English Language Learner (ELL)
When new students arrive to The International School of Minnesota, they will take an English diagnostic test. This helps to determine if ELL support is needed for our non-native English speakers, and if so, what level of class. Students in ELL classes will take their weekly English language learner course alongside their regular classes. Each student will also receive a personalized study plan that will highlight the different areas, such as Reading and Speaking, which will identify areas for improvement and also their English strengths. This will assist the student in their progress towards becoming a proficient in English at The International School of Minnesota.
Our program is growing every year with students from all over the world. Our recent students have come from countries like Russia, Nigeria, Vietnam, China, and South Korea. We learn English in an intensive setting, often meeting at for 2 hours/day (all week) with additional classes that help meet the students’ needs, such as Read Naturally, Supplement, or the TOEFL Preparation.
We use the EDGE Series from National Geographic which comes with a book of stories, a workbook, and a grammar book. At each level, there are 7 units with 3 clusters, each consisting of 8 new vocabulary words, 2-3 new stories or poems, and many activities encompassing reading, writing, speaking, and listening. We complete additional tasks as needed and bring in guest speakers, take field trips, participate in class debates, and do class presentations.
Fundamentals: This class is for students who have a basic or elementary level of English and American culture. We help improve the students’ English skills as well as their self-esteem and familiarity with English and American culture. We are at the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy by Remembering and Understanding the stories that we read.
Level 1: This class is for students who have an intermediate level of English and who have tested into this level. This class is faster and more intense than ELL Fundamentals because the story length is about 10-15 pages long and we start introducing higher-order thinking questions. We are preparing them to move on to ELL Level 2. We are at the middle levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy by Applying the stories that we read to other stories and/or our lives.
Level 2: This class is for students who have an advanced level of English and who have tested into this level. Some of these students have studied English in their home country or have attended high school in other parts of America. This class is faster and more intense than ELL Level 1 because the story length is about 15-30 pages long and we use higher-order thinking questions every day. We are preparing them to move on to mainstream English classes with their native-English speaking peers. We are in the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy by Creating, Evaluating, and Analyzing the stories that we read.
Level 3: This class is meant for the students who have successfully tested out of our rigorous ELL Level 2 Program and are now enrolled in mainstream English classes with their native-English speaking peers. We offer this class as a supplement to the mainstream class. We meet two times per week to review what they have learned and to help them understand the new material.