The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

English Language Program

Language Instruction That Offers Support, Challenge, & Independence

For almost 40 years, Fay has offered immersive English language programs to international students seeking to become proficient/fluent English speakers. As a way to broaden the international diversity of our learning community, which currently includes students from more than 20 different countries, we offer an English Language Program (ELP). This program is designed to accommodate strong, well-prepared students who are just beginning their study of English as well as students who are already proficient in English and who are working toward fluency. 

The Fay School English Language Program (ELP) is an immersive, multidisciplinary course of study that builds fluency in spoken and written English while introducing students to the Western cultural tradition. ELP students develop proficiency with the English language through an innovative humanities curriculum, small class sizes, and direct, one-on-one interaction with faculty. The program accommodates both strong, well-prepared students who are not yet fluent in English, as well as students who are already proficient and working towards mastery.

List of 5 items.

  • Program Overview

    Most English Language Program students begin in grade seven or eight, with the goal of joining Fay’s mainstream classes in ninth grade as preparation for secondary school. The ELP is composed of three courses: Literature and Composition, a reading, writing, and discussion course; American History, a history course focused on the struggles and triumphs of the earliest years of the American project; and Inquiry and Analysis, a research-based non-fiction and philosophy course. Since mastery of English comes from learning key cultural and social contexts, the ELP also features robust outside-the-classroom experiential learning on the American and Western cultural experience.
    ELP students take all other courses—which include math, science, art, music, Creators, and wellness—with their mainstream classmates.

  • Immersion and Community

    Students enrolling in Fay’s English Language Program are full and integral members of the Upper School community, which is composed of 275 day and boarding students from more than 50 local towns, 11 American states, and 20 countries. Students have opportunities throughout the school day and on weekends to participate in engaging, immersive activities that foster friendships and new interests. Students play a team sport each season, choose music and art electives, participate in after-school activities, compete in our color team competitions, share dorm rooms, and enjoy meals and social events with students from around the world. By using English continuously in meaningful contexts, students achieve proficiency and fluency at a faster rate.

  • Structure and Support

    Fay’s structured language program facilitates the steady development of language skills. Our ELP teachers are experienced in teaching English to international students, and they are trained to provide engaging activities and meaningful feedback that foster progress. Dorm parents and advisors are also part of each student’s team of support. They are on hand before and after class hours to provide supervision, guidance, and encouragement as students learn and grow.

  • Who Is eligible?

    While prior English speaking experience is a requirement for this program, students need not be completely fluent. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a strong school record, effective study skills, earnest effort, the ability to hear and incorporate feedback, and a willingness to be a contributing part of our community. During the application process, students are placed into the English Language Program by the Director of Alumni and International Relations and the chair of our English Department, who consider the applicant’s written and spoken English, academic record, and standardized test scores.

  • Courses - 7th and 8th Graders

    Course 1: Literature and Composition
    Students participate in literary study and analysis through individualized instruction, choice reading, and guided analysis of texts. Students gradually move towards longer compositions, developing fundamental analytical writing skills and growing fluency with argumentation, organization, rhetoric, and style. Students in Literature and Composition explore a variety of texts, including novels, poetry, short stories, film, songs, and visual and pop culture.
    Course 2: American History
    This survey course introduces students to key moments in American history. In the fall, students examine U.S. geography and the structure of the U.S. government. In the winter and spring terms, students learn about the story of the United States, from its colonial legacy and the origins of slavery on the continent to the global wars and economic depression of the twentieth century. Using Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States as the central text, students examine American achievements and contributions—and also ask how its people can do better in the future. Through reading and analyzing primary and secondary sources, students develop their language skills, with a focus on reading comprehension, writing, and oral expression, in preparation for secondary school.

    Course 3: Inquiry and Analysis 
    This highly individualized course offers a workshop environment in which students learn the vocabulary, organizational skills, and study strategies needed for success throughout their experience at Fay School and beyond. Students participate in frequent discussions, vigorous debates, small group work, experiential learning opportunities, and field trips in order to build confidence and develop the fast-paced language processing and speaking skills necessary to thrive in secondary school and college.

main number 508-490-8250
admission 508-490-8201