Modern Languages (French and German)
The cognitive and cultural advantages of mastering more than one language have been clearly documented by research. ISL's privileged location in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a small trilingual country bordered by French and German speaking neighbours, provides a rich linguistic environment where students and their families are constantly exposed to different languages. The mission of the Modern Language Department is to develop students' fluency in French and/or German, provide them with a strong foundation for future study and to encourage positive attitudes toward other languages and cultures.
Students who are competent in English may study French beginning in Kindergarten and German beginning in Grade 6. Students are grouped for instruction by ability starting in the second year of Kindergarten; sections for beginner, intermediate and advanced students are offered at every Grade level. The Modern Language programme is a foreign language programme and is not designed to make students fully bilingual. However, students who enter the programme at a young age generally attain a high level of fluency. The school recognises the needs of native and near-native speakers and insofar as possible, attempts to accommodate them.
The Lower School French programme provides opportunities for children to develop communication skills as they learn to respect other languages and cultures. The FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) programme currently in place is not designed to make pupils fully bilingual. Its aim is to help children to develop a basic, usable command of the language that can be enhanced and expanded through further study and/or contact with French-speaking people. We respect the developmental aspects of the child by concentrating on oral and aural competency in the early years and introducing reading and writing only as first-language literacy becomes established. We believe that a developmentally sound approach to language learning will ensure that our students attain competence and confidence in their ability to communicate in French.
Starting in Grade 6 students who are already proficient in English study both French and German. Classes are taught at all levels from beginners (Language B) to mother-tongue (Language A). Students are ability-grouped for instruction within their grade. The programme of study includes conversation, grammar, composition, reading, culture and civilisation, literature and history of the language. Students pursuing the International Baccalaureate Diploma may study French and/or German as language A or B at both higher and standard levels. French is also offered ab initio. The ISL IB webpage provides more information.