English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
All students applying to Shanghai American School (SAS) must demonstrate adequate English proficiency to perform successfully in our academic program. Although SAS offers an ESOL program for students with developing proficiency in English, SAS does not offer a modified curriculum or modified exams for ESOL students. Download the ESOL Process Flowchart here
We offer ESOL support in Grades 1 - 10 and all candidates whose mother tongue is not English will be given an English language assessment prior to acceptance to determine their eligibility to be enrolled in our ESOL program.
The following guidelines will be used by the Admission Committee to determine a student’s readiness for our ESOL program:
- The primary language spoken by the student
- The language(s) spoken between parents and the student
- The student’s educational background
- The primary language of both parents·Standardized Test Scores (for Grades 5 second semester through Grade 12)
For candidates applying for the following grades, SAS recommends:
Grade 1: It is recommended that students are studying English in their current school (English as a subject or foreign language) and/or enrolled in an after-school English language learning program.
Grades 2-8: It is recommended that students have at least two years in a school where an English is the primary language of instruction.
Grades 9-10: It is recommended that students have at least three years in a school where English is the primary language of instruction. Our college preparatory program requires all incoming students in grades 9 and 10 to have approaching native English language proficiency.
Grades 11-12: We do not offer an ESOL program for students in grades 11 and 12. Students applying for these grades must demonstrate native English language proficiency to perform successfully in the regular program.
To ensure the academic and social success of our students, Shanghai American School maintains a target enrollment of no more than 25% of students who receive ESOL support per grade level.
In order to provide students with the most effective language-learning environment, our ESOL program uses a sheltered immersion model, which allows for differentiation based on English proficiency level. All ESOL students are immersed in the core academic curriculum (mainstream classes) but based on admissions testing and a record review students are designated to receive one of two levels of ESOL support: Pull Out and Push In.
What is Pull Out? Students who need maximum English language support in each grade receive direct, intensive content-based ESOL instruction in small groups.
● The ESOL specialist directly instructs language acquisition skills in a small group setting.
● ESOL classes are content-based, incorporating relevant topics from the grade-level curriculum.
● Students develop academic language proficiency needed in their core classes.
● The ESOL specialist provides targeted instruction to meet the specific needs of each ESOL student in the areas of speaking, listening reading, and writing.
● The Pull Out program does not take any time away from the core curriculum.
What is Push In? English language learners who have demonstrated nearly proficient English language skills receive in-class support. Mainstream and ESOL teachers work collaboratively to co-plan, develop materials, and co-teach lessons in the core classroom.
● The ESOL specialist provides directed, targeted, student-specific instruction in the context of the classroom.
● The ESOL specialist and the core teachers co-plan and co-teach.
● All ESOL students receive linguistic and academic support in the core classes, (Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science).
A 10,000 RMB one-time only ESOL fee is applied to all students who enter the ESOL program.