Concordia offers a robust English as an Additional Language (EAL) program to non-native English speaking students who qualify for admission to help them achieve greater academic success.
“Our program is very different from language school,” said EAL Coordinator Mrs. McNaull. “We meet with classroom and homeroom teachers regularly, as collaboration is a vital part of our program. The program integrates and parallels with what they are teaching, and expands students' knowledge and understanding of academic language.”
Because our curriculum is entirely in English, EAL lessons are “front-loaded” to focus on the vocabulary students will encounter in the classes before it is introduced. Research shows this method helps because students are seeing this language in other contexts, such as in science and social studies classes, as well as in language study.
“They taught us what makes compound sentences, like nouns, adjectives, and stuff,” said Hiroki (G5), who recently ‘graduated’ from the EAL program. “Whenever I struggled to spell words I didn’t know, the teacher taught me to separate the word into 'beats' for each syllable - that helped me a lot.”
Concordia’s five full time and two part-time EAL teachers focus on all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and integrate these skills into all our teaching, so that students can fluently explain and answer ‘who, where, when, what, how and why’ questions.
Students learn the vocabulary they need and also language structures to best answer a question, such as “what is photosynthesis?”
“Now we’re learning proper nouns, noun-verb-adjectives, and grammar,” said Maryuri (G8) and Kelly (G8), both currently in the program. “It’s helping us understand our classes better.”
“I improved my grammar and made new friends,” said Dai Thu (G8), who recently completed the program.
“They gave us a lot of worksheets with details about grammar, vocabulary, and how to make good sentences. Sometimes we played games, like Quizlet, which is more fun and a good way for teachers to help students get more out of EAL,” EAL graduate Kyong Don (G6) shared. “My grammar improved - it paid off in 5th grade and improved my writing.”