MSB's English Department supports the development of English language skills and promote a love of the English language. It consists of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of the Reading Department, the Libraries and the EAL Department (see below).
Reading Program: MSB's reading program is geared towards develop reading and comprehension skills, specifically in our elementary classes. The students participate in Novel Studies and Guided Reading Projects, and develop an ability to analyze and critique English texts.
Library: MSB has three libraries - one serving preschool, one serving elementary and the other serving middle school. Our libraries are an important resource for students, teachers and parents. All students have weekly library session where students are encouraged to check out books to read for pleasure.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
MSB provides non-native English speaking students with the academic support they need in order to succeed at their grade level in their Montessori classrooms. EAL support is offered according to the level and needs of the individual child.
EAL teachers and classroom teachers work together to help the children develop their English language skills, phonemic awareness, and learning strategies, which they require in order to communicate with their teachers and peers and work successfully within the MSB curriculum
Children learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) begin formal EAL instruction in the full day Early Childhood 1 & 2 classes. In the Nursery classes, no specific EAL instruction is offered. The children naturally acquire English language skills within the classroom setting. English language acquisition will be supported by specialized EAL teachers in the Early Childhood 1 & 2 classrooms.
The EAL department provides support in the form of small group lessons during and after the school day for students from non-English-speaking backgrounds. The EAL lessons are reinforced by Montessori language work in the classroom.
Initial assessments of English skills are conducted during the first two weeks of school, and support will be arranged accordingly. In addition, all lead teachers have completed EAL training to facilitate language acquisition in the classroom.
Intensive English Program (IEP)
Reception and Elementary students who are assessed and found to have little or no English language skills may require daily support in order to build the language skills they need to function in their classroom and communicate with their peers. These students will be required to enroll into the Intensive English Program (IEP) for an additional fee.
Daily EAL sessions with a small group of children who are new to English and a specific focus on developing comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and phonemic awareness. In addition to building speaking and listening skills, the IEP includes a program to help students develop their phonological awareness and literacy skills.
Students will work in small groups to develop their abilities to recognize and produce the speech sounds of English. They will learn the 24 consonant sounds and the 18 vowel sounds by practicing them first in isolation and soon after in simple words. They will expand upon this knowledge and begin to read simple books. As they read, they will increase their academic vocabulary as they come across new words and find their definitions in dictionaries. Children will also begin to spell words by sounding them out and writing the sounds they hear.
By the time the students have completed the phonological awareness and literacy program, they will be able to read books from the classroom for pleasure and reference texts for academic purposes.
MSB's Chinese Department coordinates the Chinese language instruction for all children starting from the age of 3, focusing on literacy.
Specifically in our Elementary program, the students have 50 minutes of intensive Chinese lessons five times per week. These lessons take place in leveled groups in separate classrooms and are taught by specialized Chinese teachers focusing on Chinese literacy.
For children with a high level of Chinese proficiency, the program follows the Chinese National Curriculum, which MSB has built upon and expanded to offer an outstanding Chinese Curriculum.
For children with little or no prior knowledge of Chinese, the program focuses mainly on teaching the students spoken Chinese. This program uses four unique textbooks, specifically developed by MSB’s Chinese Department.
MSB does its utmost to assist children who are identified with additional educational needs. In the event that the school deems a child in need of additional assistance, MSB will work with the parents to provide the best care and support for their child. Additional needs include, but are not limited to: regular learning support, speech therapy, psycho-educational evaluation, a full-time shadow, etc.
MSB has on-site learning additional education needs staff who offer tailored academic and counseling support. This can be in the form of in-class or one-on-one or small group. Counseling support to meet the additional social and emotional needs of students is free of charge at MSB, as is any assessment, observation or feedback required to provide teachers with guidance about supporting the child’s individual needs. However, for those students who are admitted with learning support needs, a fee will be levied to cover all additional manpower costs.
During the admission process, students with learning difficulties are evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether the school can provide for their needs. MSB requires applicants with previously identified learning needs to provide all past school records, evaluations and accurate information of multi-disciplinary service.