Exclusively for new students in grades 1-5 who have little to no French or Spanish additional language instruction. It is provided free of charge. Fast Track students learn quickly and confidently, while remaining in the classroom with their peers.
Through our understanding of language acquisition theory, psychology, and brain research, we know that students with limited foreign language proficiency can catch up to others – given the right support and the ‘gift of time.’ New candidates for admissions in the Fast Track Program 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.
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, with best results seen in a social and emotional immersion environment. 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.
Absolutely not. Our 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.