At the International School of Lausanne, we encourage students to understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, as well as those of others, and to be open to differing values, perspectives and traditions.
In this way, we recognise the importance of mother-tongue maintenance and development. Maintaining and developing language and literacy skills in the mother tongue ensures continuous cognitive development, and in parallel with the competence in the language of instruction, leads to additive bilingualism.
Moreover, it is also crucial for maintaining cultural identity and emotional stability by enabling students to remain in touch with, and maintain esteem for the language, literature and culture of their home country.
Finally, it makes it possible for students to readjust to life in their home community and education system should they return to their home country.
In short, bilingual children perform better in school when the school effectively promotes the mother tongue. At the International School of Lausanne, we work in partnership with the various language communities to develop literacy in that language. To this end, a yearly on-line Mother Tongue Survey is issued. Based upon the data received, we facilitate mother-tongue lessons after school by helping to find mother tongue language teachers and making the premises available.
We currently offer mother tongue tuition in Danish, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
We also offer Swedish as part of our curriculum, for further information please click here.
Aims of the programme include:
- the development of orthographic and grammatical control
- the extension of lexical range, enriching vocabulary
- the development of literacy, through written comprehension and extended reading
- to raise students’ awareness of and respect for their native cultures by expressing idea and information confidently in their mother tongue
- to equip students for the future, for a time when they may need or wish to use their mother tongue or study their native literature as a native speaker
Typically, the classes last for between one and one and a half hour per week, providing an opportunity for students to relate to, and learn from, teachers and other students from their cultural background. Our mother tongue teachers are native speakers of their language; they all have university degrees and most of them have extensive teaching experience.
For more information about the programme and to enroll, please contact Mr Macdonald, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this exciting initiative.