In order to assist students with low-level language ability to succeed in grade level English classes in the shortest possible time, Hsinchu American School offers Middle School ESL and High School ESL class to boost language learning through the content areas. With a special focus on supporting the literature and writing program, ESL helps students to transition to a challenging American curriculum.
Hsinchu American School’s ESL program teaches strategies for efficiently understanding advanced subject areas and develops the four language skills through Group Work, Projects and Presentations. It adopts simpler language, graphics, and organization to make content more understandable, while giving students opportunities to use English in class without embarrassment and fear. The idea is to keep students at grade level while giving them additional support.
Middle School ESL
This class provides explicit, intensive, and focused instruction that accelerates students’ academic language proficiency and language skills to ensure academic success for all learners. The class has students from grades 5-8, therefore we cover two different books for below-level and above-level students. The Cornerstone series (5-7) includes six thematic units per level organized around a Big Question. It focuses on critical academic vocabulary and key words taught before each lesson. We also cover phonics, comprehension, graphic organizers, grammar, spelling and writing activities. The Cambridge Edition (8) uses a communicative, multi-skills approach to develop the students’ language abilities in an interesting and motivational way. A wide range of interesting text types is used to present authentic use of language, including magazine and newspaper clippings, interviews, narratives, songs and engaging photo stories. The units have the following basic structure; reading text, grammar, vocabulary and skills work, writing skills and extra speaking activities.
High School ESL
ESL covers English grammar and vocabulary that is necessary for students to be successful in their other high school subjects. Along with reading and writing, the course focuses on the students’ listening and speaking skills, often incorporating songs, debates, skits and games. Although gaining competence in grammar and vocabulary is the main focus of the course, critical thinking skills are also developed through projects asking students to solve real-life issues. The course is usually small and the syllabus is flexible, so what is addressed often depends on grammar and/or vocabulary that the students wish to focus on.