English Language Requirements

Admission to NIS is based on a number of factors. In addition to being sufficiently mature for their age, having an interest in our mission and philosophy, and presenting an ability to succeed within our curriculum, applicants must also have an appropriate level of English language proficiency. 

To accommodate otherwise qualified applicants who may not have the appropriate level of English language proficiency, the NIS EAL Program (English as an Additional Language) provides two levels of support, either “Support” or “Intensive”.  A description of the levels and types of support offered can be found here. Priority for admissions into NIS is given to students who have no other options locally.  Due to the nature of the IB Diploma Programme program at NIS, there is no EAL support for students entering grade 11.  From the 2018-19 school year, placement on either “Support” or “Intensive” support does not require any additional costs.

Applicants who do not have an appropriate level of English language proficiency (i.e. are considered “non-native level English-speaking” students) will be required to arrange for English-language proficiency testing prior to the interview.  Applicants must apply before arranging testing. 


English Language Proficiency Testing

Testing options for Primary school students require onsite testing by our staff.  Secondary students may be able to utilize online testing options in addition to onsite testing.  Since the type of testing required depends on a variety of factors, including the age and location of the applicant, the timing of the application and the desired date of enrollment start, it is important to have all application materials completed in full and submitted as soon as possible BEFORE scheduling any testing.  In some cases, testing onsite may be the only option.  Onsite testing requires applicants to pay the Application Fee in full in advance, and the option to defer payment until the initial tuition billing is not available.

Since admissions eligibility is based on a variety of factors, attaining a certain score or level on an English language proficiency test does not automatically gain acceptance into NIS. As a benchmark, it is generally expected that high school students will be able to score a minimum of 80 in the TOEFL test in order to be considered eligible for consideration. Likewise, for secondary students able to take the Jr. TOEFL, the general eligibility guidelines to be considered for admissions is in the range of scores below:

  • Grade 6 = Total Jr. TOEFL score of 650
  • Grade 9 = Total Jr. TOEFL score of 775
  • Grade 11 = Total Jr. TOEFL score of 840


EAL Admissions Decision & Progress Review

After the admissions process has been completed, which includes any testing and the interview, the school will determine admissions eligibility, grade placement, whether additional support is needed, the appropriate level of support, and, ultimately, whether or not we are confident that the student can succeed at NIS enough to maintain satisfactory progress. Admission will not be granted for those students who demonstrate difficulty in being able to adequately access the NIS curriculum in their projected grade level, even with the additional EAL support. Such students will be asked to withdrawal their application, with no refund of the application fee.

Admitted students will be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the year, and, if satisfactory progress is not being maintained, the Student Services Team may recommend re-considering the initial grade placement and/or a student may be retained and not advance to the next grade the following school year. As is the case for all students regardless of English language proficiency, satisfactory progress must be maintained in order to continue to be enrolled at NIS.