English Language Learners (ELL) Program
At Applewild, all students are challenged academically, are valued as individuals, and are encouraged to pursue academic excellence and their individual interests. Applewild School offers an intensive, well rounded ELL program for international students and non-native English speaking students in grades kindergarten through eight. Students enrolled in our ELL program participate in our challenging academic curriculum and diverse extracurricular activities. ELL students are in our mainstreamed and rigorous math, science, and social studies classes, and participated fully in instrumental music and/or chorus; studio art; theater; woodworking; and physical education or team sports.
In grades 6-8 (our Upper School), students take ELL each day in place of our English class. This course is an intensive, challenging English language learner class. Course content focuses on students’ English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as literature and grammar at appropriate levels. Instead of taking a world language, students have several Language Waiver classes per week with a Learning Support Teacher. In this part of our ELL program, academic language and content is emphasized to ensure understanding and support students’ progress.
In grades kindergarten through five (our Lower School), students receive small group or individual tutorial support within our ELL program in lieu of taking French. Here, students focus on growing their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a very individualized setting. In both the Lower and Upper Schools, ELL students’ classroom teachers thoughtfully collaborate with one another and students’ ELL teachers to ensure that students are appropriately supported and challenged throughout our entire academic and extracurricular curriculum.
Starting their American education at Applewild School provides international students the chance to acclimate to the American classroom. Skills of collaboration, problem-solving, and developing meaningful relationships with teachers and peers provide a solid foundation as students look to continue education in the United States.
Nick Wang ’12 came to Applewild in seventh grade. In his eighth grade year, he was named co-winner of the Eleanor Crow Public Speaking Contest for his speech comparing his experience of the education system in the United States and China. He recently sent School Head Chris Williamson this email: [After freshman year at Kimball Union Academy] my mother bought a house in Bellevue Washington and I started my sophomore year in Newport high school, a big and great public school consisting of 3000 students. Although they had an ESL program, [support for] the international students [wasn’t] very ideal. As a result, I created an organization named the Chinese Student Association, and I started to build a team with local students who speak native English and some Chinese to help new student from China. I had to give a lot of public speeches on my motivation to create this organization to a lot of school district [personnel], and I used a lot of personal stories from Applewild in my [talks]. Our association expanded quickly from a 30 people group to around 120 with both students and faculty. The reason why I am telling you this is because I want to show you how much I appreciate Applewild and my experience in this school. I still remember going to your office during lunch break and talked with you about my academic condition. Although at that moment I was not able to communicate my complete thoughts with you, I was grateful. Again, the memory with Applewild was great, and it certainly shaped who I am. I had to work hard. I had to practice English day and night so I could help my mom with her life in a foreign country. Luckily, you helped me; Applewild helped me.
Now I am a Penn State student majoring in business management, and I [am invited] to [speak] on my life in America to a variety of students (Thanks to the very first opportunity Applewild gave me in public speaking). I am planning to transfer to Wharton Business School next year. Everything is going great for me. I miss the snow days in Applewild, and still remember woke up early just to call the school to check for the snow day message!