Language Options and Requirements

As a tool for intercultural understanding, language is an important component of the WIS curriculum. WIS graduates are proficient in at least one language in addition to English; many are functionally or fully bilingual. All students in Grades 1 through 12 study at least two languages, one of which is English. WIS does not offer an English only program. The options available to students vary by grade level, as indicated below.


Click on the blue bars for charts that summarize the language programs available at WIS. "Primary School Language Program Summary" explains the color coding used in the other Primary School charts.

Primary School Language Program Summary

Language Immersion Program – Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
WIS offers a total Language Immersion Program in French or Spanish. Experience in French or Spanish is not needed. Many children enter WIS for Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten speaking only English while others are fluent in or have some knowledge of Spanish or French. Still others speak another language. Our three Early Childhood grades are open to all levels of language learners.

Dual Language Program – English/French and English/Spanish – Grade 1
WIS offers a Dual Language Program in English/French and English/Spanish. Students spend alternating days of academic instruction time in English and French or Spanish. The program can accommodate students who are reading, writing, and speaking on grade level in French or Spanish, as well as complete beginners. Applicants who have a background in French and Spanish will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.

Dual Language Program – English/French and English/Spanish – Grades 2 through 5
WIS offers a Dual Language Program in English/French and English/Spanish. Students spend alternating days of academic instruction time in English and French or Spanish. Applicants are expected to be reading, writing, and speaking on grade level in French or Spanish and will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.

French as an Additional Language (FAL) – Grades 2 through 5
This program is open to beginning French learners, as well as to students who have some knowledge of French, but are not yet ready to join the Dual Language Program. Grade-level proficiency in English is required.

Spanish as an Additional Language (SAL) – Grades 2 through 5
This program is open to beginning Spanish learners as well as to students who have some knowledge of Spanish, but are not yet ready to join the Dual Language Program. Grade-level proficiency in English is required.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)
English language support is available; however, because of the dual language curriculum, students eligible for EAL must be fluent in Spanish or French. If a student needs English language support and is not fluent in Spanish or French, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss recommendations.

Primary School Language Program Summary (Chart)

LANGUAGE OPTIONS SUMMARY

Our Primary School welcomes all levels of language learners. This chart summarizes programs and levels of language proficiency. Please consult our language-specific charts, as well as the text summaries in the tabbed section below.
 
PROGRAMGRADE LEVELSPROGRAM COLOR CODE AND REQUIREMENTS
LANGUAGE IMMERSION
French and Spanish 
Preschool, Pre-K and KindergartenTotal language immersion. Open to all language learners. No prior knowledge of French or Spanish required.
DUAL LANGUAGE
English/French
English/Spanish
Grades 1-5English, with French or Spanish. Open to those who are reading, writing, and speaking on grade level in French, or Spanish. Exceptions can be made for Grade 1, which can accommodate beginners to intermediate learners of French or Spanish.
French/Spanish as an
Additional Language
(FAL and SAL)
Grades 2-5English, with French or Spanish. Open to beginners and intermediate language learners. No prior knowledge of French or Spanish required.

Primary School French Options

FRENCH LANGUAGE PROGRAM OPTIONS
 
GRADE LEVELFRENCH BEGINNERFRENCH INTERMEDIATEFRENCH ADVANCED/FLUENT
Preschool X
Pre-Kindergarten X
Kindergarten X
Grade 1 
Grade 2 X
Grade 3 X
Grade 4    
Grade 5 

Primary School Spanish Options

SPANISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM OPTIONS
 
GRADE LEVELSPANISH BEGINNERSPANISH INTERMEDIATESPANISH ADVANCED/FLUENT
Preschool X
Pre-Kindergarten X
Kindergarten X
Grade 1 
Grade 2 X
Grade 3 X
Grade 4    
Grade 5 

Primary School English as an Additional Language

ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE (EAL)
 
 
GRADE LEVELENGLISH LANGUAGE SUPPORT
Grade 1 
Grade 2 
Grade 3
Grade 4 X
Grade 5X

Middle School Language Program Summary

In Grade 6, 7, and 8 WIS offers the language programs outlined below.

SECOND LANGUAGE OPTIONS

  • Beginning French (Applicants to Grades 6 and 7 only): No previous experience is required. All other classes are taught in English.
  • Transitional French (Applicants to Grade 6 only): An intensive French program designed for students with a strong academic background who have an intermediate level of proficiency in French. Students are expected to transition into the Dual Language English/French Program in the second semester of Grade 6. Applicants will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Intermediate French (Applicants to Grades 7 and 8 only): Applicants should have an intermediate level of proficiency. All other classes are taught in English. Applicants will have their French proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Dual Language Program in English/French (Grades 6, 7, 8): Students who are highly proficient/fluent in French have their humanities (history, geography) and language classes taught in French. All other classes are taught in English. Applicants will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Beginning Spanish (Applicants to Grades 6 and 7 only): No previous experience is required. All other classes are taught in English. 
  • Transitional Spanish (Applicants to Grade 6 only): An intensive Spanish program designed for students with a strong academic background who have an intermediate level of proficiency in Spanish. Students are expected to transition into the Dual Language English/Spanish Program in the second semester of Grade 6. Applicants will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Intermediate Spanish (Grades 7 and 8 only): Applicants should have an intermediate level of proficiency. All other classes are taught in English. Applicants will have their Spanish proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Dual Language Program in English/Spanish (Grades 6, 7, 8): Students who are highly proficient/fluent in Spanish have their humanities (history, geography) and language classes taught in Spanish. All other classes are taught in English. Applicants will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process.

ELECTIVE OPTIONS

  • Beginning Chinese – Mandarin (Grade 6, elective only): Available only to students in the Dual Language programs. Taken in addition to the English/Spanish or English/French program. 
  • Intermediate Chinese – Mandarin (Grades 7 and 8, elective only): Available only to students in the Dual Language programs. Taken in addition to the English/Spanish or English/French program. Applicants will have their language proficiency assessed during the admissions process. 

English Language Support
Middle School students whose first language is not English are expected to have a strong foundation in English (intermediate to advanced level). English language support is available; however, because of our rigorous academic program, students must be proficient at or near grade level (reading, writing, and speaking). If a student has never studied English or if his or her English skills are not yet at or near grade level, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss program recommendations.

Upper School Language Program Summary

In Grades 9 to 12 WIS offers the language programs outlined below.

  • Spanish Intermediate/Advanced: A program for those with an intermediate to advanced level of proficiency. Applicants will have their Spanish proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Spanish Advanced/Fluent: Requires applicants to be highly proficient/fluent. Applicants will have their Spanish proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • French Intermediate/Advanced: A program for those with an intermediate to advanced level of proficiency. Applicants will have their French proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • French Advanced/Fluent: Requires applicants to be highly proficient/fluent. Applicants will have their French proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Chinese (Mandarin) Intermediate/Advanced: A program for those with an intermediate to advanced level of proficiency. Applicants should have approximately five years of previous instruction. Applicants will have their Chinese proficiency assessed during the admissions process.
  • Dutch Fluent (contact the Admissions Office regarding the availability of Dutch)Requires students to be at a fluent/native level of proficiency. Applicants will have their Dutch proficiency assessed during the admissions process. Additional fees will apply.
  • Language Tutorial: Applicants with a strong academic background in another approved IB language (e.g. German, Russian, Arabic) can request to study the language on a tutorial basis. Additional fees will apply.
  • Spanish ab initio (Applicants to Grade 11 only): A beginning language program. Additional fees will apply.
  • French ab initio (Applicants to Grade 11 only): A beginning language program. Additional fees will apply.

English Language Support 
Upper School students whose first language is not English are expected to have a very strong foundation in English (advanced level).  English language support is available; however, because of our rigorous academic program and the fact that the IB examinations are conducted in English, students must be proficient at or near grade level (reading, writing, and speaking). If a student has never studied English or if his or her English skills are not yet at or near grade level, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss program recommendations.

powered by finalsite