Language Development



Support for English Language Learners in EAL

Different levels and types of additional English language support are available at ISH. The main aim of these classes is to help students develop language skills needed for their other subjects. Students are also encouraged to focus on grammar and vocabulary development as well as structural aspects of writing and speaking. There are two main programmes provided by EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers within the EAL department.

The Academic Language Programme (ALP):

The weaker English speakers in Years 7–9 (English B/ Language Acquisition, phases 1-3) receive 3 additional English support lessons per week. These lessons focus on academic language and the aim is to develop language skills needed for the other subjects, especially humanities and science.

Additional support may be tailor-made to meet students' needs that cannot be covered within the 3 ALP lessons, in particular for very weak English speakers who are only just starting at ISH.

The Individual Learning Programme (ILP):

Additional (academic) language support is also provided for students in Years 10 – 13, where ALP is not offered, and is open to students across the English Language & Literature – English Language Acquisition divide. Year 10 & 11 students in phases 2-3 of the English Language Acquisition course have to take at least one EAL period a week; other students needing additional language support (e.g. English Language & Literature students, students transitioning from the Language Acquisition course to the Language & Literature course, English B DP students) may be recommended by subject teachers or mentors.

Home Language

Home Language

The ISH considers it important for students to maintain a high level of competence in their own language. The school, therefore, encourages and facilitates the study of the home language outside the regular school curriculum.
If a student has a home language which is not part of the taught curriculum, it is in many cases still possible to study this language. The ISH strongly supports home language lessons for various reasons:

  • The home language is part of the student’s culture
  • a good command of the home language helps the students to reintegrate when they go back to their home countries
  • if students have excellent command of their home language in addition to another language (both at language A level) they qualify for a bilingual IB diploma
  • Research has shown that bilingual students perform better in school
  • A good command of the home language helps students to study other languages
  • The study of the home language is part of the MYP programme. Students must study a language A and a language B in order to get an MYP certificate. One of these may be their home language.

Home lessons are taught by private tutors who are paid directly by the parents. Most home lessons take place on Tuesday afternoons when lessons for all students finish at 14.05. Home lessons are offered in a variety of languages such as Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese and Swedish.

New parents are informed about home languages by admissions. If they want their child(ren) to take part in the lessons they should contact the Home Language coordinator, who will establish contact between the parents and the tutor of the language concerned. The tutor will inform the parents about the lesson schedule and the payment. Some parents are reimbursed by their employer for the costs of home language lessons.

Home languages follow the MYP language A guide and the MYP assessment. The student’s grade for home language is included in the school report and in the case of year 11 students whose home language is registered with the MYP the home language grade will count towards the MYP Certificate and the grade will appear on the MYP Record of Achievement. If a home language is taken up in Year 11 in preparation for the IBDP Self-Taught language A course, it will not be registered for the MYP and will therefore not count towards the MYP Certificate, nor will the grade appear on the MYP Record of Achievement. However, the grade will be included in the student’s school report and the final grade will count towards promotion to the DP in year 12.

If parents are interested in home language lessons other than the ones offered at the ISH they are encouraged to contact the Home Language coordinator, to help in setting up a new group and finding a suitable tutor.

Our Home Language coordinator, Ms Gaby Breschnig, is responsible for staffing and maintaining consistency of standards in home language study.

Chinese lessons at ISH

Chinese lessons at ISH

Currently at ISH there are three Chinese lesson options:

  1. As an optional subject for beginners: there are 4 beginners groups offered to students from Year 7. These groups follow the ‘Learn Chinese with me’ method. Lessons are offered during students’ free periods.
  2. As an after school class: there are 2 after school classes at the beginners and advanced levels. Both groups are mixed, made up of students from Years 7-13. The beginners group uses the book ’Learn Chinese with me’. The advanced group, ‘New practical Chinese reader’. The lessons are offered after school.
  3. As an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) class: both Chinese Language A and Language B, also standard level and higher level are offered to IBDP students. It can be done in a group lesson or as individual lessons depending on the number of students. The lessons follow IBO curriculum, and is provided during students’ free periods

For detailed information, please contact Ms. Zhou

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