icon  icon icon


For new teachers

Year by year the majority of the students in the upper school are non-native speakers of English. Of this majority approximately 20-30% have sufficiently limited English to need to attend ESL (English as a second language) lessons.  (Note that only those students who are in ESL class are designated as ESL students at FIS.)

ESL students are in the following ESL classes according to their grade and English proficiency. The table also shows the subjects that ESL students do not take.

ESL group ESL Classes Not taking
6 ESL1
7 ESL1
8 ESL1
3 mainstream English
mainstream humanities
an elective (e.g. French)
6 ESL2
7 ESL2
8 ESL2
1 an elective (e.g. French)


9-12 Intermediate 2 mainstream English
an elective
9-12 Advanced 2 mainstream English
an elective
9-12 Transitional 1 mainstream English or
an elective

ESL students in the ESL1 and Intermediate classes typically have very little English at the start of the school year. These students, indeed all ESL students, need and are entitled to special help and attention in order to feel happy at FIS and to achieve academic success. Obviously the ESL teacher is the most important source of such support, but other subject teachers have an essential role to play too.

If you wish to know more about what you can do to foster your ESL students' well-being and academic success, you will find a wealth of information and advice for mainstream teachers on this FIS ESL website. The site also contains a comprehensive set of subject support resources.

If you have any comments or questions about the information on the ESL website, please contact Paul Shoebottom, US ESL coordinator. If you have any comments or questions about an individual ESL student in one of your classes, please contact that student's ESL teacher.

Note: Towards the end of the first week of school you will receive a list of all ESL students and their assigned ESL class/teacher.

It is a challenging task to help ESL students feel comfortable and be successful in your classes, but it is also immensely rewarding at the end of the school year to realise what a critical role you have played, not only in the acquisition of their subject knowledge and skills, but also in the development of their English proficiency.

Frankfurt International School: Art and artists. (Click to see at full size.)