North Jakarta Intercultural School ESOL Parent Orientation and Welcome Newsletter
Welcome to North Jakarta Intercultural School
We are pleased that you have chosen to join the NJIS community. This newsletter was designed to provide families with information about our ESOL program and some helpful tips on how you can help your child to be successful and have developed an ESOL program that we believe targets the individual needs of eash learner. For further details, please consult your child’s ESOL teacher and visit our Web site at www.njis.org.
English for Speaking of Other Languages
The ESOL program at NJIS serves students from Grades 1-8 who require additional language support in order to help them fully access the mainstream material. Because emphasis is placed on early-language development and because lessons are naturally contextualized in the early primary years, there is no formal ESOL instruction for Pre-K to Grade 2.
To accelerate language acquision, the ESOL program at NJIS combines pull-out and inclusion, and is designed to meet the needs of students who require intensive support of their English language development. To achieve academic competency in English, the ESOL learner’s needs are best met in a well-articulated, content-based program of instruction that parallels as much as possible the mainstream language arts curriculum. This approach provides a learning environment which emphasizes skills and strategies that support and supplement mainstream instruction. Combining language and content instruction is essential if students are to develop their language skills and appropriate cognitive skills.
The ESOL program at NJIS emphasizes a communicative and interactive approach to language acquisition to help students develop proficiency in the four skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The ESOL program strives to support English acquisition while also promoting the cognitive development of your child. For this reason, our ESOL curriculum parallels as much as possible the mainstream curriculum while at the same time providing for the development of the overall language proficiency of the ESOL students. We use a variety of formative and summative assessment measures to monitor the progress of all ESOL students.
Your child’s ESOL teacher will determine his or her level. These ESOL levels assess and track language acquisition. NJIS has adopted the ACTFL language assessment levels, which are generally accepted as the developmental stages throughwhill all learners of a second language pass.
Language Acquisition Levels:
Proficiency guidelines from ACTFL 2012 http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/public/ACTFLProficiencyGuidelines2012_FINAL.pdf
The Upper School ESOL students receive specialized instruction in a pull-out program for Levels 1-3 (Beginner, Internediate, Mid). Students are not required to take a foreign language course and instead receive supplementary ESOL instruction to promote their communication skills. The four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking are integrated in the class instruction.
Information for Parents of ESOL Students
Parents often ask their child’s ESOL teacher, “What can I do at home to help my child lear English?” There is no magic formula to make your child learn English. It requires time, dedication, and hard work to learn another language; however, parents play a critical role in the education of their child. There is much parents can do to help their children even if they do not feel comfortable using English. This section provides parents with helpful tips and information about language learning.
How can I help my child learn English?
Here is a list of suggestions to help your child with his or her English language acquisition:
- Give your child plenty of opportunities to use English outside of school by providing him or her with English reading materials.
- Provide access to English educational programs on television.
- Stay in contact with your child’s teachers; we are working together.
- Use a homework agenda to track homework assignments and talk with your child’s teachers
- Make sure your child has a quit place where he or she can finish homework and read.
- Encourage your child to take advantage of his or her opportunities at NJIS by using English at school; it is the language of inclusion.
- Encourage your child to get involved in after-school activities, such as clubs, sports, student government, and school socials.
- Get involved by attending open houses, parent meetings, parent/teacher conferences, and school functions.
- Show an interest in what your child is learning at school. Ask him or her questions about a book he or she is reading or ideas he or she is learning at school. If you show and make learning a priority so will your child.
- Read to your child in your home language.
- Encourage your child to continue his or her language development in your home language.
- Ask your child to explain a story or book to you in your home language.
- Explalin challenging academic concepts to your child in your home language.
- Encourage your child to teach you English.
- Show appreciation for good work and effort.
- Encourage your child to always achieve his or her “personal best”.
- Give your child time, support, and understanding.
Why is it improtant we speak our own language at home?
Research has shown that ESOL students in international schools learn English faster and more efficiently if they maintain and develop their proficiency in their mother tongue. If your child has a solid foundation in his or her first language, then he or she will be able to transfer these language skills to English. Encourage your child to read and write in his or her own language at home. It is also important that your child and your family maintain a connection to your own country, culture, family, and friends.
Why is reading important?
Reading is the key to language learning. Educational researchers have found that there is a strong correlation between reading and academic success. In other words, a student who is a good reader is more likely to do better at school than a student who is a weak reader. Good readers understand the individual sentences and the organizational structure of a piece of writing. They comprehend ideas, follow arguments, make inferences, and use context to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words. As they read, they imagine and think about what they are reading.
Educational researchers have also found a strong correlation between reading and vocabulary knowledge. In other words, students who read a lot expand their vocabulary. The best way to acquire a large and rich vocabulary is to read extensively. The more your child reads, the more likely he or she is to become a good reader.
If you want your child to be successful at school, encourage him or her to read. Reading in both English and your home language will help your child develop the reading competence that is essential for academic achievement.
How can I help my child with homework?
As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Even if you do not feel comfortable using English, you continue to have a critical role in your child’s education. If you show an interest and value learning, so will your child. Here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Ask your child to explain to you a book, an assignment, or an activity in your home language.
- Talk about it together (showing an interest, but also helping them).
- You can help your child understand a concept in his or her home language.
- Help your child organize his or her books and binders.
- Use the homework agenda/diary as a way to talk into your child’s teacher by writing notes in it or getting your child to write the comment or question for you.
- Find a quiet spot where your child can work with no interruptions or distractions from a television or computer.
- Find a consistent time for homework.
Is private tuition necessary for my child?
There is no easy answer to this question. The answer is yes and no, depending on the individual needs of your child. You need to consider some of the following factors: the current ESOL level of your child, age, when your child started at NJIS, how much free time he or she has after school, and if your child wants the additional support of a tutor. You also need to consider what kind of support does your child needs. Does your child need help with conversational English, writing, or math? The best person to help you make this decision is your child’s ESOL teacher. Please note that by government regulation, NJIS teachers cannot offer private tutoring to students.
How long does it take to learn another language?
Generally it takes about 2-3 years for majority of ESOL learners to be able to use English for most daily situations. however, current research suggests that it takes between 5-7+ years for most ESOL students to catch up to their native speaking peers in using English for academic purposes. It is important to remember that all learners learn differently and progress at their own rate. Motivation, aptitude, prior experience, opportunity, and readiness are all key factors that affect progress. Your child has a long and difficult task ahead of him or her. This means that your child needs your support and understanding.