English and French as a Second Language
English as a Second Language
In order to better support our International students and given the demands of our rigorous English program, all International students are interviewed upon arrival to St. George's School so that we may determine English proficiency levels.
Based on each student’s understanding of the language, as well as their reading and writing ability and grade level, an individual program is then developed. This program, as is determined by a preliminary evaluation, may initially entail private tutoring during the regularly scheduled English Language Arts classes. Possible evaluation modifications might also be recommended. The goal of this approach is to strengthen skills and to provide a basic foundation so that the participating students can integrate into our regular English Language Arts classes as soon as possible.
French as a Second Language
The goal of the remedial program is to integrate the international student into the mainstream French Program as quickly as possible, by offering stimulating instruction, dynamic opportunities and a nurturing environment.
As most international students arrive at St. George’s with limited French skills, or in some cases, with none at all, we design an individual program that will eventually allow the student to integrate into the regular or advanced streams.
To achieve that goal, a French language profile is created for each student. This process is overseen by our Remedial French Language Specialist.
The student is then placed in a small group setting (between five and eight students). For as long as necessary, the student receives intensive exposure to French language skills.
Although the French language Remedial Program is offered at all grade levels, in Secondary I and II (Grades 7 and 8), the student is also removed from Science Sociales (as it is offered in French) and in its place the student is given the opportunity to participate in additional Remedial French (time frame varies with each student).
The International Students also are placed within groups of students of their own age. This ensures that individual attention can be offered while respecting the age level and social circumstances of the child.
Development of Comprehension Skills
Initially, emphasis is placed on intensive verbal communication and comprehension. Conversation is focused on every day life issues and events. This gives the student an opportunity to use their French in “real” situations and gives them confidence to communicate outside of the classroom and the school setting. We have found this approach to be highly successful.
Development of Reading Skills
The goal is to encourage the students to read in French and our specialists strive to expose the students to literature that is exciting and manageable in length.
One approach that has proven to be engaging is to discuss a mystery short story and match the characters to the names, physical characteristics and personality of the current students within the group. This allows the students to both identify with the characters while creating excitement and enthusiasm to progress with their reading.
Development of Listening Skills
The personalized short story is taken one step further. A dramatic recording is made available to each student on their own laptop. The students are encouraged to listen to the reading while following the text on the screen. Each student has the ability to select the text they wish and repeat it as many times as necessary until they have the “ear” for the pronunciation, diction and rhythm of the French language. This is especially important because the students are exposed to so many different accents and languages within the class group, and the need to establish clearly articulated pronunciation, diction and accent is essential for progress.
Development of Oral Skills
In addition to the daily emphasis on verbal communication, our Remedial Specialists use technology to further enhance and stimulate the learning process. Each student must prepare a weekly PowerPoint presentation on subjects that range from the very simple to more complex topics. The length of time increases as their ability and confidence develops.
This approach has a proven track record in reducing the stress level experienced by the students in speaking in front of their peers as it gives them the time and tools to develop and practise their presentation.