At DIS we believe that all teachers are language teachers. Through language students at DIS acquire the ability to think and learn, to develop social/emotional skills and values, and to acquire knowledge. Language enables students to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas, to reflect, and to make decisions. Mother-tongue language development is paramount for success in other languages, and a strong foundation in the mother tongue is crucial for cognitive development and maintaining cultural identity.
For students learning in a language other than their mother tongue, academic proficiency in English is essential for access to the school’s program of instruction. Learning the host country language enables students to participate in the local community and appreciate German culture.
We believe the learning process simultaneously involves learning language, learning about language and learning through language. Learning best takes place in authentic contexts within a caring environment where literature plays a special role in enabling this to happen. We believe students will learn that effective use of language is a valuable life skill.
The language of instruction is English. The most widely represented home language of DIS students is German, followed by English, Japanese, Russian and then approximately 20 additional languages. German, the host country language, is taught to all students from grade 1 to grade 12. Academic proficiency in German is fostered as a language A. For students whose proficiency in German is still developing, German is taught as a language B.
Mother-tongue instruction is integrated into the school’s academic program for the community’s most widely represented home languages. Parents are encouraged to provide for the further development of their children’s mother tongue. In addition to German as a language B, a second foreign language is offered starting in grade 6.
Language of Instruction
English is taught to all students across the school. Lessons are presented in English. Students are taught English together in the mainstream classroom unless their English is not strong enough to access the curriculum in the PYP and MYP. Those with lower English skills are provided with extra English language support until such time as they can access the mainstream English curriculum. Support examples include early morning intensive English, co-teaching, push-in/pull-out from content courses, team-teaching, 7th period language support, and parallel classes.
Finer distinctions are drawn and more language courses are offered in the DP. Support is offered less frequently, usually only to students who have entered DIS at a late stage and whose English is insufficient to access the full curriculum.
Mother-tongue Language Development
German mother-tongue language development in the EYP is supported by having a German speaker in each classroom. In the PYP, MYP and DP mother-tongue language development in German is supported by provision of separate German language instruction. Support for additional mother-tongue languages is provided when possible for the community’s most widely represented language groups. School supported, self-taught mother-tongue language courses are provided upon request in the DP.
Host Country Language Instruction
As stated above, there is a host country language (German) speaker in each classroom in the EYP. There is no formal German instruction in the EYP.
German is taught distinctly as the host country language to non-native speakers of German in the PYP and MYP. If the individual case warrants, the entry into host country language instruction may be temporarily delayed. If the host country language skills become strong enough, the student may be transferred to a mother-tongue language instruction class.
Finer distinctions are drawn and more language courses are offered in the DP.
Additional Foreign Language Instruction
EYP and PYP, however after school clubs are offered in various languages.
The program in the MYP includes additional foreign language instruction beginning in grade 6. If the individual case warrants, the entry into additional foreign language instruction may be temporarily delayed. Host country nationals are required to follow a four-year additional language course for German recognition of their diplomas.
In the DP, students have the option to choose an additional foreign language course in Group 6.
English as a Second Language Program
ESL – English as a Second Language (also known as EAL – English as an Additional Language) is a support program for students whose mother tongue is not English and who require additional support in developing or refining their English language so that they are better able to meet the demands of the mainstream classroom.
At DIS, we are able to provide students with the privilege of this extra language support. ESL helps beginners to learn swiftly the basics of the new classroom language, English, and supports advanced students in upgrading their language skills in order to meet the language requirements needed on an academic level. In short, ESL better equips the student for the linguistically demanding IBO schooling ahead.
Our non-native English speakers at DIS are instructed about contents in English while at the same time learning the English language; ESL is a valuable support for them.
What we do:
- We provide a wide range of vocabulary, grammar and language skills through reading, writing and listening comprehension.
- We try to get rid of Germanisms or spelling and general language mistakes that have silently and secretly taken root.
- We raise students’ expressive abilities and style.
- We help the students to be at home in English and to feel confident when using it.
- In addition, we try to ensure that the students’ engagement with English is characterized by enjoyment and pleasure.
German Language Instruction
German is an inherent part of the class schedule. We have two German learning groups, one for the native German speakers and one for students, who learn German as an additional language. In GFL, your child will be in a learning group with students on a similar language level. We will work intensively on speaking, listening, reading and writing in order to broaden your child’s vocabulary in regards to daily life management and our Unit of Inquiries program. For further information, please click on the links below.We are looking forward to an exciting and wonderful school year with your child. If you have any questions, please contact us.