Home Languages at ISH Secondary

At ISH Secondary, we value our students’ home languages (also called mother tongue or native language). For languages outside our MYP curriculum in Years 7 - 11, our school encourages different ways for students to develop their home languages and cultural identities. In Years 12 and 13, students can continue studying their home language as part of the IBDP. Below, you can find a summary of what our school facilitates.

The importance of home language development

It is important to invest in your child’s home language. The home language “links the child with the culture of the society the child comes from and shapes … identity” (Guvercin). Researchers from all over the world have found that bilingual children understand more and have better thinking skills than children who only speak one language. International research has also shown “that students with strong reading skills in the home language also have strong reading skills in their second language” (Genesee). Of course, children will have more options for future study and work if they can write their home language, too. The portal leads to selected research summaries and articles about the importance of home language development.

Parents helping their children to develop the home language

Parents are encouraged to speak their language at home and help their children to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the home language. Studying with a parent at home can be effective if a home language tutor group or other professional support are not possible or desired. The portal leads to ideas for learning activities for Secondary students and special recommendations for students in Years 10 and 11 who work with a parent to prepare for SSST Language A in the IBDP.

Home language tutor groups for students in Years 7 - 11

On Wednesday afternoons, starting at 14.20, private tutors offer group lessons to students of Years 7 - 11 at ISH Secondary. The lessons are for native speakers, usually last 90 minutes and start in mid-September each year. The portal leads to more details, including which home language tutor groups are currently running, how to contact the tutor of your language to find out about their fees and register your child, and how to set up a new home language tutor group.

Other professional support for home language development

We try to facilitate other options for home language development, which parents can arrange and pay for: Our school collects contact details of private language tutors who offer individual online lessons, online courses and schools in this area of the Netherlands, which students in Years 7 - 11 can use to develop reading, writing and using the home language in formal contexts. The portal leads to more information.

Encouraging home language use at ISH Secondary

Our school welcomes Personal Project, SA and CAS initiatives related to our students’ home languages and cultures. The portal leads to some examples. Regular SA and CAS opportunities include being a home language helper at ISH Primary, contributing to the school’s activities connected to the UN International Mother Language Day or an international festival, and participating in the SSST Language A study hall treats project. Home language related SA and CAS opportunities are advertised in our school newsletters and through the relevant coordinators.

Home language options in the IBDP

As part of the IBDP, students can take SSST Language A: Literature. This group 1 subject is a school-supported self-taught option and can only be taken at Standard Level. The portal leads to an overview that provides more information, including how students can prepare for the course while they are still in the MYP and additional options for native speakers who wish to take Chinese as part of the IBDP.