What is the “Fast Track”? How will my child succeed?
Through our understanding of language acquisition theory, psychology and brain research, we know that students with limited language proficiency can catch up to others – given the right support and the ‘gift of time.’ New candidates for admissions in the Fast Track will be tested for a high academic level in their first language and in mathematics before admissions will be granted. Why? We know that strong academic skills in the first language are the best predictor of success in the second language environment. It will be a challenge for the student, for sure, but such challenges are de facto ‘gifted’ programs for advanced students.
What if my child has no prior proficiency in the target language?
At ISA, we know that when given the teacher support to make the language and concepts comprehensible, the students will be able to acquire the ‘target’ language at a very rapid rate. To accomplish this, our teachers become the ‘tutor’ for the Fast Track student and help ‘scaffold’ the language to make it comprehensible. The ‘tutor’ confers with the classroom teacher to align the tutoring with the class lessons. Our Learning Specialist supports the classroom teachers to create lessons with a more differentiated approach. We also have the expertise among our school leaders, who, themselves are multilingual and/or have worked in multilingual schools for many collective years.
Of course, starting the language acquisition exposure at a younger age guarantees better outcomes in vocabulary, grammar and accent because of the longer exposure time. Older students (and adults) can, most certainly acquire high-level language skills, as well. At ISA, the Fast Track students are assessed on their progress, using different assessments, and do not compete for grades with the others in the class who may have more years of proficiency.
Will the new students impede the progress of the proficient students?
Absolutely not. The teachers are trained and assisted by the Learning Specialist and additional classroom support-teachers. They know how to design their lessons, and differentiate their lessons, keeping in mind the different levels of each student. The teacher teaches the designated curriculum to all students; the Fast Track students receive the comprehensible input by observing, listening, translating and getting the prior scaffolding support they need. It is a win-win for all.
If you wish to offer your child the world, consider giving him/her the gift of multilingualism. This skill will set them apart from all others in university and in the job market. Book your visit now.