More than 60 students in Years 2-11 are benefiting from a personalised English Language Support (ELS) programme at ACG School Jakarta that has helped hundreds of students acquire valuable language skills over the years.
With many extrinsic and internal factors influencing language acquisition, teachers personalise each student’s learning experiences to help them move through the stages.
The programme caters for students from all over the world and uses a ‘pull-out’ or ‘in-class support’ model in which students at beginning and emerging stages of the programme attend small group instruction sessions.
At primary and secondary levels, ELS teachers visit mainstream classes to support students during literacy activities, working with them on differentiated activities, vocabulary lists and deepening their understanding of concepts.
“We modify the course delivery, so our students can access content more easily,” said ELS team coordinator Ms Dickinson. “Since all learners are at different stages of acquisition, we also individualise learning experiences, which ensures skills development towards the ELS learning objectives, with an explicit focus on academic skills in English.”
Panyada (Mind) Khongthong, from Thailand, is in Year 13 at ACG School Jakarta. She spent one-and-half years in the ELS programme while she was in Years 7 and 8. Mind plans to return to Thailand to study in the international programme at university, which will be delivered in English.
She said the programme helped her speaking, listening, reading and writing, and the focus on academic language was particularly useful.
“The teachers were the best part of the programme. The approach to learning was interesting and the learning materials engaging,” she added.
From Ms Dickinson’s perspective, a welcoming, personalised and supportive learning environment is key to student success. The school’s ELS classrooms are language-rich learning environments with colourful displays, levelled readers, games and activities to encourage language acquisition.
“We often see ELS students willingly participate in the ELS classroom, but in their mainstream classroom they are nervous and may not speak,” she said. “Everyone who joins should feel valued and confident to take risks in sharing and participating.”
Overall the aim is to develop the students’ English so they can access the curriculum independently.
“I can say that hundreds of students have passed successfully through the programme in my time at ACG,” Ms Dickinson said.