Language learning is at the heart of FIS. We aim to ensure all students finish their schooling with an excellent command of at least French and English. To achieve this, we offer several language pathways depending on the campus, year group and your child’s language level.
For French speakers, FIS offers the best of both worlds. You can ensure your child maintains an excellent standard of written and spoken French, while also learning English intensively both in class and during extracurricular activities.
For non-French speakers, our international stream offers your child a one-of-a-kind opportunity. They benefit from being continuously exposed to the French language, while following a traditional international curriculum. International students who complete all their schooling with us generally leave the school with native level English and French, enabling them to pursue university studies in France if they wish.
Our students hail from over 40 different countries. And we are proud to provide a unique multicultural environment in which they can mix and learn from one another, across streams and year groups. Students often use English and French interchangeably on campus. In fact, bilingualism and even trilingualism is common, as students also have the option to study other modern languages.
FIS offers several language pathways depending on the campus, year group and your child’s English level. Students in all pathways follow the French national curriculum. The main differences between the pathways are the language of instruction and the pace of learning.
CM2 students can choose to sit Cambridge A2 Key or B1 Preliminary exams, which certify their English proficiency on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Your child will also be exposed to Chinese culture and language (Simplified Chinese, Mandarin dialect) throughout their time at FIS.
And they can choose to improve their knowledge in this area through an extracurricular activity (ECA). For our youngest students and beginners, FIS offers workshops to improve spoken language and expressions used in day-to-day life. More advanced learners (YCT2 – YCT6) and native speakers (with at least one Chinese-speaking parent) can attend two sessions a week to improve their writing and speaking skills.
ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE STUDY – three hours of language lessons a week, with a choice between Mandarin, Spanish and German
Students can also choose to take Latin.
ORIENTAL SECTION (upper secondary)
This section offers three hours of additional Chinese language lessons and two hours of non-language subjects (History and Geography of China) taught in Mandarin.
All international stream students in kindergarten and primary take the same language pathway. From lower secondary, students choose whether to study French more intensively or to discover other languages.
“IMMERSIVE BILINGUAL” CURRICULUM
All TKO students, and RC to Y3 students at JL campus, benefit from this new research-based language pedagogy, offering:
Students learn French, interact and use their knowledge and skills in a natural way through different projects and contexts. As well as gaining language skills, students forge new friendships and relationships with each other and with teachers.
As the French International School, we pride ourselves on offering a rigorous and extensive French programme to complement classroom learning, while also giving students the opportunity to learn an additional language. Each year group is taught by native French speakers. Students have four lessons per week, with each lasting 45 minutes. We also provide home learning activities and a dedicated French learning website for international stream primary students.
Examples of learning aims for various year groups:
The Mandarin programme provides students with opportunities to learn basic and intermediate phrases that can be used in day-to-day life. It aims to help students develop oral communicative competence and gain a greater appreciation of the Chinese language and culture.
French is compulsory (three hours per week). There are four different levels: Standard (beginners), Intermediate (two to three years of study), Higher (near-native level) and Advanced (native speaker level). This means we can teach French in smaller class sizes.
There is also a choice of Spanish or Mandarin (three hours per week). Spanish is for non-native speakers of the language. Mandarin has two different levels: Standard (foreign language level) and Higher (near-native/native level)
French as a First Language – students at this level will prepare to sit the DELF examinations and the French A IBDP option. This includes the study of literature.
French as a Foreign Language – this is for students who are still learning French. Students sit either DELF exams or the relevant IGCSE exam.
Spanish as a Foreign Language – this is for non-native speakers of Spanish.
Mandarin as a Second Language – this is for students with a high level of Mandarin.
Mandarin as a Foreign Language – for students who are still acquiring the language, and not of native speaker level.
GROUP 1 – language and literature: French (A) Literature HL or SL – this is for students who have a native level of French, be it from previous studies at FIS or elsewhere. This will lead to the IB bilingual diploma.
GROUP 2 – language acquisition: Mandarin (B), French (B), Spanish (B) – all at HL or SL – these are courses for students who are still acquiring the language and are not native speakers.
French Ab Initio – SL only – this is a beginners-only course for students who wish to study the language.