Our Language Offerings
Dwight is an international community, with students and faculty representing over 40 nationalities. Our classrooms, hallways, and lounges are filled with the sounds of lively conversations in many languages, and instruction in world languages begins at age two.
- Spanish and Mandarin Chinese
- Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese
- Mother tongue instruction in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese
- Additional language offerings are available upon request (extra fee)
- Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese
- Mother tongue instruction in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese (no fee); German (extra fee)
- Language acquisition in Italian and German; additional languages are available, most recently: Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Russian, Latin, ASL, and Swedish
- Please note that some of these language courses include an extra tuition fee; please see our curriculum guide for details
English Language Learning
What Is English As an Alternate Language (EAL)?
While English As an Alternate Language (EAL) is often used interchangeably with English as a Second Language (ESL) or English As a Foreign Language (EFL), we have opted to use EAL because it does not imply any hierarchy for language acquisition.
EAL provides English language instruction and cultural immersion for our non-native speakers of all ages. We're committed to a personalized approach that provides students who are learning English with the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Students are evaluated prior to admission for oral, reading, and writing proficiency by Dwight's EAL team and placed in our supplemental program based on evaluation results.
EAL Across Dwight
We provide EAL integration in every grade to learners at every level. Our small EAL class sizes foster personalized learning and allow specialists to meet the needs of each unique student.
The average EAL student spends one academic year in each level, from beginner to advanced, but each student is different and a variety of factors affect the learning process, including the age at which they begin learning, their mother tongue, and much more. EAL students progress to subsequent levels by receiving assessments and ultimately graduate from the EAL program based on the language demands of Dwight’s curriculum.
Beginner/Intermediate: Grades 1-5
In our Lower School, EAL students receive individualized attention and comprehensive support five times during our six-day academic cycle. EAL specialists join a reading or writing class once per cycle to observe and work collaboratively with the subject teacher to create a detailed support plan. Specific words, phrases, and activities are also targeted for extra support during EAL class time. The EAL teacher maintains ongoing communication with the subject teacher about strategies and resources to foster student success.
Advanced: Grades 6-12
In the Middle and Upper Schools, advanced EAL students receive individualized attention and comprehensive support four to five times during our six-day academic cycle. Students also attend a writing lab once per cycle.
Beginner/Intermediate: Grades 6-12
In our Middle and Upper Schools, EAL students receive individualized attention and comprehensive support five times during our six-day academic cycle. EAL specialists join an English or History class once per cycle to observe and work collaboratively with the subject teacher to create a detailed support plan. Words, phrases, and activities are targeted for extra support during EAL class time and the EAL teacher maintains an ongoing dialogue with the subject teacher about strategies and resources to foster student success. Students also attend a writing lab once per cycle.
Mastering Fluency (Supported Learning)
Any graduate of EAL may receive continued help from our specialists through our Mastering Fluency program. They receive individualized attention and comprehensive support once during our six-day academic cycle. At this level, our specialists focus on high-level pronunciation and grammar and offer support with classwork.
A Day in the Life of Dwight's EAL Students
On any day, you might find our EAL students:
- Practicing writing skills by preparing a letter to the President
- Taking a field trip to the Central Park Zoo to learn about the animals through reading and listening, and to practice speaking skills by sharing their knowledge with other zoo visitors
- Preparing a speech for our annual Doris Post Oratory Competition
- Working together to create a video presentation describing favorite foods from their home countries