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English as an Additional Language (EAL)

At GEMS (Singapore), we are proud of our culturally and linguistically diverse community. The student body comprises over 60 different nationalities and the language profiles of some of our learners are rich and complex, requiring individualised support to cope with the English-based curriculum. We offer an enhanced English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme for students from Grade 1 to Grade 8*. If your child requires additional language support, they will be assessed during the admissions process to ascertain their current level of English.

Students entering Grade 9 & 10 should meet minimum English Language Proficiency entry requirements in order to be eligible to join the school. While EAL lessons** are available, Grade 9 and 10 students might also be required to undertake additional after-school English lessons*** to maintain or improve their level of English language proficiency.

Students entering Grade 11 & 12 must have fluent English, both spoken and written. 

As the Registration fee is non-refundable, we encourage you to submit the application only if you are sure that your child meets the English entry requirement level.

* EAL programme for students in Grade 1 - 8 is provided at an additional charge.
**EAL programme for students in Grades 9 & 10 is included in the tuition fees.
***After-school English programme is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately.

 

In collaboration with class teachers, EAL teachers will support GEMS Students in EAL (GEMS SEALs) through small group "pull-out" classes as well as with "push-in" support. EAL students in both "pull-out" and "push-in" classes will receive focused instruction in the areas of grammar, vocabulary and language development across listening, speaking, writing and reading skills.


Level Provision EAL Programme
(classes per week*)
Fees
(per Semester, SGD)
Grade 1 - 5
Level 1 (Intensive) Pull-Out
Push-In
8 x 45 mins/wk 
4 x 45 mins/wk
$4,200
Level 2 (Enhanced) Pull-Out
Push-In
4 x 45 min/wk
4 x 45 min/wk
$3,150
Grade 6-8
Level 1 (Intensive) Pull-Out (Lang. Acquisition, English Lang. & Lit.)
Push-In (for other subjects)
10 x 50 min/7-days $4,200
Level 2 (Enhanced) Pull-Out (Lang. Acquisition)
Push-In (for other subjects)
5 x 50 min/7-days
3-5 x 50 min/ 7-days
$3,150
Grade 9
Level 1 (Intensive) Pull-Out (Lang. Acquisition, English Lang. & Lit.)
Push-In (for other subjects)
5 x 50 min/7-days included in the tuition fees
Level 2 (Enhanced) Pull-Out (Lang. Acquisition)
Push-In (for other subjects)
5 x 50 min/7-days included in the tuition fees
Grade 10
Level 1 (Intensive) NA NA NA
Level 2 (Enhanced) Pull-Out (Lang. Acquisition)
Push-In (for other subjects)

5 x 50 min/7-days

included in the tuition fees

* The number of hours/classes might vary due to the timetabling of subjects

EAL Pull-out Classes

During "pull-out" classes GEMS SEALs will receive intensive and tailored English language instruction within a small group setting outside of the main classroom. It is important to note that students may be pulled-out from different subjects based on the linguistic difficulty of the subject. The EAL teacher will collaborate with the respective classroom teacher at all times to accommodate each student’s individual language needs within the context of each class unit. The small-group setting will provide a safe learning environment for GEMS SEALs to practice speaking skills, ask questions and receive personalised instruction.

EAL Push-in Classes

During "push-in" classes GEMS SEALs will learn alongside their classroom peers and also receive in-class support from the EAL teacher. In collaboration with the class/subject teacher, the EAL teacher will provide support in the context of the content that is being studied in the homeroom environment. Both the EAL teacher and class teacher will be more closely monitoring progress and sharing as co-teachers of the curriculum. This will ensure that GEMS SEALs remain integrated into the core curriculum and with their peers, promoting social communication skills and inclusion in all aspects of school life.

Nursery & Early Years

Children entering Nursery through to KG2 whose first language is not English will be immersed into an English-speaking environment for all classroom activities. Through play activities, they will begin to use the language naturally and will adapt quickly to an English-speaking environment. 

Primary Years

Students entering Grades 1 through to Grade 5 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment (WIDA) to determine their ability to cope with an English-based curriculum and to assess whether they need additional language support.

WIDA is a large-scale English language proficiency assessment designed by the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium to assess students’ English proficiency in the following areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

If your child requires additional English language support, they will be placed in our English as an Additional Language (EAL) Support Programme. The level of placement will be determined by their WIDA assessment scores as follows:


EAL Support WIDA Average Score

Level 1 (Intensive)

2.9 and below

Level 2 (Enhanced)

3.0 and above


Secondary Years

Students entering Grades 6 through to Grade 12 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment (Aptis) to determine their ability to cope with an English-based curriculum and to assess whether they need additional language support.

Aptis is a general English language test designed by the British Council to assess students’ English proficiency in the following areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

If your child requires additional English language support, they will be placed in our English as an Additional Language (EAL) support programme. The level of placement will be determined by their overall Aptis assessment score, as referenced in the table below, as well as an assessment of their performance at interview and references obtained from their previous school.


Grade Level Aptis Score (Overall)
Level 1 (Intensive) Level 2 (Enhanced)
6 B1 and below B2 and above
7 B1 and below B2 and above
8 B1 and above B2 and above
9 B1 and above B2 and above
10 Level 1 EAL Support is not provided  B2 and above

Students entering Grade 11 & 12 must have fluent English, both spoken and written. 

As the Registration fee is non-refundable, we encourage you to submit the application only if you are sure that your child meets the English entry requirement level.

 

What does EAL mean? 

EAL stands for English as an Additional Language.


Who is eligible to join the EAL Programme?

Students entering Grade 1 through to Grade 10 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment (WIDA/Aptis) to determine whether the candidate can access the English-based curriculum and if additional support is required.


What is Pull-Out EAL Instruction?

This means that the EAL teacher pulls students out of the general classroom to work in a small group setting in another room. During Pull-Out instruction, GEMS EAL students miss instruction that takes place in the general education classroom but the EAL teacher collaborates with the respective classroom teacher at all times.


What is Push-In EAL Instruction?

This means that the EAL teacher comes into the general classroom to support GEMS EAL students during normal lessons.


What is the structure of ​the ​EAL Programme​?

The EAL Programme provides two levels of support:

Level 1 - Intensive support
Level 2 - Enhanced support


What is the number of EAL students per grade?

There will be a maximum capacity of 30% of EAL students across all grade levels.


How many EAL students will be taught during Pull-Out EAL classes?

Maximum 12 students during a Pull-Out EAL class (subject to changes). 


How are students assessed?

Students are assessed both formatively (on-going teacher assessment) and summatively (external benchmarks). The benchmarks used are:

Primary Years - WIDA assessment
Secondary Years - APTIS assessment


How is a student placed into the EAL Programme?

New students

As part of the GEMS (Singapore) admission procedure, all students whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment to determine whether the candidate can access the English-based curriculum and if additional support is required. WIDA/APTIS tests will be administered prior to the enrolment. Families will be informed about the EAL level placement prior to enrolment and payment of Admission fees.

. The placement will be based on:

  • English proficiency assessment results
  • Information provided in previous school reports 

Enrolled students

All enrolled students will undergo various English language assessments during the academic year to track the progress and identify the areas for improvement. 


Are the EAL teachers qualified?

All our teachers are qualified and trained in delivering EAL support.


Is the EAL Programme chargeable?
  • The cost of the EAL Programme for students from Grade 1 through to Grade 8 is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately per semester. The school will send a separate invoice for the EAL fees
  • The cost of the EAL Programme for students from Grade 9 & 10 is included in the tuition fees.

Will you adjust the EAL fees if a new student joins the school in the middle of the academic year?
  • The cost of the EAL Programme for students from Grade 1 through to Grade 8 is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately per semester. The school will send a separate invoice for the EAL fees
  • The cost of the EAL Programme for students from Grade 9 & 10 is included in the tuition fees.

Can my child be promoted to a higher EAL level (or into the mainstream classes) during the academic year?

Every child is different and it will depend on their age when they enter the school, their ability as language learners, their level of English when they enter and their capacity for work that will determine the rate of progress. Every child will respond to the learning differently so there is not a defined timeframe for how long a child would be in an EAL programme. In addition, our school does not want to set false expectations. Yet, as a general guide, parents can assume that a child would progress from one level to the next over the period of one academic year. There may be situations though where a child’s progress is faster than most and the level of EAL support may change during the school year. The allocated times to move are at the beginning of each semester. These situations will be handled on a case by case basis and the school’s decision is final as to the level of support required. 

Those students who are deemed by the EAL teacher to be ready to be promoted will be re-assessed using the external assessment tools. Students are eligible to change EAL levels only at the end of the semester. 

Please note that the exit criteria will consider the following:

  • Academic results
  • EAL teacher recommendation
  • Supported by WIDA / APTIS test results

Will you adjust the EAL fees for the upcoming semester if the student has been promoted to another EAL level at the end of the previous Semester?

Yes. The EAL fees for the upcoming semester will be adjusted accordingly. 


What score does my child require to be accepted into a particular level or move levels?

The decision to place, or promote, a child into a particular EAL level is based on the academic results, EAL teacher recommendation and the external benchmark testing (PY - WIDA and SY - APTIS). The details of the particular scores required to move levels can be accessed from the school leadership teams or the EAL teachers. 

Primary Years (Grade 1 - 5)

Level 1 (Intensive) - an average of 2.9 or below
Level 2 (Enhanced) - an average of 3.0 and above

All PY EAL students will participate in WIDA assessments twice within the academic year and this data will be shared with parents. The EAL student needs to meet the following criteria in order to exit the Primary Years EAL Programme:

  • An average of 5.5 or higher in the WIDA assessment
  • An average of less than 5.5 on the WIDA assessment, but a score of 5 and above for each assessed domain (reading, writing, speaking & listening)

Secondary Years (Grade 6-10)

All Secondary Years students will be assessed using APTIS on enrollment and on a recommendation for promotion within and/or exiting the Secondary Years EAL Programme.

Grade 6 & Grade 7

Level 1 (Intensive) - B1 (overall Aptis score) and below
Level 2 (Enhanced)- B2 (overall Aptis score) and above

Grade 8

Level 1 (Intensive) - B1 (overall Aptis score) - NOT LOWER than B1 Overall
Level 2 (Enhanced)- B2 (overall Aptis score) and above

Grade 9 

Level 1 (Intensive) - B1 (overall Aptis score) and below
Level 2 (Enhanced) - B2 (overall Aptis score) and above

Grade 10 

Level 1 (Intensive) - not provided
Level 2 (Enhanced) - B2 (overall Aptis score) and above

All Secondary Years EAL students will be assessed using APTIS on enrollment and on a recommendation for promotion within and/or exiting the Secondary Years EAL Programme.

English levels are measured by using assessments that link to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference For Languages) so that we can best meet the needs of each student. 


Will you refund a Registration fee if the application is unsuccessful and the student does not meet minimum English Language Proficiency entry requirements?

No, the Registration fee is non-refundable. We encourage you to submit the application only if you are sure that your child meets the English entry requirement level. 

 

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CPE registration number: 200803726H, 19 March 2017 to 18 March 2021
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