Language Program

Language is the basis and means of all knowledge learning. It plays a crucial role when students learn about and explore the world. At ISA, we provide a strong Language Program, including English, Chinese and Mother Tongue to help students achieve a higher quality education.

English is the main teaching language at ISA. The UK Curriculum standards and IB approaches to literacy learning help students achieve very high levels of English communication and academic English, equivalent to native English speakers of the same year levels in other countries.

ISA also focuses on Chinese and Mother Tongue language learning. Except for 3-4 hours of Chinese lessons for all the students per week, students with a different “Mother Tongue” also have hours of language tuition. Mother Tongue languages offered include Arabic, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

Our strong Language Program supports and deepens student understanding and expands language skills.


Early Years’ Language Program 

The ISA Early Years provide strong English and Mother Tongue programs, so that students can speak bilingually and fluently. English is the main teaching language of the ISA Early Years curriculum. Even though all lessons are taught in English (except Chinese and Mother Tongue language), the Associate Teacher sometimes uses Chinese for complex ideas and concepts. We offer children opportunities to experience a rich English language environment to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations. Children will also link sounds and letters and will begin to read and write in English.

In the Early Years, except for 3-4 hours of Chinese lessons for all students (EY1-EY3: 3 hours; EY4: 4 hours) per week, students with a different “Mother Tongue” also have 3-4 hours of language tuition. Students with a Chinese heritage can choose to do an extra 3-4 hours of Chinese or English lessons.



 

Primary Years’ Language Program 

In the Primary Years’ Program, all lessons are taught in English (except Chinese and Mother Tongue languages). Associate Teachers will sometimes use Chinese for difficult ideas but usually use English to support students.

Students for whom English is an additional language may participate in English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program. Students are divided into different groups according to their English level and English teachers teach the different ability groups.

Chinese and Mother Tongue programs are also provided for Primary Year Students. All the students have 4 hours of Chinese lessons per week, and students are divided into different level of classes according to their Chinese level. These are termed ‘advanced’, ‘intermediate’, ‘proficient’ and ‘beginner’. For students with a different “Mother Tongue”, they also have 4 hours of language tuition. Students with a Chinese heritage can choose to do an extra 4 hours of Chinese or English lessons. 




Middle Years’ Language Program 

During the ISA Middle Years, we focus on language learning more than most international schools. English is the main teaching language of the ISA Middle Year Program. We also provide English Language and Literature Course and English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program to help students achieve very high level of English, which is the equal to that of native English speakers of the same grade elsewhere. All the students have 4 hours of Chinese lessons per week. Students with a different “Mother Tongue” also have 4 hours of language tuition. Students with a Chinese heritage can choose to do an extra 4 hours of Chinese or English lessons. 

For Chinese learning, MYP students are divided into Class A and Class B. By developing conceptual understanding in a global context, the Middle Years Program builds a continuous and in-depth exploration of Chinese Language and Literature and Language Acquisition. Teachers and students formulate description of inquiry and use inquiry to explore Chinese language. Through inquiry, students develop skills in interdisciplinary and single-disciplinary approaches. Class A is Language and Literature Class. Students learn how to analyse, comment and create non-literacy and literacy. We require students to have a more in-depth understanding of Chinese social reality, history and culture. Class B is Language Acquisition Class. Students focus on the understanding, exchanging and application of language. They mainly use language as a tool for study and communication. We evaluate Class B students in their understanding of oral and visual materials, written and visual materials, and communicating and using language through oral, written or visual materials.