Upper School
Upper School

LINGo (Language Immersion for Non-Native Girls)

LINGo is a special course of instruction for new international students at The Ethel Walker School.

At Walker’s, our international students have come from more than eighteen different countries to pursue scholarship, to be a part of our vibrant and diverse community, and to perfect their spoken and written English. Walker’s offers support and instruction through the Language Immersion for Non-Native Girls (LINGo) program for students whose first language is not English. Participation in LINGo is required for all new international students and is designed to be supportive as well as challenging. While we do require a minimum level of English proficiency for all applicants, we fully expect that students for whom English is not their first language will need help and support in acclimating to life in an American boarding school.


Our international students participate in an English-immersion program that offers a high level of instruction balanced with structured support to insure these non-native speakers of English advance at every level. Our approach allows students to assimilate into life as an American student as they prepare for study in an American college or university. At the same time, each student is valued for what she brings to our community, her rich cultural and national identity, and her gifts and talents as an individual. Rather than a traditional ESL course where students practice rote drills and English grammar worksheets or a more modern ELL course that focuses solely on reading comprehension and writing skills in English, our LINGo program offers a language and cultural immersion experience.

During the summer before coming to Walker’s, each international student's proficiency in written English will be assessed. Upon her arrival for orientation, each student will also interview with a faculty member and participate in orientation activities designed to determine the appropriate level of English language support. 

Students in LINGo1 program will enroll in two courses:

American Literature and Culture, an English course, explores American culture and literature through challenging but accessible choices of short fiction, drama, novels, and poetry. Each student becomes familiar with the terms and methods for literary analysis which aid discussion and enhance comprehension and enjoyment of texts from the various genres. Throughout the year, each student is supported as she increases her confidence and proficiency in spoken and written English. When a student is ready to move up to the next level of coursework, upon the teacher’s recommendation, entry into the next level of the English program is facilitated.

Introduction to US History, a full-year course that fulfills the credit required for U.S. History. The class will survey United States history from the era of European exploration and settlement to the present time by focusing on specific topics following a chronological approach. Students will read the textbook downloaded onto their iPads. The material covered can be highlighted, enlarged, even read aloud as students take notes and answer study guide questions. During class, the girls will be encouraged to speak often through daily summaries, group work and debates. They will be exposed to multimedia aspects of the topic at hand to render a comprehensive view. Assessments will ask the students to analyze the material by comparing and contrasting, categorizing, explaining and describing - skills that move the material to higher level thinking. The goal is to encourage critical thinking all the while strengthening students' reading and writing capabilities.

Additional Support

If additional academic or English language support is needed, private, one-on-one tutoring is available at an additional cost.

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