Language Learning

Language and Literacy in a Multilingual Environment

At ICS we are committed to encouraging and expanding students’ language skills and awareness; we believe that in a changing world being multilingual is a necessity.

students expanding their language skills and awareness, international school

ICS Language Acquisition Competition reflects 60 years of Languages at ICS

An exciting and challenging competition open to all Language Acquisition students studying French, Spanish or German at ICS took place again this year.

ICS Language Acquisition students submitted their competition entries based on their learning or social experience at ICS and their submissions made use of the vocabulary and grammar that they have learnt so far in their language lessons. The three categories for this year’s competition - Memes, Videos and Art - represented the students’ Emergent, Capable and Proficient language learning phases.

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International Baccalaureate (IB) Bilingual Diploma

Language Options - French and Spanish

Home Language


English is our language of instruction. ICS offers the curriculum of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme for all grade levels: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP).

As an IB World school, our excellent teaching staff – all experts in their respective fields – create an enriched learning environment based on inquiry.

Learning English

Students who arrive at ICS with limited English skills are supported by the English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme.

The EAL programme provides a caring, flexible and supportive environment to help students integrate socially and become successful academically.

EAL support is provided to help your child succeed in the mainstream classroom. EAL teachers and assistants help your child develop the language skills, learning strategies and cultural awareness needed to be successful at ICS.


German is the language of our host community and holds an important place in the ICS curriculum. All students study German from Preschool & Kindergarten up to Grade 10 and students can choose to continue German in Grades 11 and 12 if they wish. Students can study German as Language A (a mother tongue/academic language) or Language B (an acquired language). 

By providing German instruction to all students we enable our students to benefit from, contribute to and play an active part in their local communities. 

In Preschool & Kindergarten, students are introduced to German through listening to stories, singing songs and playing games. From Grade 1 upwards, students are grouped for German lessons. Students entering ICS have their level of German proficiency assessed before being put into the appropriate group. 

German Language A (the programme for mother tongue German speakers) is offered in all Grades. 

German in Preschool & Kindergarten 

During lessons in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2, the children are introduced to German in age-appropriate ways including listening to stories, playing games and singing songs. Connections are made between German and the students' Units of Inquiry, and to the local community. These include a variety of trips and participation in local events and celebrations.

The ability to communicate in a variety of modes in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes intercultural understanding.
International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO)
German as an Additional Language, Grades 1–5

This is a programme for those students who do not speak German at home. In this programme, children in each grade level are divided into ability groups. Students learn everyday vocabulary to enable them to interact with the local community. In addition, where relevant, aspects of the Units of Inquiry are incorporated into the German programme. In the higher age and ability groups, when students begin to use German as an academic language, written assignments and grammar become increasingly more important.

German as Home Language

Students in this programme follow an adapted curriculum for native speakers. Building on language competencies acquired in the English language classrooms, students deepen their understanding of formal aspects of German. Links to Units of Inquiry are frequently made to enhance student learning.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Bilingual Diploma

IB Diploma Programme (DP) students study a minimum of two languages in the programme.

Studying in their mother tongue as well as in other languages enables students to increase their understanding of cultures, including their own, and explore globally significant ideas and issues through different languages.

Students who fulfill the language requirements are awarded an IB Bilingual Diploma.

Language Options - French and Spanish

In Secondary, students choose to study French or Spanish as well as German. Beyond Grade 8, Spanish and French are offered as options through to Grades 11 and 12. (Spanish and French are not offered as Language A courses – mother-tongue language courses – at ICS within the daily schedule.)

Students in Grades 6 to 8 may be placed in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or Learning Support classes instead of French or Spanish if it is deemed more suitable for them. Such decisions are always made in consultation with parents.

IB Diploma ‘Self-Taught’ Language A

In the IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11 & 12), students select their best language for study as Language A. Most world languages are available.

At ICS, English A and German A are offered as taught programmes. Students wishing to choose another language as Language A can opt to study their preferred language as a Self-Taught Language. For students who do this, ICS will provide overall supervision of their programme of study and help in finding a suitable language tutor, where possible.

Home Language 

ICS strongly encourages students to maintain and develop their mother tongue language. Mother tongue classes take place after school and, where possible, ICS makes rooms available for these classes. The school supports families by reimbursing part of the costs of recognised and approved mother tongue classes.

The ICS Parents’ Association organises a group of volunteer Country/Language representatives. These volunteers can offer information about mother tongue classes. You can find their contact details in the Parents' Association section of the website. (Password required.)

The following mother tongue classes are available (Please note that not all classes take place at ICS): Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German (exempt from reimbursement programme), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Enrolment begins in August. Contact your Country/Language Representative for more information.


Our students are taught to think critically, ask questions and solve problems

Leadership Team


Students and staff participate in the annual school-wide 'Drop Everything and Read' (D.E.A.R.) event, promoting awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.