The English as an Academic Language (EAL) program at TAS is specifically designed to meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs). The goal of the EAL program at TAS is for students with limited academic English to develop the language skills needed to access the mainstream curriculum. Given the high standards and expectations held by the school community, students need to have a high level of English academic language in order to succeed in their classes and to effectively process and produce language. In addition, proficiency with English academic language provides students greater access to the many opportunities provided in the TAS program.
In the Middle School, EAL students receive support in one of two forms: Those who need the most intensive level of language support are enrolled in the Sheltered Instruction program. These EAL students separately take Sheltered English and Sheltered History classes, which are designed to simultaneously develop their academic language skills and provide them with scaffolded instruction in academic content that mirror the mainstream English and history curricula. Additionally, Sheltered Instruction students take language support classes in lieu of foreign language classes, and they enroll in all other classes with mainstream students. ELLs who are approaching grade-level proficiency in English but could still benefit from additional language instruction and monitoring are placed in the Immersion program. With the exception of taking one language support class instead of a foreign language, Immersion students take all of their classes in the mainstream program. A holistic evaluation, which includes students' test scores, work samples, and teacher observations, is conducted at the end of every semester to determine each EAL student's appropriate placement in the following semester.