English As An Additional Language


“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

‒Rita Mae Brown


French students with their language teacher

The EAL program is designed for students who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) to their home and family language(s). We believe that learning and language are interconnected and learning best takes place in authentic contexts within a caring environment. The purpose of the program is to provide developmentally appropriate language support so that students are able to learn alongside with their peers in all learning programs at YIS. 

English is our language of instruction and the EAL program supports language development so that the student may build social and academic language that is needed to learn within our programs and context. Students receive specifically designed instruction that is focused on developing the four language domains: speaking, writing, listening and reading.

By integrating learning and language across the curriculum, we ensure that students develop lifelong skills with strong linguistic foundations. We strive to create a learning environment that fosters language development through oral engagements, vocabulary expansion, and a focus on reading and writing skills. As all teachers are recognised language teachers, regardless of subject area, this enables students to be supported throughout the curriculum and programs in their language development. 

The EAL department actively collaborates with homeroom and subject area teachers throughout the school in order to ensure that all students’ language development is supported. Through collaborating, co-planning, co-teaching, and co-assessing, teachers design lessons that are based on students’ language learning needs. Please see our Language Policy for further details.

Early Learning Center (ELC)-Kindergarten
Students are fully immersed in the language of their classroom, English. We recognize that young learners often learn best through natural, social engagements. The ELC and Kindergarten programs provide students who are new to English with the most beneficial type of language learning experience, play. 

Grades 1-5: Primary Years Program (PYP) 

In grades 1-5, those students who are new to learning in English may attend a specialized EAL class that is held in place of the Japanese Language class. The aim of the EAL program is to help students attain English proficiency that will allow them to access the curriculum and learning experiences in all programs. Students benefit from small group sessions in EAL classes that target the development of the four Language Domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Discussions and interaction are also integral parts of these lessons. Students may also receive homeroom-class English support, even if they are not in the EAL class.

Secondary 6-12 (MYP/DP)
Students are fully immersed in all core subject areas. An EAL specialist monitors language progress of all students through collaborative practices with subject teachers, including push-in teaching. Together, they develop differentiated instruction that improves student learning. The collaborative approach to teaching and learning allows for all teachers to monitor and support students’ language progress while ensuring that students are able to be successful in the curriculum and learning programs.


Please refer to the Eligibility section of our Admissions Policy page for English proficiency requirements.


All current students receiving EAL support services have a Language Profile to document their EAL learning at YIS. This is co-created by the EAL and homeroom teachers. Students may be assessed through the creation or updating of their Language Profile, including information collected from, but not limited to:

  • Classroom Teacher Observations
  • EAL Teacher Observations
  • Classroom assignments and assessments
  • Writing Samples
  • Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment data and/or ISA data
  • Ability to inquire in English in the PYP or MYP
  • Development of home and family language
  • WIDA International School Consortium's English Language Performance Definitions, such as with the Can-Do Descriptors or the MODEL/W-APT Assessment Data
  • Other relevant information or considerations



YIS is a member of the WIDA International School Consortium. Member schools use WIDA's research-based standards and assessments to "develop inclusive programs that build on the assets of all learners, while transforming the conversation about what multilingual students can do."