students in K1 through to Grade 5. These 30 minute-long lessons focus on various English language skills and those eligible to do so may attend between 2 to 5 times per week. Class sizes are limited, and the students with the highest English language needs are given priority.


English language support in the Secondary School

English language support is provided in the Secondary School to meet the needs of non-native English-speaking students or other students whose level of English does not allow them to fully access our curriculum independently. Depending on the English proficiency level of the student, language support may take one or more of the following forms:

  • Differentiated instructional pathways (Grades 6 – 12)

Two pathways for English are provided for students in Grades 6 through 10, and three for students in Grades 11 and 12 as shown below. 

Grades Subject Description
Grades 6 – 8  Language and Literature Designed for native or near-native English speaking students or those who do not require language support. It is a literature-based subject that requires full proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Intensive English Class (IEC) Designed for students who have limited exposure to academic English. Students will be guided through the course at a more comprehensive level and be given additional support in terms of scaffolding and increased lessons. Students in the IE class will have a modified timetable to allow for these additional English classes.
Students can be recommended for exit from the IE class into Language and Literature upon high achievement in summative assessments and successful taking of our internal English test.
Grades 9 – 10  Language and Literature Designed for native or near-native English speaking students or those who do not require language support. It is a literature-based subject that requires full proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Grades 11 – 12 Language and Literature
(Higher Level)
A rigorous course designed for native or near-native speakers of English who enjoy reading literature. It assumes in-depth understanding and high level skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Language and Literature
(Standard Level)
Designed for native or near-native speakers of English who have developed a good understanding of and proficiency in the English language, but may need further focus in developing high level skills in some/all of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Note: Grade 6 to Grade 8 IEC students do not study arts while in the IEC due to increased scheduling of English classes. Aside from English, students study all other courses together with mainstream MYP students. IEC students are expected to graduate to the Language and Literature course by the end of Grade 8.

For new enrollments, English language subject allocation is determined from the results of an assessment test conducted at the time of initial application to enroll at KIST. Students in Grades 6 through 8 identified as requiring language support will be placed in the Intensive English Class until they have developed the necessary skills to enter the Language and Literature course. By Grade 11, it is an expectation that students will undertake one of the Language and Literature courses.

As in-class English language support is not provided to students in Grades 11 and 12, and due to the nature of the course of study, applicants seeking admission to these grades are likely to be unsuccessful if the results of their assessment test show that they would be unable to function independently in the classroom.

  • In-class English language support (Grades 6 – 10)

In-class English language support is provided for students in Grades 6 through 10 who have not yet reached a level of English language proficiency which facilitates success in the classroom. All students enrolled in the Intensive English Class will receive in-class language support, along with those who are nominated by their subject teachers, and reviewed by the English Language Support Coordinator. In-class language support is offered through measures such as: assessment and task scaffolding, vocabulary assistance and extension, small group sessions, research and assessment assistance, and other forms deemed necessary.

English language support instructors work collaboratively with the subject teachers and coordinators to provide the best possible support for the students. The progress of students receiving language support is tracked and monitored over the duration that they receive support.

  • Out-of-class English language support (Grades 6 – 10)

Students in the Secondary School are expected upon admission to have relatively strong English proficiency and thereby be able to function, with provided support if needed, in the classroom context. In special situations, out-of-class English language support ('pull-out' support) may be offered to support students in need. Such support may be provided outside of the regularly scheduled day (before/after school) or, upon consultation with the subject teacher, students may be pulled out of their respected subject time to work one-on-one with the English language support instructor to clarify or review content from the class.

  • Language focused co-curricular activities and programs: Academic Writing

Students in the Secondary School in need of additional support in academic writing are enrolled in additional lessons throughout the week. Academic writing classes are intended for students who are in English Language and Literature but still need to improve their writing. Also, students who are in the English Language Acquisition classes for Grades 9 and 10 take part in academic writing classes. These classes develop student understanding of different writing genres and support students in using correct writing forms appropriate to the demands of the writing context. Academic Writing classes are held in the mornings before first period throughout the week.