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International School of London


ISL promotes multilingualism as a fundamental element of intercultural understanding and international-mindedness. In line with our ethos, our Languages programme is carefully designed to meet the diverse language needs of all our students. The Languages Programme starts in Early Childhood 1.

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Home Language / Mother Tongue in Primary Years

The development of a student’s Home Language/Mother Tongue is key to their social and academic development, as well as maintaining links with family and ensuring a wide range of academic and economic future possibilities.

With a focus on literacy development, the Home Language/Mother Tongue Programme builds on existing fluency, whilst making connections to the units of inquiry the student is following in their main classroom. Collaboration between the classroom and Home Language/Mother Tongue teacher ensures that a transfer of skills and understanding.

Research into multilingualism highlights the importance of literacy in a child’s first language as a strong building block to the acquisition of subsequent languages, as well as reinforcing cultural identity.

Our truly international staff and student population allows us to offer over 21 different languages. These languages include Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, 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.

We Speak 25 Languages


UNESCO Mother Language Day Celebration

Language Acquisition

PYP students benefit from being exposed to a diverse multilingual and multicultural environment. Students who are not enrolled in the Home Language/Mother Tongue Programme, are given the opportunity to learn French or Spanish.

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English Language Learning

PYP students who are new to learning in English, are supported in their journey from acquiring social, conversational English to developing their academic English. Specialist ELL teachers work alongside classroom teachers to design a personalised programme for every student.

English for Academic Purposes teacher reading a story

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