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Languages at KIS

We believe that language underpins the foundation for thinking and the development of self-expression. Students from many linguistic backgrounds come together to learn, with English being their shared language, the language of instruction and inclusion at KIS. 

The acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and promotes international understanding, therefore, knowledge of a second language is an essential element of the International Baccalaureate programmes. Additionally, KIS supports the IB's beliefs that continued development of mother tongue language is crucial for maintaining identity, cultural understanding and empathy. 

As outlined in our 2020-25 Strategic Plan, KIS is excited to build upon our language offerings and language programme framework schoolwide over the next few years as part of a focus in this area of school development.

Please see the list of languages that KIS offers below, where Language B refers to language acquisition and Language A refers to mother tongue language learning:

 Languages  Offered by KIS     
 English Language/Language + Literature       PYP/MYP/DP
 English as an Additional Language  PYP/MYP
 Spanish Acquisition/ B or Ab Initio  MYP/DP
 Mandarin Acquisition/ B or Ab Initio  MYP/DP
 Thai Language/ Language + Literature  PYP/MYP/DP
 Thai as an Additional Language  PYP

Additional mother tongue languages that are, or have been, supported at KIS through the 'Other Languages Programme' are:

The school can support parents and arrange other mother tongue languages to be held in the school. In some special circumstances, other Secondary Language B’s may be requested as well.

English as an Additional Language

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme has been developed to help non-native English speakers attain a high level of English proficiency in order to access the curriculum, interact with one other, and participate to the fullest extent possible in school life. Students receive EAL support according to their individual needs. This is provided during the regular school day, either in the classroom (Primary School only) or by individual or small group support (or a combination of both.)

Students in Secondary School must have a certain level of competency in English in order to be successful with the KIS Middle Years Programme and be fully prepared to work toward the IB Diploma. Students who enter KIS from Grade 6 and up who require English support will enter an EAL programme designed according to their English language proficiency. They will not study English, Humanities and Science until such time as they are able to participate fully in these classes without support. Other subject areas such as Math, Thai Studies, Design, Physical Education, the Arts, and Advisory will take place within the mainstream classroom. Students must complete the EAL programme by the end of the 9th grade in order to be prepared for the demands of the Diploma Programme. Please note that students will only be admitted to KIS if they are expected to be fully mainstreamed by the end of Grade 9.

For Early Years students who are not yet proficient in English, language acquisition occurs through language immersion; organized and spontaneous play and group activities help develop comprehension skills and establish a more extensive vocabulary, to support immersion in the classroom.

Since language skills at all levels are key to accessing the curriculum, KIS has developed extensive strategies, curriculums and procedures to ensure that language is a focus in all learning areas across the school. 

Thai Language Programmes

The Thai Language programme supports the mother tongue of our host country students, and together with Thai Studies meets the Thai Ministry of Education approved language and culture curriculum. All Thai students are required by law to participate in this programme throughout their school years. For Secondary School Thai students who are unable to participate in this programme (where Thai is not a mother tongue - often due to having lived overseas), Thai B is available upon request. In the Primary School, students join the Thai as an Additional Language Programme. Likewise, Non-Thai Students who make Thailand their home and can speak Thai fluently may be assessed and join the Thai Language Programme.

Non - Thai Students also follow a Thai-Studies Course

The Thai as an Additional Language (TAL) programme has been developed specifically for Primary School students with native languages other than Thai. It provides learners with an insight into the unique language and culture of our host country.

Language Acquisition

In the Secondary School, Spanish and Mandarin (Language B) are offered as a second language to non-Thai students and as a third language option for Thai students. Students typically require a minimum of three to four years of instruction to be eligible to continue with Language B in the IB Diploma programme. Late entry into the Spanish or Mandarin programme is possible, however, students who join a Language B course after 7th grade are less likely to be proficient enough to study at the Language B level in the DP. An alternative course for beginners is offered in Mandarin and Spanish in the Diploma Programme. This course is known as Ab Initio and is an equally acceptable course for earning an IB Diploma and for university admissions.

Other Language Programmes

KIS will assist in setting up additional mother tongue language programmes upon request. This can be done at primary and secondary levels through after school classes, personal tutorials and small group tuition.

Secondary students whose mother tongue is neither Thai nor English may decide to take their mother tongue as their second language as an independent study unit. This option allows students to continue their mother tongue studies to an advanced secondary level all the way to IB Diploma. This course of study requires home support and understanding of the challenges of independent study. Parents are required to discuss the logistics of this option with the Principal.