Our Program Model

The Sheltered Immersion program is based on the belief that EAL students are an integral part of TAS and that their needs are best met in the mainstream classroom with its language-rich environment. EAL students, at all levels of proficiency, are immersed in the mainstream classes at TAS. The primary goal of the EAL program is to develop language skills that will allow children to be successful in their academic work as well as in everyday communication. EAL students at TAS receive language and content support both through direct and indirect means. Direct means include in-class EAL support, co-teaching between EAL and mainstream teachers, and sometimes pullout EAL groups. Indirect means include EAL and mainstream teacher collaboration, in-service training and curriculum construction. The sheltered immersion program is, therefore, a collaborative program involving a partnership between mainstream teachers and EAL teachers.

Sheltered Immersion is immersion in the mainstream program with support for language needs provided by the EAL teacher. In this model, “sheltered” means to have some protection or extra help in a difficult situation. It's like jumping into that deep swimming pool, but wearing water wings or a life jacket to keep afloat. After becoming comfortable in the water and learning how to swim better, the lifejacket would no longer be necessary. It can take a considerable amount of time to learn to swim; just as acquiring a new language does—less time for some, and more time for others.


In the middle school, students are monitored throughout the semester and may exit the EAL program in December or May if they meet the exit criteria. Areas that are monitored are as follows:

  • Classroom work and work habits (Mainstream and EAL)
  • Skill development
Our Philosophy

EAL students should:

  • Be provided with an environment where they feel a sense of belonging while learning to take risks;
  • Be challenged to achieve their best through access to the mainstream curriculum;
  • Be provided with the support they need in order to be successful in the mainstream classroom;
  • Develop learning strategies, monitor their own progress, and learn to accept errors as a natural part of the language-learning process;
  • Be exposed to an environment that offers opportunities for children to apply their English language skills outside of the classroom settings;
  • Learn about their own culture and other cultures of the world in order to understand themselves and others as unique, multicultural individuals; and
  • Make the transition from the previous school year while developing academic English language skills.