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Languages

Language learning for every student

We believe language learning is central to enabling cognitive development, which enhances all other academic disciplines, and gives students cultural competence  - the understanding of how to thrive in today’s globally interconnected society. 

As students learn to switch between languages, particularly in our immersion programs, they strengthen the part of their brain that manages executive function (problem-solving, multitasking, and focus).

At AIS, we view language as more than a communication tool - it is a gift.

No matter what level of skill or previous experience, at Atlanta International School, the 3K - Grade 12 language programs offer every student the opportunity to learn at least one new language. Our options include full and partial immersion learning in Chinese, French, German and Spanish in our Primary School and a wide range of options tailored to support every level of language ability in Secondary School.

All members of our community are dedicated to language learning within the IB framework. Our faculty are either native speakers of the languages they teach or have bi-lingual proficiency.

Primary School Language Immersion Options

Chinese

Full immersion in 3K & 4K, 30% in 5K - Grade 5

Several classes offered. 

Students placed according to experience.

Beginners options in all Grades.

French

Full immersion in 3K & 4K, 50% in 5K - Grade 5

Several classes offered.

Students placed according to experience.

Beginners options available until the end of Grade 1.

German

Full immersion in 3K & 4K, 50% in 5K - Grade 5

Several classes offered.

Students placed according to experience.

Beginners options available until the end of Grade 1.

Spanish

Full immersion in 3K & 4K, 50% in 5K - Grade 5

Several classes offered.

Students placed according to experience.

Beginners options available until the end of Grade 1.

Heritage Language Program

The Heritage Language Program is open to Primary School students who speak one of the following languages at home: Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic, Dutch, Greek and Kiswahili. This program builds a close relationship between culture, identity, and language proficiency; the course is open to AIS students and non-AIS families, from Kindergarten to Grade 5, who have at least basic comprehension and communication skills in their heritage language. Classes are run by native speakers who teach an inquiry-based curriculum, with a strong emphasis on oral communication and various STEAM components.
 

We believe language and culture shape and inform identity.

We delight in difference, opening ourselves to authentic and meaningful interactions with various cultures both in school and in life. We commit ourselves to grow and change individually and together, to ensure every learner’s identity, language, and values are respected.

School Supported Self-Taught Languages (SSST)

The IB promotes respect for the literary heritage of a student’s home language. AIS students are able to pursue native languages that may fall beyond our traditionally-taught languages. SSST students are guided by an AIS faculty member and partnered with an outside tutor in their chosen language. Students write, read and test in that language, and their work is externally assessed. SSST languages have included Arabic, Bosnian, Dutch, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Nepali, Russian, Thai, and Turkish.

Cultural Exchange Visits

At Atlanta International School we believe that being surrounded by a target language and culture is an invaluable experience for all language learners. Every year we organize exchange visits for those learning Chinese, French, Spanish and German. All of these linguistic-cultural programs are sponsored by the Language Department at AIS and most of them are based on long-established collaborations.