Teaching in English and French

The International School of Lausanne (ISL) has introduced a new dual language programme for students in Years 4 and 5. This bilingual model will be rolled out to Year 3 and Year 6 for next academic year 2022-2023 and then gradually throughout the school. Dual language programmes foster bilingualism, biliteracy, enhanced awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages.

Benefitting from an immersive programme

Two classroom teachers, speaking English and French, co-teach the Primary Years Programme through a Content and Language Integrated Learning Approach (CLIL).

  • Year 4 students start the week with two days in French and the following three days in English, and reversely for students in Year 5.
  • A co-teaching model: two teachers speaking one language each and sharing responsibility for the academic material.
  • Children in the programme continue to learn according to the principles of the PYP. The various Units of Inquiry are taught in both languages.
  • Access to a large number of anglophone and francophone resources are available to our students in the classroom and the school library.


  • 260

    Students in the Primary School

  • 40

    Students enrolled in the dual language programme for the academic year 2021-2022

  • 86%

    Of our current primary families showed strong interest in this approach to learning

Reasoning behind implementing this new programme

Research (PYP bilingual education research 2018) shows that a bilingual instruction is particularly appropriate for an IB School as the abilities developed match “learning by doing” a core education strategy of the PYP in general. Neuroanatomical science has shown evidence that studying a second language increases brain functioning and plasticity. Improved memory can lead to better academic achievements, strong social skills, enhanced performance in creative thinking and problem solving skills. Overall the benefits are enormous.

Multicultural environment

We strive to recognise the unique potential of each student, and to equip them to play an active and responsible role in a complex, changing world with sincere care for others. We strongly believe in multiculturalism and its positive impact on our students. At ISL, your child will integrate into a community of more than 75 nationalities. Ethical and pedagogical choices have been thoroughly discussed for this programme, therefore we focus on celebrating diversity through special events such as the International Day and la semaine de la francophonie. Additionally, our teaching staff selected for this programme, have significant experience working in multicultural environments and living in multilingual communities.

Primary School Teacher at the International School of Lausanne

“This programme is a great learning opportunity for the students participating. They will be exposed to two languages almost equally and immersively, which is very beneficial to their learning.”

Benjamin Cornet, Dual Language French Teacher

Would this programme work for my child?

At ISL, we believe the dual language programme is beneficial to many, however various factors need to be considered. This programme is be run alongside our usual offer. The classes are suitable for students who are currently at intermediate level in both English and French. All prospective students will have their level of French assessed using an external test. The group is balanced in terms of gender, nationalities and learning support needs.

Find out more

You want to know even more? Our experienced admissions team will be happy to schedule a virtual meeting with you or an onsite tour to answer any questions you may have regarding our existing programme or the dual language programme.