LanguagesFIS 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. In First Steps and Pre-Primary, classroom teachers emphasize English language learning and development throughout the school day.
In Primary and Grade 1, ESL teachers work closely with classroom teachers to meet the language acquisition needs of the students. Everyday conversational language is acquired quite quickly; children are usually able to participate in classroom routines and socialize with other children in their first year of 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 standard for all students from Pre-Primary 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.
In the early years the program is centered around listening, comprehension and speaking skills. Students are more formally introduced to reading and writing in German in Grade 2. The Wiesbaden Campus offers an enriched German program from Grades 2-8.
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.
The program is offered from Grades 2-8 at the Wiesbaden Campus. A minimum of four students is required for FIS to offer a first language course and the cost of the program is billed in addition to tuition. Current First Language classes at the Wiesbaden Campus are offered in Dutch, German and Bulgarian. Previous courses have included Swedish, Spanish and French.
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.