Mother Tongue Programme


VIS was a pioneer amongst international schools in recognizing the importance of additive bilingualism - that is, the continuing development of our students' home languages while at the same time learning the school language of English. There is a lot of research to show that children who have a strong foundation in their home language are more successful at school than monolinguals and enjoy a greater feeling of self-worth and identity.

Both the Primary and Secondary schools at VIS are truly international in that the majority of our students speak a language other than English as their first language. An extensive list of Mother Tongue language teachers is maintained by our two Mother Tongue Coordinators, which includes the many languages listed below. At the moment, approximately 20% of all students in both schools are enrolled in mother tongue lessons. Approximately 30% of all International
Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma level students at VIS take mother tongue as part of their IB Diploma Programme.

A wonderful asset in both schools is also the international book collection in the libraries. For example, the Primary school offers over 3000 books in 60 different languages.

Mother Tongue lessons are available:

  • To all students from GP-G12
  • Usually 1x/week after school for Primary School children; as many times/week as negotiated with the teacher for Secondary School students
  • Taught by suitable private teachers for individual or small-group lessons
  • At a cost according to the size of the group and determined by the private teacher
  • In addition to the Mother Tongue lessons, Latin lessons are available as well.

Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Bahasa Melayu, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Malayalam, Mongolian, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish and Urdu.