ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at The Udine International School are reserved for students who have no previous knowledge of the English language or whose degree of fluency in English is not sufficient to access the school curriculum (i.e. students coming from Italian schools or other foreign countries).
Each student participates to the maximum of his or her ability and the subject area teacher adapts assignments and/or works individually with the student whenever possible. Most students make rapid progress in English through participating in the classes, speaking and playing with their classmates.
Students are selected for the ESL program on the basis of a personalized interview given to each new applicant and on the basis of an admission test given to those who demonstrate some degree of proficiency.
The English as a Second Language teacher meets with each ESL student one to several times weekly (in accordance with time availability and student needs) either individually or in small groups after consultation with the subject teachers. We avoid scheduling these classes when students have Additional Subjects such as Art, Music, or Physical Education since these are areas which provide a less-structured opportunity to use English with classmates and also permit child participation in activities with a limited use of the English language. This approach is very important for the bolstering of child confidence. Math is another subject in which students can participate and succeed without having an advanced knowledge of English.
The purpose of the English as a Second Language Program is to provide individual help for students so that they can participate more fully in their regular classes. Areas worked on are: pronunciation, phonics, grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, reading comprehension and conversation. Usually, the subject area teachers will suggest specific topics and activities needed, such as “prepositions” or “Math vocabulary”.The ESL teacher may also help the student in a particular phase of his or her regular class work (i.e. reading assignments) so that he/she can keep up with the rest of the class.
The ESL teacher is responsible for preparing an individual curriculum for each student based on his or her English fluency and special needs. Finally, meeting with the ESL teacher also provides an opportunity for individual guidance in helping the second language student adapt to an English-speaking school environment.
During the first year of attendance, the ESL course will be at the school’s expense. From the second year on, the eventual need to continue the course and with what frequency will be arranged with the student’s family and will be at parents’ expense.