English Language Learners

English is the common and primary language of instruction at UNIS.  With more than 1,600 students, speaking one hundred different languages, many languages can be represented at any one time.

Some students arrive at UNIS with little or no knowledge of English. On a regular basis about ten percent of the student body requires additional instruction in English.

The UNIS ELL teachers are responsible for the teaching and curriculum design of the K-12 program. The goal is to ensure successful integration of ELL students into the UNIS community both academically and socially.

Upon entering UNIS, students who speak a language other than English at home or are not fluent in English are assessed by the ELL teachers. Evaluation results place a student in beginning, intermediate or advanced ELL classes, or in a full mainstream program.

From the first day of school, the ELL students are assigned to a homeroom with their peers. The placement into homerooms ensures their constant exposure to English and allows for an early integration into the UNIS community. For a certain number of periods per day, depending of the level of the students' English, they are instructed by ELL specialists.

For the complete ELL beginner, the focus is on verbal communication skills to enable the student to function in the new environment. Reading and writing are used to reinforce these structures and vocabulary. The intermediate ELL student works on expanding vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension and refining writing skills, facilitating participation in mainstream classes. The advanced ELL student moves towards fluency in spoken and written English to approximate grade level competency. Full integration into the UNIS mainstream curriculum takes place when a student masters the advanced level ELL materials for the appropriate grade level and can comprehend content material used in the mainstream classroom.

For more information, please contact:ELL PreK-12 Team Leader, Emily Abdallah

eabdallah@unis.org | +1 212-684-7400 Ext: 3012