Language Learning

ISUtrecht-displayWithin the ISUtrecht community, all members are responsible for language learning and development of the secondary students, so all secondary students will be:

  • successful in English, having full access to the academic language
  • able to communicate in Dutch with confidence and functionality, with the ability to participate in Dutch culture
  • fluent in at least one other foreign language other than English
  • fluent in their mother tongue and able to communicate with confidence and functionality, with the ability to take part fully with the students’ native cultures
  • balanced multi-linguals with well-developed cognitive and language skills

English Language Acquisition (ELA)

English is the academic language at ISUtrecht. All classes, other than language acquisition classes, are taught in English; and English Language Acquisition (ELA) students will take part in an immersion programme. This means ELA students are challenged academically in the same curriculum as their peers.

For ELA students to have complete access to the curriculum they must have English at an acceptable standard. Therefore ISUtrecht provides an ELA course for grades 6 and 7 to help non-English language students to learn English, allowing them full access to the curriculum.

Beginning English language students are accepted into the MYP for grades 6 and 7 only, since they have time to acquire English before the Diploma Programme. From grade 8 onwards, students will need to have an appropriate level of English to access the curriculum and there will be English testing prior to acceptance into the programme. Acceptance is under the school’s discretion and deciding factors will include the applicants’ English language test results, grade level, and academic grades. English admissions testing will include reading comprehension with written responses, and an interview.

Mother Tongue

ISUtrecht encourages students to develop Mother Tongue (MT) fluency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Currently, ISUtrecht has implemented several programmes so students have opportunities to develop their MT. These programmes include:

  • Use of MT in and out of the classroom to access the school curriculum. Students are encouraged, in a secure and positive manner, to use MT resources building reading skills, to take notes and draft in their MT developing writing skills, and to converse in their MT, building oral fluency and listening skills.
  • MT clubs are after school. These language clubs are run by professional language tutors and allow students to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
  • MT buddies are secondary students with the same MT leading primary students through various reading activities, unit work or games. The buddies are part of the secondary Service as Action programme, which gives the students a chance to use their MT in a proactive manner to build international mindedness within our ISUtrecht community

Language Acquisition (Foreign Language)

Language Acquisition (LA) courses are offered to all students, so they have the opportunity to build language skills in another (foreign) language. At ISUtrecht, the secondary department offers:

  • Dutch LA to students whose mother tongues are not Dutch. All students are required to study Dutch
  • Spanish LA is also a required course.
  • English LA is for students who are new to English and it is only offered in grades 6 and 7. All beginners will take English at this level. It is the intention that after one year of this course, students will have the necessary skills to join the secondary English Language and Literature course

Language and Literature

Language and Literature (LL) is the study of language and literature at a mother tongue level. At ISUtrecht the secondary department offers:

  • English LL for all students, with the exception of students who are new to English in grades 6 and 7. However, all students, from grade 8 onwards, are required to take this course for their MYP certificates
  • Dutch LL is for all students whose mother tongue is Dutch. Additionally, students whose mother tongue is not Dutch who meet the language requirements will be allowed to study at this level