English Language Learners

At the International School of Kigali-Rwanda, we believe that, as a school serving an international community, it is our duty to support our English language learners to enable them to have full access to our rich curriculum.

Since most English language learners take between five and seven years to develop native or near-native proficiency in English, it is important that our school determine which students we can serve and at which levels.

Early Childhood (EC2-Kindergarten)

ISKR accepts students at the beginning level (Council of Europe Level A1) into the Early Childhood Section. Students are supported in English language development by classroom teachers and assistant teachers.

Elementary (Grades 1-5)

Since students enrolled in Elementary School have considerable time to develop their English skills prior to graduation, ISKR—like most international schools—will accept students who are at the beginning level (Council of Europe Level A1).

In the Elementary school, pull-out ELL support will be provided for beginning level English language learners (A1 and A2) from Grade 3 and beyond to help them learn the basics of English. This may or may not be in place of French language lessons–depending on scheduling. Support at the Grade 1 and Grade 2 levels will be decided on a case-by-case basis for absolute beginners only (Level A1). Intermediate and Advanced level learners (Levels B1 to C2) will receive support in the form of differentiated instruction from their classroom teachers.

Secondary (Grades 6-12)

Non-native English speaking students applying for Grades 6-12 are required to take an English proficiency test upon enrollment unless they have been studying at an English language school for at least the previous three (3) years. English Language Learners (ELL) may receive support during the regular school day. Intermediate and Advanced level learners (Levels B1 to C2) will receive support in the form of differentiated instruction from their classroom teachers.

ELL students are expected to make specific achievements in all school subjects. In the event a student is unable to make satisfactory progress, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the school upon recommendation of the principal and the student’s teachers.

Assessment of English Level

Currently we use WIDA testing for assessment of English Language proficiency in Grades 1-12. The purpose of this testing is to help determine the nature of the support needed rather than admissions to the school.

WIDA is a computer-based, adaptive test that responds to student performance and may be administered in group or individual settings. It tests students’ language ability in four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing. WIDA results are shared with parents, students, and teachers and are used for assessing student English ability and the need for additional English language support.

Jessica Tsuchiya

ELL Teacher

Having grown up as an ELL student, English language learners has always been close to my heart. I am Dutch but grew up in Germany most of my life where I went to an English speaking school. I came in to education via nursing. I am a trained emergency room nurse with a bachelors in nursing and a masters in education with focus on ELL students. Outside of work, I love sports, music and the great outdoors.