International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit

Elementary School English-as-a-Second-Language

English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Program

The ESL Program in the Elementary School is an integral part of each grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 4. Each grade level has a designated ESL specialist teacher who works as a part of the team of teachers in three ways:

  • As a resource to the team in planning for and meeting the language needs of the ESL children in the mainstream classes;
  • As an ESL teacher providing language lessons in a separate class for our identified ESL children who require support to access the curriculum;
  • As a collaborative teaching partner working with the mainstream teachers to deliver ESL inclusion.

School Beliefs

  • Bilingualism provides students with concrete cognitive and metalinguistic benefits in the long term.
  • Well developed literacy in the first language is a positive advantage in learning English.
  • First language maintenance facilitates family, peer and community relationships in addition to the development of self-esteem and identity in children.

First Language

At ISM, we recognize the importance of maintaining and developing literacy skills in a student’s first language. Research has shown that children with well developed literacy in their first language are able to transfer those skills to the second and subsequent languages. This means that the better developed a child’s reading, writing and oral communication skills in their first language, the easier it is for them to learn the same skills in English.

We have an enormously diverse student population at ISM and we believe this provides the students with a wonderful opportunity to learn about other languages and cultures from each other. This rich diversity also means that we are unable to provide first language classes for our students, so we rely on parents and families for first language maintenance and encourage families to make a conscious effort to do so.

What can you do to help your child become bilingual?

Continue to use your own language at home and encourage your child to speak, read and write in their first language. Children who have mastered their first language are able to learn English faster.

Read with your child in their first language. This will not only foster a love of reading in your child (which is seen as enormously beneficial to academic success), but also allows you to help develop your child’s vocabulary and conceptual understanding in the first language.

Continue to promote the importance and value of your first language and an appreciation of your child’s cultural heritage.

Encourage your child to participate in social and sporting activities with peers to develop their English skills, rather than providing an adult tutor and additional “work” time after school. Children will learn English much faster from their friends in a fun context with a real purpose.

Celebrate your child’s successes. Bilingualism is a wonderful gift to give your child – but it is also hard work. Allow your child to learn at his/her own pace and enjoy all their achievements in becoming bilingual.

Please click the following links to view our ESL team: