ELL Overview

AISU offers an English Language Learning (ELL) program for international students to facilitate a successful transition to studying in the USA. Through reliable placement testing, each international student’s English abilities are assessed at the beginning of the school year and repeated throughout the year as a means to measure progress and identify areas for improvement. Using the student’s test scores, the AISU international team schedules the student in the appropriate ELL course and customizes his/her academic schedule to match his/her English proficiency level.

Each ELL class is held for approximately 75 minutes each day. The curriculum focuses on all aspects of the English language including speaking, listening, grammar, reading, and writing. Teachers use the National Geographic curriculum, which is a thematic approach to language learning. This is supplemented with Reading Horizons curriculum, which is used to bolster reading and writing skills. Our experienced ELL teachers also utilize additional innovative tools and techniques!

In academic courses, international students are partnered with a native English speaking peer who provides them with needed tutoring, an opportunity to improve their English skills, and a chance to make friends. Supplemental services, such as the AISU Writing Center and international college preparation program also serve international students in their English Language improvement.

Basic English Conversation and Phonics

Basic English Conversation and Phonics students are typically in grades 6-10 and demonstrate very basic English proficiency or none at all. As a result of their limited English fluency, they are limited in their ability to successfully engage in their academic courses and struggle with conversational English as well. Thus, English language learning is the main focus of ELL 1 students’ schedules.

English Fundamentals

English Fundamentals students are typically in grades 6-10 and demonstrate basic conversational English proficiency. As a result of their limited English fluency, they may be limited in their ability to successfully engage in their academic courses and may still struggle with conversational English. Thus, English language learning is a main focus of their schedule.

Beginning English

Beginning English students are typically in grades 6-10 and demonstrate beginning English proficiency. Because of their limited English fluency, they may be limited in their ability to successfully engage in other academic courses. Thus, English language learning is a main focus of their schedule.

Intermediate English

Intermediate English students are typically in grades 9-11 and demonstrate intermediate English proficiency. Their ELL courses support them in fine tuning their conversational English and building their academic English skills, as well as succeeding in their other academic courses.

TOEFL preparation course- During one of the three trimesters each year, Intermediate English students are encouraged to also take the TOEFL preparation course. The TOEFL prep course is a two week after school program with classes held for 60 minutes after school each day. Participation in this class allows students to gain additional English language and test taking skills to prepare for the TOEFL.

Advanced English

Advanced English students are typically in grades 10-12 and demonstrate advanced English proficiency, albeit still not native nor near native proficiency. As a result of their high conversational English ability, their ELL courses act as a support to help them improve their academic English, be successful in their other academic courses, and gain admission to a good university.

TOEFL preparation course - During one of the three trimesters each year, Advanced English students are encouraged to also take the TOEFL preparation course. The TOEFL prep course is a two week after school program with classes held for 60 minutes after school each day. Participation in this class allows students to gain additional English language and test taking skills to prepare for the TOEFL.