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International School Suva

World Class Citizens ~ Life Long Learners

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Language Profile

International School Suva is a multicultural school community and includes students from approximately 40 different countries. While English is the primary language of instruction, consideration is given to the fact that a significant proportion of the student body come from homes where English is not the main language spoken.  Through our curriculum the school looks to celebrate the cultural similarities and differences of our families and acknowledges that we cater for a wide range of students, each with different backgrounds, abilities and needs.

Enrolment Placement Test

ISS admission requirements and assessments are used to ensure to determine whether prospective students are able to access the curriculum in English.  All students sit the MAP screening test as part of the enrolment process at ISS.  In addition, students from a non-English speaking background sit the Oxford Online English Placement tests, which determine proficiency in English in the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. ISS also uses the WIDA international English language development standards to assess and measure language skills.  The results of these assessments give ISS an indication of the student’s English language skills, and which subject choice is most appropriate.

EAL students in Years 6 to 10

The ISS Middle School delivers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Curriculum (IB MYP) which provides a Language Acquisition; English program for students from a non – English speaking background with limited English language skills. The IB MYP Language Acquisition programs are structured into ability phases, allowing students to progress through the phases as their language skills improve. 

In addition, Middle School Students who have very limited English language skills may receive extra English Language support lessons provided by trained English language teachers. The number and location of these lessons will depend on the student’s English ability, and may include up to 5 hours a week of English lessons in ISS’s EAL facilities. Students completing these English lessons will be provided with specialized text books and work books from Cambridge International Education’s More! English Program. In addition, the content of their English lessons will also include the use of EAL software and programs, audio visual materials, use of online resources, the study of subject specific academic vocabulary, and use of library resources.

The aim of ISS Middle School is that students receiving extra English language support are able to improve their English skills sufficiently in order to transition into mainstream classes as quickly as possible.


EAL students in Years 8 to 12

In order for international students to completely benefit from studying at ISS, they should have an adequate level of English language skills to be able to understand and communicate effectively. Students in ISS Years 8 and above will be required to have a prescribed level of English in order to be able to manage the academic demands of study existing at ISS.

These levels are equal to IELTS and WIDA levels, and Australian ESOL standards used by ISS.

  • Year 8 students will require an IELTS level 3 /WIDA level
  • Year 9 students will require an IELTS level 4 / WIDA level
  • Year 10 students will require an IELTS level 5 / WIDA level
  • Year 11 and 12 students will require an IELTS level 6 / WDA level 4

Prior to enrolment at ISS, prospective students wishing to enroll in Year 8 or higher year levels will undergo ISS evaluation tests, including assessments used to measure the student’s English ability. ISS will use the outcome of these tests and assessments to determine whether to accept the student as an ISS student, or to recommend that the student complete a course of English study before acceptance into ISS, in Fiji or abroad.

ISS also provides information to students, parents and guardians on different strategies and resources that can be used to improve English language skills, as outlined on the attached document; ‘How to Improve Your English Language Skills’.

English Lessons in Years 9 to 12ESOL s1

If an EAL student attains entry into the Years 9 and above curricula, they may be provided with support that will help them achieve the appropriate level of English required to ensure progress. The international curricula taught at ISS in Years 11 and 12 are the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and Australian Capital Territory Year 12 Certificate.  Both these programs require a significant level of understanding of academic English to be able to complete the program successfully.  In addition, students may be able to study their own language for the IBDP as a Self Taught Language A, with approval from the IB Coordinator and the Head of High School.

Additional support in English instruction may be provided by specialized EAL teachers, for up to 5 hours per week for individuals or small groups. Students may be removed from second language classes or other classes which have intensive English demands, and study English using a range of resources including the Cambridge International Education’s More! English teaching program, a variety of audio visual resources, English teaching computer programs, academic vocabulary books, and the use of a wide selection of library resources. This provision of extra English language support is regarded as a temporary option only, as the aim of ISS is that students are provided with sufficient skills in the English language to enable them to successfully transition to mainstream classes as soon as they are able. In Year 11 and 12 students may also study English as an Additional Language within the Australian Curriculum, if they are identified as EAL students. 


In addition, if a student does not acquire a sufficient level of English language skills to progress from one year level to the next, ISS may recommend that the student remains in the lower year level in order to improve their English skills, so that they may achieve success in the curriculum program being studied.

IELTS; International English Language Testing System

ISS is also able to provide support for students preparing for the Academic IELTS university entrance assessment. IELTS classes can be scheduled after school for interested students, and will include preparation, practice and marked tasks for the 4 skills areas of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.


‘Inclusion in an IB context’

“ IB programs  encourage students across the world to become active ,compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”


At International School Suva  we take a collaborative approach to meeting the needs of our Learning Support students in Secondary School.  Our Learning Support teachers work with the classroom teachers, specialist subject teachers and parents, to ensure that we are providing a high quality education and that our students have the support they need.


Students who require Learning Support are identified through their placement tests, by requests or recommendations from their parents, or guardians, or through their previous school’s reports. ISS will consider each application on an individual basis, through interviews and the review of all academic and medical documentation.  Acceptance of students with learning needs will also be dependent upon the ability of ISS to provide the appropriate specialised assistance, resources and environment.

In addition, students currently enrolled at ISS can be referred to the Learning Support Team by their classroom teacher at any time.  Once the referral is reviewed, the Learning Support Team will make a recommendation that can include formal Learning Support services. Students accepted into the Learning Support program will have their needs addressed and documented in an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), which is created in consultation with the Learning Support team, the teachers, parents and the student, and which is reviewed regularly.   Learning Support services are delivered within the regular classroom setting to the greatest extent possible, although in some cases a Learning Support assistant is required to assist in the delivery of services.  Alternatively students may be withdrawn for a small number of specialised lessons.  There is a supplementary charge for some of ISS’s Learning Support Services or resources.


The Learning Support Department at International School Suva coordinates programs and services for students with learning needs.  The model is based on the belief that students vary in their level of ability, achievement, motivation and interest and that individuals respond best to educational programs that provide appropriate challenges and meet their individual needs.

Currently ISS offers three levels of support ranging in spectrum and intensity.

  • Tier 1

Level 1 support is for students who are able to follow the regular curriculum with differentiation, adaptations or accommodations.

  • Tier 2

Level 2 support is for students who require some accommodations to the content in order to be able to access the curriculum. This may include either in-class support from a Learning Support teacher, or individual or small group out of class instruction.

  • Tier 3

Tier 3 support is for students who require significant accommodations and/or modifications to the content of the curriculum. Students who require this level of support will usually require documentation from a qualified professional educational provider which states accommodations are needed for a student to access the mainstream curriculum. A Learning Support teacher will ensure that accommodations are available to the student in the mainstream classrooms.

A student who requires tier 3 support may also be required to have an individual Learning Support assistant to help them in the classroom, either full time or part time. The cost of this service and other necessary resources will be borne by the parents and/or guardians.


ISS works with a number of external experts who can provide assessment and expert information on a wide range of learning needs. If applicable, the ISS Learning Support team will recommend an external assessment, and provide relevant contact details and information. Parents and guardians then correspond directly with these experts.


Students may be placed on SOC status if an academic concern is noted in the admissions process or in mainstream classes at ISS. Parents and guardians will be notified if their child is placed on SOC status, and a Learning Support teacher may monitor their progress through reports and contact with mainstream teachers and the student themselves.


Kati Waqainabete
Head of Department; EAL Support 
International School Suva