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English as a Second Language

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International students who are English language learners will spend their freshman and sophomore years integrated into mainstream courses. However, instead of taking a foreign language course, they will take the English as a Second Language (ESL) course that offers them further foundational support with the building of English skills.

Students with limited English proficiency who are immersed in the target language without accommodations, may struggle comprehending challenging academic content and materials. Using the thematic focus of Vistamar School’s Humanities program, the ESL sheltered space offers English learners the opportunity for academic success in their Humanities classes. As the ESL instructor scaffolds academic content in a safe space, English learners express themselves orally, discuss content, and debate ideas without the pressures of performing in front of their native peers in the mainstream classroom. The course helps English learners build on existing background knowledge about the subject being taught. They gain the confidence that allows them to make meaning, develop language, effectively express their thoughts and ideas, acquire knowledge of content, and develop academic and social skills. As they develop English proficiency, the program’s main objective is for English learners to amplify skills and abilities that are critical to master content in their Humanities classes.

Learning English is not only a means for international students to succeed academically, but is also a tool that accelerates their cultural integration. A Sheltered Immersion Program is the path for English language learners to achieve English proficiency and to thrive both academically and socially.

Prior to entry into Vistamar, potential non-native international students are required to take the TOEFL examination. In addition, they will be interviewed either online or face-to-face by one or more members of the Vistamar faculty or administration. For more information regarding international admissions click here.

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