Languages at The British International School Abu Dhabi

At The British International School Abu Dhabi, we believe early exposure to languages fosters essential skills. Our Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) programme therefore offers students the opportunity to experience language learning early on with primary students receiving lessons in dedicated MFL classrooms with specialised teachers. Their exposure to highly qualified teachers, engaging lessons, and supportive displays in which their work might be showcased, promotes pride and engagement.

Benefits of Learning Languages

Learning multiple languages has proven to enhance brain function, problem-solving, empathy, sociability, and employability. With a sufficient proficiency in one or more languages, young people can work in higher end professions such as diplomacy, international relations, mediation, international journalism, translation-interpretation, and much more.

Languages in Primary

In our school (aside from English and Arabic), students start learning French from Year 2 to Year 4, building foundational linguistic skills. From Year 5, students can choose to learn German or Spanish, fostering a sense of ownership and aiding progression through Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9, the foundation years of Secondary).

Languages in Secondary

In Year 7, students learn at least one foreign language, with the option to take a second. Talented linguists can continue with French, Spanish, or German through Key Stage 3 and 4, with many opting for IGCSE exams in Year 11. In addition, advanced learners can pursue additional languages through Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs).

As part of the IB Diploma Programme (Years 12 and 13), our students must take a language (B) as a group 2 subject. They choose to either study a new language at Ab initio level (beginner) and reach a A2/B1 level or to continue the Modern Foreign Language studied for IGCSE already and reach B2/C1 level.

What makes our language provision unique?

  • First Language Provision:
    We pride ourselves in being a remarkably diverse and multilingual community, with over ninety nationalities. Obviously, we cannot cater for all our students’ native languages, however, we cater to our diverse community by offering a French programme for native speakers in partnership with Alliance Française. Furthermore, we are planning to expand with similar programmes for other languages, starting with Spanish for primary students.
  • Opportunities Outside the Classroom:
    Our language trips to Cuenca, Spain, and Berlin, Germany, immerse secondary students in local cultures and languages, enhancing their learning through activities and historical exploration.
  • Cultural Events:
    Throughout the year, we celebrate various cultures with events like the French festival, German winter crafts, Spanish fiestas, and the European Day of Languages.
  • Leadership in Languages:
    We nurture language leaders from Year 6 to Year 13, involving them in conversation clubs, cultural events, and classroom support to enhance oracy skills and cultural awareness.

At The British International School Abu Dhabi, we deeply value the teaching of foreign languages and are passionate about introducing students to new languages from an early age. As Eric Déposé, Head of Languages at our school, says, “As a polyglot, I understand Nelson Mandela’s words: ‘If you talk to a man in his language, it goes to his heart.’ Speaking multiple languages gives you different ‘souls’ and a deeper understanding of others.” This belief drives our commitment to nurturing linguistic skills and cultural awareness in our students, preparing them to become empathetic, global citizens.

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The British International School Abu Dhabi

The British International School Abu Dhabi

The British International School Abu Dhabi offers a welcoming family community with the highest quality learning opportunities as part of our Global Campus. At The British International School Abu Dhabi, your child will grow as a confident, caring individual, whilst developing the skills and attitudes required to be successful in our constantly evolving international world.

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