Washington International School

Colegio Internacional de Washington
Ecole Internationale de Washington

Languages

A basic principle at WIS is that students benefit from being taught in two languages. Fluency in more than one language opens not only greater possibilities of communication but also greater understanding of other cultures. 
 
  • Students in Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten follow a language immersion program in French or Spanish.
  • Students in Grades 1 to 5 spend half of their academic class time working in English and the other half in either French or Spanish.
  • French as an Additional Language (FAL) and Spanish as an Additional Language (SAL) are open to applicants to Grades 2 to 5, even if they do not already speak French or Spanish.

This approach allows students to learn through language and about language. Students learn to understand, speak, read, and write effectively in both languages. (Listen to an April 2011 story, originally broadcast on NPR, that discusses the benefits of being bilingual.)

In Middle School, students with sufficient language proficiency in French and Spanish continue to pursue a dual language program; in addition to a language and literature class, they take humanities (history and geography) in their non-English language. Students moving into Grade 6 also have the option to take Chinese as an elective course. All Upper School students take English and at least one other language. Over half of WIS students earn a bilingual IB Diploma.  

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