Why Language Learning Matters at Atlanta International School

Guiding statement for language learning at Atlanta International School:

  • Language learning is a continuum along which each individual progresses differently.
  • Our diverse multicultural environment and language programs provide the foundation for intercultural competence.  
  • All members of our community are dedicated to language learning within the IB framework.

At AIS, we view language as more than simply a communications tool. We see language as critical for understanding and empathizing with those from different cultures, and crucial for navigating those cultures.

It’s the qualities of understanding, empathy and intercultural competence that enable our students to effectively collaborate in their learning and problem-solving. These are skills our students develop and use at AIS and continue to grow as they move to university and into a world that’s increasingly more fluid and interconnected.

Research also shows that knowing two or more languages has tangible cognitive benefits. As one learns to switch between languages, one triggers, and potentially strengthens, the part of the brain that manages executive function (problem-solving, multitasking, and focusing attention).

Chinese Program - Primary Years

Starting in Fall 2018, we added a full immersion Chinese language program in preschool and partial immersion in Kindergarten and Primary.

In these programs, we welcome students from beginners to native speakers to join at any time up to Grade 5. Our teachers are native speakers with international experience. Students are grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

How Language Learning Works at Atlanta International School

List of 3 items.

  • Primary Years Program

    In our Early Learning Center (ELC), we offer a full immersion preschool program for children ages three and four in French, German, Chinese and Spanish. From 5K through Grade 5, we deliver the rigorous, inquiry-based PYP curriculum in two languages. All faculty are native speakers of the language in which they are teaching.

    We are able to maintain low student-teacher ratios by either having two adults in the classroom or by teaching in small groups based on students' language capabilities.  The teachers work together to provide students with personalized attention and to ensure that each child, based on his or her unique needs, is both adequately challenged and supported.
  • Middle Years Program

    Students entering Middle School have varied language backgrounds. Some come directly from our dual language Primary School program or are already multilingual, while others come without any second language experience.

    We offer many language options to allow students to develop their language ability to their highest potential. Depending on a student’s language level, they have a range of choices, from beginner to taking both Language & Literature and Humanities (Geography/History) courses at an advanced level.
  • Diploma Years Program

    No prior language experience is needed before students join the IB Diploma Program. Language options exist for students of all experience levels, from beginners to bilingual or multilingual students.
    For students who have a strong academic background in at least two languages, we have several options for obtaining a bilingual IB Diploma.

Heritage Language Program

The Heritage Language Program for the 2022-23 school year 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.

More information about the program can be found here.

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. 

Inquiries or Tour Appointments

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Olga Nobleton

    Olga Nobleton 

    Primary School Admission Manager Grades 3K - 5K
  • Photo of Kirsten Wing

    Kirsten Wing 

    Primary School Admission Manager Grades 1 - 5
    404-841-3840 x408
  • Photo of Anna Reed

    Anna Reed 

    Secondary School Admissions Manager
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.

Atlanta International School

A private, non-profit, international, IB World School for grades 3K-12, featuring full and dual-immersion language programs.

2890 North Fulton Drive

Atlanta, Georgia 30305, USA