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    Teacher spotlight: Language Program

    Intercultural understanding is closely linked to language learning through its strong emphasis on cultural knowledge, and the appreciation it inspires for different ways of life and perspectives. Language learning also helps students develop a positive attitude toward others – a key trait for success in a global society. The International Baccalaureate (IB) recognizes that multilingualism helps us to understand other people and develop an appreciation for their histories and experiences.


    Language teachers at ISB have strong academic backgrounds and diverse experience in supporting language acquisition. Our teachers are all native speakers in the languages that they teach, and most of them speak more than two languages. Professional development is a key focus for our teachers who build their classroom approach around best practices and strive to remain current in their pedagogy.


    Our languages teachers come from China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand. This diversity helps make ISB even more international in its makeup; ISB students alone speak about 40 different languages, and many are learning additional ones.


    In the Elementary School we offer non-native language classes in Chinese, Spanish and Thai and native language classes in Thai.


    The High School and Middle School offer French, Mandarin, Spanish, and Thai as both non-native and native language courses. Japanese and Korean are offered only as native language courses. All six are offered at the IB Diploma Programme level.


    ISB also provides a Native Language Academy for 11 languages after school. The school assists with hiring teachers, providing rooms, purchasing resources, and overall coordination. ISB also subsidizes half of the tuition cost to parents.

    What sets us apart

    ISB’s teachers set the bar high for excellence in language education. They provide a challenging, multilingual environment within a well planned curriculum. We take pride in keeping our language classes learner-focused, so that teachers can assist students who are in need of either greater support or more challenging material. Our language teachers continually design relevant and interesting material for the benefit of students.


    With some of the best language teachers in and around Southeast Asia, ISB focuses on teaching, communicating, and developing student skills in an engaging and productive manner. This approach in turn encourages global-mindedness among our language students, helping them to excel academically while also learning key life skills.


    Our language offerings are designed to help students become truly proficient in listening, speaking, reading and writing  language skills, while also gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world’s cultures. To this end, our courses are taught almost entirely in the target language, as recommended by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). This approach to language learning is proven to develop proficiency to a far greater degree by encouraging learners to respond directly to the language being studied.

    Our language classes are divided into two main types: Non-native and Native.

    • Non-native language classes are for students new to a language – for example, French for a native English speaker.
    • Native language classes are for students who have been exposed to a particular language for a long time, as a language spoken at home – for example, Hebrew for a native Hebrew speaker.

    Please refer to our Languages at ISB detailed infographic for more information about the specific languages we offer from Elementary through to High School.

    In every language class, our teachers aim to provide engaging, challenging, culturally inclusive instruction that builds on students’ backgrounds, encourages critical thinking, and provides high-level practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
    ISB’s dedicated teachers are at the heart of our language classrooms, and we applaud them for their deep commitment to the personal and academic growth of our students. To learn more about the range of language classes at ISB, please see our signature language program section on our website.