Submitted by: Rena Brown
Photos courtesy of Stamford American International School
Date: October 2019
Stamford American International School is the first and only school in Singapore to offer students aged 18 months to 18 years the opportunity to pursue the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or Advanced Placement (AP) International Diploma on top of graduating with a US accredited Stamford High School Diploma. As a multicultural, global community of over 75 nationalities, Stamford American provides a caring, supportive and inclusive academic environment to inspire students to create their unique future.
With such diversity in our school, English language development programs are an essential part of our support for student learning. An integral part of that support are the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) standards and the WIDA MODEL Assessment. The decision to start using this amazing tool and framework came about from the need to develop a program that would support both EAL students and teachers working with them in an our ever changing International context.
We have multiple languages spoken at our school and students of all English language proficiency levels. WIDA has not only been an invaluable assessment tool that has enabled us to determine language proficiency levels across domains, it has also guided our practice by supporting the development of unit planning that focuses on the conceptualization of academic language and language development in academic contexts. – Ruth Hinchliffe – EAL Teacher/Elementary HOD
We have been a WIDA school for over 8 years. We use the WIDA MODEL assessment to identify EAL students upon application, as part of our planning for learning, as well as a key data point for decisions made about students transitioning out of EAL support. Our EAL program serves students from WIDA Level 1 through Level 3 starting in Kindergarten through Grade 8 in our Sheltered EAL classes. For our WIDA level 3 through level 5 students, we have our Mainstream EAL program from Kindergarten through Grade 10. This program is based on an ecological model of support with a robust co-teaching model in Elementary school and up to grade 10. In grades 6-10 we also support our EAL students with MYP Language Acquisition - English classes. The curriculum for these classes is a combination of the IB MYP framework, AERO standards and WIDA ELD standards.
‘WIDA allows us the opportunity to develop differentiated language goals for our students in order to enhance their learning.’ Amy Clement – EAL Teacher/LE Literacy Lead
We are proud of the programs we have developed to support our EAL students. We are thankful for the partnership we have with WIDA and the International School Consortium, and the support they provide through the continued research and development of resources to support ELLs in our International school context.
You can visit the Stamford American International School in March when they host a WIDA Symposium.