English Language Learning

What is the ELL program?

English Language Learning at Thornton Academy is comprised of four levels: ELL I (Beginning), II (Intermediate), III (Advanced), and Transitional English, a “bridge” course between ELL and mainstream English classes. Each course focuses on the core language skills of speaking, listening, writing, and reading, with increasing emphasis on academic language and conventions as the student moves through the curriculum. The objectives of ELL include facilitating international students’ acquisition and mastery of English, and preparing them for mainstream English courses at TA and post-secondary schools.

All incoming residential students whose first language is not English are given a placement test when they arrive at Thornton Academy. The results of this test inform recommendations for placement in ELL or English courses. All international students, whether enrolled in an ELL class or not can find support from a number of sources: their current English teacher, the ELL staff, and the ELL Lab, a small, guided study hall for international students new to TA.

reading in ELL class

ELL class makes learning English interesting. The teachers who teach this class are very friendly. You can ask them questions and they like talking with you. It is a great benefit for us. 

Jane zou '19