Enriched Languages

Enriched Languages

ISL promotes multilingualism as a fundamental part of increasing intercultural understanding and international-mindedness. In line with our pedagogical ethos, our language programmes are carefully designed to meet the diverse language needs of all our students.

Mother Tongue

The Mother Tongue Programme at ISL is a unique language enrichment programme that is taught during the school day and 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 proficiency in additional languages, and boosts personal and cultural confidence.

Our truly international staff and student population allows us to offer 25 different languages. These languages include Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish and Turkish. Each year additional languages are offered as needed.

Taught from Kindergarten to grade 12 students attend 2/3 MT classes per week over 2/3 days. ISL also provides a 40 minutes per week MT class for Early Childhood students. Mother tongue teachers help students to make a smooth transition into the school and collaboration with subject and home room teachers to encourage positive transfer of knowledge, concepts and skills between their languages. ISL’s MT programme is widely recognised as a model for international schools.

Modern languages

In the Primary Years Programme, we offer Spanish and French to the students whose mother tongue is English. Through this opportunity to learn an additional language our students develop a sense of multilingualism from an early age

We offer Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese as an additional language to all our middle school students. The same range of languages are also offered within the diploma programme at Ab Initio, Standard and Higher levels.


Our EAL programme supports students for whom English is not their first language. EAL teachers work closely with classroom teachers to meet the language acquisition needs of the students. Everyday conversational language is acquired relatively quickly; students are usually able to feel part of classroom routines and make friends easily in their first year of English learning.

More complex academic language takes longer to develop.

Our dedicated team of English language specialists offers a structured programme of personalised intensive English. Students benefit from a blended course that includes in-class support during Science and Maths, in combination with small-group classes in English and a parallel Individuals and Societies class. Our aim is to build a solid foundation in English, while encouraging transfer of meaning with a student’s Mother tongue.