Mother Tongue Groups in the Primary School

(Haimhausen Campus)

The Primary School Mother Tongue Programme takes place weekly, on Monday afternoons during Period 7 (15.10 – 15.55). This programme is designed for those students who already converse in their native language and are in Grades 1 through 5. It cannot unfortunately cater for those who hold the nationality but as yet do not speak the language. Based on a wealth of educational research, recognition of a child’s home culture and mother tongue is an important feature of any language learning approach. Provision for the maintenance and further development of the mother tongue also helps to address many social, emotional and academic needs of the language learner. If you have any further questions, please contact the Primary School Deputy Principal/Curriculum Coordinator, Annette Austin.

Mother Tongue instruction takes place each Monday in the following languages:

  • Afrikaans
  • Catalan
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Northern Sotho
  • Portugese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

Students who are not enrolled in a mother tongue group will stay in their classroom for oral language development and cultural awareness activities. These lessons will be in English and are similar to the experiences that students receive in the mother tongue groups.

Mother Tongue Groups in the Primary School

(City Campus)

The Primary School Mother Tongue Programme takes place weekly, on Monday afternoons during Period 7 (14:30 – 15.15) for students in Grades 1 to 5, and on Tuesday afternoons during Period 7 (14:30 – 15.15) for students in EC1 and EC2. This programme is designed for those students who already converse in their native language. Unfortunately it cannot cater for those who hold the nationality of a country but do not as yet speak the language. Based on a wealth of educational research, recognition of a child’s home culture and mother tongue is an important feature of any language learning approach. Provision for the maintenance and further development of the mother tongue also helps to address many social, emotional and academic needs of the language learner. If you have any further questions, please contact the Primary School Principal, Kathy Slocombe.

Mother Tongue instruction takes place on Monday for the Grade 1 to 5 students in the following languages:

  • American Culture group
  • French
  • German - Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 5
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Portugese
  • Serbian
  • Spanish

Mother Tongue instruction takes place on Tuesday for the EC students in the following languages:

  • American Culture group
  • British Culture group
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Portugese
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

Students who are not enrolled in a mother tongue group will stay in their classroom for oral language development and cultural awareness activities. These lessons will be in English and are similar to the experiences that students receive in the mother tongue groups.

Mother Tongue Grades 6-10

The Mother Tongue Programme at BIS supports the fundamental concepts of holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication.

Maintaining and developing literacy skills in mother tongue (MT) is not always easy when a family moves away from its own country of origin. Often children no longer have the option to attend to a school with their MT as the language of Instruction. While learning at BIS occur primarily in English, students have the opportunity to maintain and further develop their MT.

We believe that maintaining and developing MT literacy accelerates the acquisition of English, enhances academic achievement, builds self esteem and helps the student appreciate and identify with his/her heritage.

Therefore MT classes are available from Grade 6 to Grade 10 to:

  • Every student who attends Language and Literature, but is not his/her MT.
  • Every student who attends English Language Acquisition.
  • Every student who has more than one MT (with the exception of bilingual German and English speakers).

BIS accepts students at all levels of English language acquisition up to start of the school year of Grade 8 with the option that proficiency in the mother tongue can be maintained at grade level.

There are five hours available in a two weeks cycle in the MT programme. The MT student has the option to do a correspondence or online course or to have lessons with a MT teacher.

At this point, MT distant learning includes:

  • Afrikaans online course
  • CNED (French)
  • Chinese School in Munich
  • Danish online course
  • Edufax (Dutch)
  • Polish correspondence course
  • Russian School
  • Sofia (Swedish)

MT teachers are available for the following languages:

  • French
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Parental support is very important in this programme. Parents monitor the student’s work, could act as MT teachers, select the better adequate MT programme for their child, assist in identifying MT teachers and financing MT lessons.

If you have any further questions, please contact Marianella Muelle, our Mother Tongue Facilitator.
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