Academic Langauge

29 02 2012

We are beginning to study our science Garden Unit in KG.  Some of our big learning ideas include:

  • Living v. Non-Living (How do you know?)
  • Concept of Change
  • Elements of respect for living things

Students in our EAL program are learning language through academic content.  Even if a student’s grammar and speaking is not yet fluent, it is important for students to be cognitively stimulated and thinking.  New vocabulary is acquired through experiencing the language.  Students are expected to use the new academic vocabulary to best explain and share their understanding of the concepts and big ideas we explore in class.  These kiddos continue to absolutely amaze me with their motivation to take risks and include new language patterns as they develop their speaking skills.  So proud!

Wood and Words

18 11 2011

Our English Class is having such fun these days!  We are exploring wood and having lots of tactile experiences to talk about.  Last week we glued popsicle sticks together and make Plywood.  This week, we mixed sawdust and glue together to make Particle Board.  Then, we compared & contrasted the two types of wood to expose their similarities and differences.

Just sharing ways to experience, to acquire and to add academic vocabulary .

E-Learning part II

1 11 2011

Hi Everyone,

Here is another suggestion for an e-learning activity.  Try to use both your home language and your English to connect vocabulary!  Go around the house, (kitchen, bedroom, or use a picture book) and touch an object, name it in your home language, then try to name it in English.  For example, (let’s practice with Dutch):  touch a plate and say the word for it out loud “Bord”, then name it in English “Plate“…next: vork, lepel, mes = fork, spoon, knife!  See how many things YOU can recall two languages!  (Parents–let them try their best, you do not have to teach them the words in English.  We are aiming at getting their languages connecting.)  Have fun!

E-Learning Oct 31-Nov 7

29 10 2011

Hi Everyone!  This is a post for Moms & Dads to help with our KG EAP kids.

I know we have an extra week out of school, but let the learning continue!  You job EAL kiddos, is to bring back “one something” from your fall break.  You will share a story with the class what your “something” means.  Perhaps you went to the beach and want to bring back a little sand to talk about the sand castle you built?  Or maybe you went to Disneyland Hong Kong and you have a picture of you and Mickey Mouse?  Whatever you did, be ready to share something in EAP class!  Practice telling your mom or dad what story you are going to share first.

I am going to bring in some “Sea Glass”.  During my holiday, I was at the beach and found some colored glass along the shore.

See you all soon. ~~Ms. Pucci


ps.  There are great games to play on the “Literacy Games” tab on the blog.  Have fun!


14 10 2011

Our English class took the opportunity to collect frog eggs, and observe the cycle of tadpole to frog.  Our big concept question we asked during class, “Do living things change?”  We had a good time observing these little creatures!  Parents–you have homework:  Please watch the video together and have some conversations about how things change in your home language!  Thanks and enjoy!

Where are you From?

31 08 2011

Here is a way to help students verbalize some beginning English!  With lots of scaffolding, the students practice basic syntax and say their name and tell which area of the world they come from.  The kiddos think it is such a HOOT to see themselves and see their new friends on camera!


25 08 2011

Here at ISB, our new school year has begun and we are off to a great start.   Kindergarten EAL is a special place at the beginning of the year because we learn the words we need to help meet our basic needs.

“I am hungry.  I need the restroom.  How are you? Do you want to play?”

This basic needs language we call Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS).  This is basic survival  and social language.  BICS is the necessary language for day to day living, including the language we use with friends.  It is informal and cognitively undemanding.   Our learners quickly absorb and acquire this language through their experiences at school with assistance from teachers and classmates.

There is a second type of language–school language. We call this Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).  This is complex language used for discussing content in the classroom. This language is formal and cognitively demanding. Classroom language is learned and applied as it relates to abstract concepts using specialized vocabulary and complex language structures.

New English language learners (ELL’s) at ISB learn BICS and CALP simultaneously.  Growing language is hard work for these students!  Teachers, specialists and other staff members shelter our ELL’s by providing in-class support to boost student understanding.  However, some students  are more urgent with their English language needs and attend an English for Academic Purpose (EAP) pull-out class to help support their content, concept and vocabulary needs for the mainstream classroom.

We are not just ISB, we are ISBusy!

English as An Additional Language Program

1 12 2010

The English as a Additional Language (EAL) Program has been designed to meet the needs of students who speak a language other than English. Our EAL specialists provide support for students who are still gaining command over the English language.  International School of Bangkok enrolls students in English for Academic Purpose classes (EAP), which focus on both academic language for the grade-level curriculum as well as language for basic interpersonal communication. The purpose of EAP classes are  to develop the competencies, language learning strategies, and cognitive skills necessary for success in the child’s mainstream classroom.  Being multilingual is a wonderful gift for today’s global society.  At ISB, our Vision is that, “students become citizens of the world, celebrating and responding to diverse cultures.”

The four main skill areas of language:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening