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Languages at KIS

KIS believes that language underpins the foundation for thinking and the development of self-expression. Here at KIS, 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 (IB) programmes. Additionally, KIS supports the IB's beliefs that continued development of the home language (the native or first language of an individual)  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 our school development initiatives.

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


English as an Additional Language

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme has been developed to help non-native English speakers develop their English proficiency in order to access the curriculum and fully interact with their peers in a common language. 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 Language & Literature English, Individuals & Societies or  Sciences until such time as they are able to participate fully in these classes without support. Other subject areas such as Mathematics, Thai Studies, Design, Physical & Health Education, and the Arts 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 home language  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 home language - 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 (Language B)

In the Secondary School, Spanish and Mandarin are offered as a second language to non-Thai students and as a third language option for Thai students. Students typically should maintain two to five years of instruction to be eligible to continue studying with Language B or Literature in the IB Diploma programme. Late entry into the Spanish or Mandarin programme is possible, however only in certain circumstances specific to individual students. 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 language programmes upon request. This can be done at primary and secondary levels through after school classes, personal tutorials and small group tuition.

The Program for Other Languages (OLP) is designed to support students in their journey to develop and maintain proficiency in their home or other language not formally offered by the school. Available in both Primary and Secondary school, families incur no charges for program facilitation, however, they are responsible for hiring a tutor and, in some instances, acquiring necessary course materials.

OLP - Secondary School Language Options

In the Secondary School, students have the opportunity to study their home language at either the Language Acquisition or Language and Literature level, depending on their fluency. This option allows students to continue their home language studies all the way to IB DP/CP. This course of study requires home support and an understanding of the challenges of independent study. Parents are required to discuss the logistics of this option with the Principal.

MYP Students

All MYP students at KIS are required to study two languages. English is a compulsory Language and Literature subject for all students, and the second language options include:

Thai Language and Literature: For Thai passport-holding students.
Thai Language Acquisition with External Tutor: For Thai passport-holding students whose proficiency does not meet requirements (based on placement test score and Thai teacher's evaluation). 

Additionally, students may choose one of the following options for their second language:

  1. One Language Acquisition course (Language B) in Spanish LA or Mandarin LA.

  2. Spanish LA or Mandarin LA with External Tutor: For students whose proficiency in Spanish/Mandarin significantly exceeds or falls below existing class levels.

  3. Other Language in Language & Literature or Language Acquisition with External Tutor: Available at an additional cost.

For students taking three languages during school hours, Thai Studies will not be included in their daily class schedule. Instead, they will have one period per week dedicated to Thai Studies as an extracurricular activity (ECA). 

Entrance Criteria

In addtion to students needing to show a strong capacity in English and Thai (or home language if revelant), the entrance criteria for the OLP program includes the following:

  • Thai Passport holders must select a Thai option as one of their two languages and can add up to three languages.

  • Students with lower language proficiency are encouraged to take the OLP Language & Literature for Thai, which is facilitated by a paid tutor.

  • Some KIS students opt to study three languages, with the following options available:

    • English L&L + Thai L&L + Mandarin LA / Spanish LA

    • English L&L + Mandarin LA / Spanish LA + Other Language Program (including Thai LA)

    • English L&L + Thai L&L + Other Language Program

DP / CP students 

DP and CP students can continue their language studies, with courses offered in Mandarin and Spanish as Language B or Ab Initio. Students can also choose some options in School-supported Self-taught Literature courses or Ab initio in selected languages using online resources like Pamoja.

Contact Hours and Fees

For all OLP courses, a minimum requirement of 50 teaching periods per year, approximately 3 periods every two weeks, is mandated. The actual teaching hours and fees for OLP are determined through agreements between the tutor and the family. The school assists in finding suitable classrooms for tutoring and provides curricular documents aligned with IB MYP/DP requirements and school report card standards.

Tutoring Information

Families have the option to contact private tutors directly; they are not obligated to hire the recommended tutors. Furthermore, in the MYP, a family member can serve as an OLP tutor.

Additional Fees

Please note that students opting for the combination of English L&L + Thai L&L + Mandarin LA / Spanish LA (Option 1) will be subject to additional fees as detailed in the ‘Tution and Fees’ section of the school website.