menu

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 in Grades 1-8 and a Standard EAL programme for students in Grades 9-10. 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 11-12 must have fluent English, both spoken and written.

 

GEMS (Singapore) offers an Enhanced EAL programme1 to support learners who have had limited exposure to the English language. In collaboration with class teachers, EAL teachers will support students 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. The number of "pull-out" and "push-in" sessions varies depending on the level of EAL support, timetabling and student's needs.

EAL Pull-out classes

During "pull-out" classes students 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 students to practice speaking skills, ask questions and receive personalised instruction.

EAL Push-in classes

During "push-in" classes students 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. This will ensure that students remain integrated into the core curriculum and with their peers, promoting social communication skills and inclusion in all aspects of school life.


1 Enhanced EAL programme for students in Grades 1 - 8 is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately. 

In Grades 9 and 10, GEMS (Singapore) offers a Standard EAL Programme2  to provide students with the necessary support and improve their English language skills across the curriculum, promoting overall success at school. The programme is focused on strengthening students' academic vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading comprehension and writing skills.

While standard EAL lessons are available as part of the school programme, Grade 9 and 10 students might also be required to undertake after-school academic English lessons3  to maintain or improve their level of English language proficiency. The number of classes and hours may vary due to the timetabling of subjects. 

 


2 Standard EAL Programme is included in the tuition fees
3 The after-school academic English programme is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately.

 

Nursery & Early Years

Children entering Nursery through to KG2 are not formally assessed prior to the enrolment. 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, may be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment (WIDA) to determine whether the candidate can access the English-based curriculum and if additional language support is required.

WIDA assessment is a large-scale English language proficiency assessment designed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium to assess students’ English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and oral language (listening 50%, speaking 50%). 

Students who require additional English language support to successfully access the curriculum will be placed in one of two levels of the Enhanced EAL Programme4 . Participation in the EAL programme is mandatory.

The level of placement will be determined by their WIDA assessment scores as follows:

EAL Support WIDA Average Score

Level 1 (Foundation)

2.9 and below

Level 2 (Intermediate)

3.0 and above

4 Enhanced EAL programme for students in Grades 1 - 5 is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately.

 


Secondary Years

Students entering Grades 6 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, may 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 Engish language support is required.

Aptis is a general English language test designed by the British Council to assess students’ English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

If your child requires additional English language support, they will be placed in the Enhanced5  or Standard6  EAL Programme. Participation in the EAL programme is mandatory.

The type of the EAL programme and the level of placement will be determined by the student’s grade level, their overall Aptis assessment score, as referenced in the tables below, as well as an assessment of their performance at interview and references obtained from their previous school (if applicable).

Enhanced EAL Programme
Grade Level Aptis Score (Overall)
Level 1 (Foundation) Level 2 (Intermediate/Advanced)
6 B1 and below B2 and above
7 B1 and below B2 and above
8 B1 and above B2 and above
Standard EAL Programme
Grade Level Aptis Score (Overall)
Level 1 (Foundation) Level 2 (Intermediate/Advanced)

9

B1 and above (for students starting school during Sem 1)
B2 and above (for students starting school during Sem 2)

B2 and above
10 EAL Support is not provided B2 and above

While standard EAL lessons are available and included in the tuition fees, Grade 9 and 10 students might also be required to undertake after-school academic English lessons to maintain or improve their level of English language proficiency. Participation in the after-school academic English lessons7 is mandatory if the school deems the student requires it.

Students entering Grades 11 -12 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, may be required to sit for an English proficiency assessment to determine their ability to cope with an English-based curriculum. Students must demonstrate fluent English (both spoken and written) by achieving the minimum Aptis score of B2 or above.

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.

 


5 Enhanced EAL programme for students in Grades 6 - 8 is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately.
6 Standard EAL programme for students in Grades 9 - 10 is included in the tuition fees.
7 The after-school academic English programme is not included in the tuition fees and will be charged separately.

 

What does EAL mean? 

EAL stands for English as an Additional Language.


What is Pull-Out EAL Instruction?

This means that the EAL teacher pulls students out of the general classroom or subject to work in a small group setting in another room. During Pull-Out instruction, 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 EAL students during normal lessons.


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

 The EAL Programme provides two levels of support:

  • Enhanced EAL support (Grades 1 -8)
  • Standard EAL lessons (Grades 9-10)

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 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 (Grade 1-10)
As part of the GEMS (Singapore) admission procedure, students whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, may 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 language support is required. If your child requires additional English language support, they will be placed in our Enhanced or Standard EAL Support Programme. Participation in the EAL programme is mandatory. 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. 

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 Enhanced 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 Standard 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?

Yes. If a new student joins the school in the middle of a semester this will be prorated accordingly.



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. 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. Parents will be informed at the end of the Semester on their child's progress and the appropriate EAL level for the upcoming 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?

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. 

 Grades 1-5
EAL Support WIDA Average Score

Level 1 (Foundation)

2.9 and below

Level 2 (Intermediate)

3.0 and above 


Grades 6-10

Enhanced EAL Programme 

Grade Level Aptis Score (Overall)
Level 1 (Foundation)  Level 2 (Intermediate/Advanced)
6 B1 and below B2 and above
7 B1 and below B2 and above
8 B1 and above B2 and above

 

Standard EAL Programme 

Grade Level Aptis Score (Overall)
Level 1 (Foundation)  Level 2 (Intermediate/Advanced)
9

B1 and above (for students starting school during Sem 1)
B2 and above (for students starting school during Sem 2)

B2 and above
10 EAL Support is not provided B2 and above

 

Grades 11 -12

Please note, that there is no EAL provision in Grades 11 & 12.


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

We regret to inform that 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. 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 - 2018 GEMS Education. All Rights Reserved.
CPE registration number: 200803726H, 19 March 2017 to 18 March 2021
EduTrust certificate number: EDU-2-2082, 27 July 2016 to 26 July 2020
CEEB Code: 687248