Learning Support Service
Taipei Adventist American School has learning support services which provides support for students needing academic or special educational needs. Each student in need of learning support services will be considered for admission on the basis of whether TAAS can provide his or her learning needs, given the design of the program.
TAAS requires complete documentation (past evaluations, individual educational programs, testing, medical reports) on students applying to TAAS who have been diagnosed with a disability that negatively affects the child’s ability to learn under normal circumstances. Should this information not be available, screening must occur before admission can be considered. If TAAS discovers a problem that has not been disclosed to admissions, then TAAS has the right to not accept the student, or to ask the student to leave if they have already started school.
Once admitted, students with special needs are served in the mainstream classroom educational program and receive support services that focus on remediation of academic disabilities, skill development, and/or academic support.
Parents should note that admission to one grade does not guarantee admission to the next grade, given that a child’s learning needs may progress beyond the scope of TAAS support services.
For more specific policies and procedures regarding Learning Support Services, please see page 11 of the Student and Parent Handbook.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
Purpose and Aim of the EAL Program
The purpose of the EAL Program at TAAS is to ensure that all students achieve academic and everyday language proficiency upon exiting the program. Research shows this process usually takes at least five to seven years, depending on many factors. The EAL Program aims to promote student learning by supporting multilingual learner access to the mainstream curriculum, while at the same time providing an optimal environment for language learning.
Support Offered by the EAL Program
The EAL Program offers both direct and indirect support to multilinguals. Direct support may include in-class support from an EAL Specialist, out-of-class individual or small group work, and co-teaching methods coordinated between the EAL Specialist and content-area teachers. Indirect support may include collaboration between EAL Specialists and content-area teachers, professional development, and curriculum-resource design.
The amount and types of EAL support provided will be determined by the EAL Specialists and content-area teachers. Learning Support Specialists may also be consulted on an as-needed basis. Those involved in determining the support needed will review student proficiency levels based on WIDA and other standardized assessments, content-area performance, as well as student motivation and attitude toward learning.
Students who are in Grade Five through Eight whose proficiency levels are at WIDA phase two will be placed in the EAL Homeroom class. The purpose of the homeroom class is to create a solid foundation in the English language that will prepare students for success in the mainstream classrooms, as well as ensure a stronger, successful future. The EAL Homeroom class aims to improve students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the core-content areas.
All students in Grade One through Eight who speak a home language other than English are tested before entry with the Kindergarten W-APT or the WIDA Screener, depending on grade level and number of semesters of previous schooling. The test will assess the English language proficiency of each student and provide the admissions and EAL team with an understanding of where the students are, regarding their language acquisition. This, along with other documents and interview notes acquired during the admission process, will help to place students in the appropriate classes and guide in admissions decisions. Students applying for Grade One through Four may be admitted at the WIDA phase two or higher. To be admitted to TAAS in the second semester, a student in Grade One through Four needs a WIDA score at phase two or higher. To be admitted to TAAS at any time, a student in Grade Five through Eight needs a WIDA score at phase two or higher.
Assessments for Placement, Movement, and Exit
Throughout the EAL program, students will be tested using WIDA Model. This test will take place in November and April. In order to exit out of the program, students must reach an overall score of WIDA level five. In order to exit EAL Homeroom, students must reach an overall score of WIDA level three. Additionally, in order to progress through and exit out of the EAL program, the student needs to have demonstrated the ability and skills to work with increasingly less EAL support in a classroom setting.
For more detailed information regarding the EAL program and its related policies, please see page 40 of the Student and Parent Handbook.