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What is the English Language Literacy philosophy?

Lauren Harvey

K-12 ELL Coordinator



Korea International School Jeju (KISJ) believes in putting learners’ needs first. Success is when students are actively engaged in learning, supported in acquiring academic language, and feeling emotionally safe. Our school’s mission, vision, and schoolwide learning outcomes (DRAGONS), support language learning at KISJ.



The English Language Literacy (ELL) program at KISJ supports our school mission by fostering the growth of academic and social language through explicit instruction in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in a safe learning environment. 


As a school we aim to: 

  • Develop our students’ ability to think and communicate in the connecting language: English.
  • Encourage students to develop communication skills in all domains (reading, writing, speaking, listening), across all subjects.
  • Support our students with the language skills required to achieve academic success and be confident communicators.
  • Educate school-wide staff and students to be socially responsible global citizens by being aware of the surroundings and using the connecting language when in the presence of a person who doesn’t speak their home language.
  • Recognize ALL teachers are language teachers and provide the necessary professional development to support them.
  • Provide an emotionally safe environment that respects different cultures and encourages students to take risks with their language learning.Involve parents as essential partners in the process of developing students’ English language, as well as their home language.


What is the schoolwide language policy?

Korean International School Jeju provides a challenging American curriculum with English as the primary language of instruction. Our shared understanding is that community members speak English, the connecting language, in an inclusive and respectful way in all subjects except world language classes such as Korean, Spanish, or Chinese.

At times, a student may need to access their home language to facilitate the understanding of curriculum or a concept. For example, a student may use an electronic device to translate a word or request to seek clarification from another student. Students will use their first language in a purposeful and meaningful way, after which, students will return to the connecting language.


What happens if students don’t use English in class?


A student’s consistent use of a language other than English in their academic classes may indicate a need for supplemental language support and/or academic interventions.  


What can students do to be successful?


We recognize that our students might feel stressed because of the many policies and procedures of our school. So, to help new students transition into our school and to help returning students, here are some easy to follow steps students can apply in class when needing clarification of a vocabulary word or concept:

  • Raise your hand. 
  • Wait for the teacher to call on you. 
  • Ask for clarification. 
  • Once the concept is clarified, immediately return to speaking English

We ask that parents have a meaningful conversation about this with their children. We also suggest that they look at the detracting behavior policies in the Dorm Guidelines which can be found on pages 47-48. 


Is there a time when students can use their home language?


Yes! We recognize the need for our students to have occasional breaks from speaking the connecting language (English). A language free zone allows a time or area where students can speak the language of their choice. All divisions have agreed to make the following times or areas language free zones: Cafeteria and Recess/Passing Time


What are some social norms that would help students further develop our English language?


We want everyone to feel safe in our school. For that reason, we would like all our students to take note of some important social skills that they need to be aware of and develop. We encourage students to use the connecting language (English) when you are in mixed groups. Basically, if there is one person close to you that doesn’t speak your home language, switch to the connecting language, English. This ensures everyone feels safe and there is no misunderstandings like being accused of bullying or being bullied.


How are KISJ ELL Services structured?


ELL services fall under the wider umbrella of teaching and learning. The ELL program services offered in each division ensure we are using best practices to help students acquire English language in the four domains. Part of the best practices is making sure our program is aligned with Student Services. Teachers use Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) strategies in all classrooms to ensure that students are accessing the content curriculum.  Each division looks slightly different. For example, Elementary and Middle School currently have ELL teachers that go into the literacy lessons to help support students. This might change depending on the needs of the students. 




Elementary School (ES) English Language Literacy (ELL) integrated approach program has two components for Gr. 1-5: 

(1) Language arts-based instruction is embedded in our Reading and Writing Workshop Curriculum;

(2) In-class support is provided by the classroom teacher in the form of Sheltered Instruction (SIOP). SIOP provides our teachers the tools they need to integrate strategies that benefit our student population with appropriate grade level modifications and scaffolding. This approach facilitates the acquisition of English language while ensuring students continue to grow academically.

The classroom teacher and ELL teacher co-teach and co-plan for Reading Workshop.  The ELL teacher and the grade level team co-plan for all other subjects. Students develop skills through centers, small groups, and direct instruction.  During co-teaching support, the ELL teacher and classroom teacher support students by lowering teacher-student ratios, monitoring student progress, and sharing resources (Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)). 





MS English Language Literacy (ELL) supports students in a variety of ways. The MS employs an alternative co-teaching model in all English Language Arts (ELA) classes. ELL (English Language Literacy) teachers are split among the three grades and work with content teachers to provide appropriate language scaffolding and modifications within the reading and writing workshop model. Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, ELL teachers lead Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), a small-group literacy intervention that focuses on student’s reading and writing. During the workshop, students benefit from the two teacher’s collaborative efforts through one-on-one conferencing, strategy groups, and guided reading. 




High School (HS) ELL/Writing Lab for Gr. 9 - 12:

For language support in the High School, all students are required to take a mandatory year-long Writing Lab course in G9. This course is taught by English teachers and other writing specialists, with collaborative course design input from the mainstream English teacher and ELL teachers. The course covers the necessary skills for writing tasks in G9 and beyond (narrative, literary analysis, informational, and argumentative writing). For all students in the High School, there is also a Literacy Lab during club time: a voluntary after-school language lab to support students using Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for instruction. Students can be recommended to the club through the student of concern process.




8 Global Edu-ro 260beon-gil, Daejeong-eup
Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea 63644
Tel. +82 (0)64 741 0509
Fax. +82 (0)64 792 0509

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