ESL Program at Phelps

The Phelps School English as a Second Language Program

International Students at Phelps
The Phelps School’s ESL Program is aligned with the internationally recognized TESOL English language proficiency levels and designed to support our diverse group of English language learners as they transition to using English as their primary language of instruction.

Program Overview

The ESL Program at The Phelps School assists English language learners in gaining confidence using English in social and academic settings while building strong listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. All courses offered through the ESL Department are taught by a highly qualified, experienced ESL teacher and incorporate individualized, engaging, level-appropriate instruction to meet each student’s needs and interests. Working closely with his teacher, each boy sets and works towards meeting personal learning goals. In addition to receiving individualized feedback on frequent informal formative assessments and periodic summative assessments, each student’s language growth is measured annually with the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP). In addition to language learning, the ESL Department assists international students in better understanding the culture and expectations of the American classroom. Students are also encouraged to embrace the opportunity of being immersed in the English language by establishing friendships with classmates from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, seeking new interests, and becoming active members of The Phelps School community.

ESL Placement

Upon their arrival to campus, all students who are non-native speakers of English take the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP). The results of the iTEP are used to place students in the ESL courses that best meet their needs. Students meet individually with the Director of ESL to review their language strengths and weaknesses and are placed in two courses: an English Language course that focuses on building strong listening comprehension and speaking skills and a Literature and Composition course that concentrates on the development of reading comprehension and writing skills. Students at the developing level of English language proficiency or above may opt to take an additional course that prepares them to take the TOEFL test.

Classrooms at Phelps truly are international meeting spaces.
Young men from around the world make our school rich in cultural diversity.
Students share a profoundly global learning experience.

Students come to Phelps with wide-ranging levels of English proficiency, but their skillset quickly improves under direction of our campus English language learning expert. Language learning best takes place where students are truly immersed in the language. At The Phelps School, we strive to expose our international students to as much English as possible while providing them with a safety net of support. Our English language learners benefit from small, highly individualized ESL classes taught by an ESL specialist, academic support from their content area teachers, and the opportunity to attend tutorial periods for further help as needed. In addition to increasing their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, students experience American culture through daily classroom and dorm life interactions with their peers and teachers.

Students enjoy a wide range of activities after school and events on weekends for fun and fellowship with new-found friends. Being immersed in the English language, receiving expert ESL instruction and content area support, and taking advantage of on-campus and off-campus enrichment activities results in many of our students exceeding the TOEFL test score required to exit our ESL Program and successfully enroll at competitive U.S. colleges and universities.

For More Information

For more information about The Phelps School’s ESL Program, please contact Sandra Hackett, Director of ESL, at [email protected].


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