A firm foundation in English is needed both to communicate in daily life and to succeed in school in nearly every subject.  Meaning is oftentimes constructed through language whether through listening, reading, speaking or writing. Learning English as a second language is quite different from studying English as a student who is proficient in the language.  Consequently, courses have been developed at MEF IS in the middle school so that all students are able to appreciate the nature of language and its use in the world beyond the classroom.

The curriculum is designed to engage learners in an active and creative learning journey while developing learners who are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged. At the end of grade 8, students are able to apply their skills to respond to a range of information, media and texts with enjoyment and understanding.

The Cambridge Lower Secondary English curriculum is presented in three content areas or ‘strands’ over the first three years of secondary education. These are further divided into ‘substrands’. The five strands and substrands are:

Speaking and Listening

  • Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation
  • Explain, describe, narrate and analyse


  • Understand explicit and implicit meanings
  • Identify stylistic features and conventions
  • Evaluate viewpoint, purpose, themes and ideas


  • Develop appropriate language for genre, purpose and audience
  • Structure and organise ideas in paragraphs
  • Range of sentence structure and punctuation for effect
  • Accurate spelling

English as a Second Language

At MEF IS, the Cambridge Lower Secondary English as a Second Language curriculum has been developed in conjunction with Cambridge Assessment English and is based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), used across the world to map learners’ progress in English.

The curriculum is presented in five content areas or ‘strands’:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Use of English

At MEF IS the learning objectives are framed as a progressive can-do sequence, which encourages the use of learning centred, activity-based approaches by teachers in the implementation of the curriculum frameworks. At the end of grade 8, students take the Cambridge Lower Secondary English or the English as a Second Language exam, which provides an international benchmark for student achievement and areas for improvement.

**Please note that information about the Cambridge Lower Secondary English and English as a Second Language is taken from the Cambridge International Education website cambridgeinternational.org.**