LAS has been a pioneer among international schools in providing language programs to help multilingual students succeed in preparing for university. The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Program has a dual focus on developing students academic and social language in reading, writing, speaking and listening as well as their content knowledge in all academic subjects.
While LAS aims to develop multilingual students' English proficiency to native-like levels, we as a community value and embrace all the languages that reflect and continually enrich our diverse international community.
Students who are emerging multilinguals take English language (ELA) courses (in three levels) and sheltered content courses in social studies and science to help with concepts, content and language until these students are highly proficient in English. While English remains an important goal for LAS students as it is the global language, LAS aims to support students' continued development of their mother/home languages as well, which is known as additive bilingualism.
At LAS, multilingual students acquire language (English) through meaningful content. This means that students learn the language, and about the language through studying other subjects like history, arts, math, science as well as through meaningful, enriching social interactions in their daily lives in dorms, faculty family events, and through activities and trips.
Teachers at LAS encourage emerging multilingual students to explore content by initially reading, writing and discussing new concepts in their own languages to access their prior knowledge and understanding. In addition, LAS offers the opportunity to maintain students' mother/home languages through the IB Language A self-taught provisions and courses. LAS libraries also provide students with an international collection of books, containing reading materials in 23 different languages, to help students maintain engagement in their mother tongues.