ISM offers a distinctive bilingual programme in the Early Years and Primary School (ages 3 to 11), where English and French are given equal value, and where, from their earliest years, children learn simultaneously in these two languages. Additional language support is obviously provided in English as well as in French to all students depending on their needs and abilities.
As many of our students at ISM speak a third language at home, we do not formally teach a third language in the Early Years and Primary Schools but encourage parents to maintain their mother tongue at home. Our Learning Hubs also have many books and resources in several languages including German, Italian, Russian, as well as French and English. After school native language clubs are also in place at school as part of our enrichment programs.
In the Middle and Secondary Schools all academic subjects are taught in English, whilst French remains an important part of the curriculum. PE for instance is taught bilingually English and French. French is made of 4 different group levels available and mandatory to all students from the French native Language and Literature group up to French as second Language groups.
In Year 7 (the start of Middle School) a third language is added to the curriculum: German, Italian, Russian and Spanish are offered to native speakers only, as a mother tongue support (subject to a minimum number of students per class). For all the other students, Spanish is taken as a third Foreign Language while, if applicable, English support is offered to students who need this extra help to be able to rapidly improve their level of English to adapt to the mainstream language.
Bilingualism has a positive effect on learning, intellectual growth and enriches and enhances a child’s mental development. Being exposed to two languages opens greater possibilities of communication with a wider range of people. Fluency in two or more languages improves self esteem, opens a window into new cultures, and increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing other languages is a real asset in a globalized workplace.
It is part of the ISM Mission statement to work with you and your child to ensure that she/he becomes academically successful, internationally minded and able to communicate effectively using two or more languages to be well prepared for the challenges of an ever-changing world.