FIS has a commitment to language learning, which it demonstrates through English as the principal language of instruction, second language classes at multiple proficiency levels, English as a Second Language (ESL) and mother tongue support.
Our host country language – German – is offered to all students up to Grade 10. Language learning is also offered as part of our After School Activity (REAL) program and Rosetta Stone is free for all FIS students.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
Our ESL program supports students for whom English is not their strongest language. Everyday conversational language is acquired quite quickly; students are usually able to participate in classroom routines and socialize with classmates early in their English learning. Of course, more complex academic language takes longer to develop. Research shows that it may take five to seven years for ESL learners to acquire the academic aspects of English to a similar standard as their native-speaking peers.
German Language Instruction
Participation in the German language program is compulsory for all students through Grade 10. The German program is designed for students to develop communicative competence in their host country language. The school offers instruction in German as a mother tongue (“Deutsch”) and as a foreign language.
First Language Program (FLP)
The First Language Program is designed to maintain students’ ability to read, write and study in their own language, and to facilitate their successful return to their own national education systems. Research shows that literacy in the mother tongue greatly helps literacy in an additional language, and boosts personal and cultural confidence. Currently first language courses offered in the Upper School include: Dutch, Japanese and Korean.
French or Spanish is offered as a foreign language starting in Grade 6. Instruction is offered to students in proficiency levels. Depending on availability of teachers and demand by students, the After School Activity (REAL) program can offer further languages such as Italian or Chinese.