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Depending on their English ability, international students may begin the program in dedicated ELL classes (the Transition Program) or enter regular classes with ELL support classes (the Bridge Program). ELL classes are taught by experienced English Language teachers who teach every subject from an ELL perspective. This means the challenge of learning English does not impede a student’s success in other subjects. ELL classes are designed to help students adapt to a Canadian classroom and develop learning strategies that prepare them to succeed in the regular classroom. SMS offers a number of English language classes, which are recommended for international students who do not require the support of the Bridge program, but would like to continue to work on their language skills.

The International English Language Program includes:

  • The Transition Program: The Transition Program offers a complete English language program at a variety of grade levels. All students in Transition classes are EL learners. More hours a day are devoted to English instruction and class sizes are smaller than regular classes to provide students with more one-on-one attention.
  • The Bridge Program: Students whose English ability is strong enough for success in the regular classroom enter the Bridge Program at an age-appropriate grade level. Students in the Bridge Program are part of regular classes, but also receive one or two classes of dedicated English language support.


Orientation & Placement

The ELL Program begins with a two-week orientation at the end of August. Students meet their teachers and peers; participate in morning classes to prepare for the school year; become familiar with our school, our residence, and our city; and join in teambuilding activities. Students’ placements are reviewed in October and again in February and they may move within the program at either of these times based on their demonstrated ability. Our goal is to see students progress into the regular classroom, but we are committed to ensuring each student will succeed when she gets there.

Program Placement

  • The initial placement of each student is determined during Orientation. Students participate in English language proficiency testing which allow teachers to meet and evaluate each student.
  • A customized program is designed for each student based on her English ability, needs and interests.

“I’m so impressed with the teachers at SMS. They are kind and have a deep understanding of international students.”

Eva Jung, South Korea, Class of 2012