Modern Languages

Course Content

Grades 6-8

Where Grade 6 is taught as a grade level, Grades 7 and 8 are combined according to proficiency level. Six proficiency levels are offered ranging from introductory level, placing an emphasis on spoken German to familiarize the student with the language of his/her new environment, to Mother tongue level. The complexity of written work increases with proficiency level ranging from basic grammatical exercises, to short compositions, to advanced essay writing. Dramas, poetry and short stories are analyzed and interpreted at the higher levels. Students are also increasingly exposed to works of literature as well as to complex topics of social, political, cultural and environmental impact. The MYP programme is currently being introduced.

French or Spanish
Students can take French or Spanish in years 6, 7 and 8. The courses teach students to apply oral and written language in daily situations, by using age and situation-appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures. Language and culture are introduced in simple fashion. Emphasis is on spoken French or Spanish during an introductory period of some weeks. After this, reading and writing are introduced and the student learns to apply and transpose oral and written matters to everyday situations. Oral work is reinforced through the use of audio-visual materials. The MYP programme is currently being introduced.

Grades 9-10

Six proficiency levels are also offered at this level. To accommodate the different levels Grades 9 and 10 are combined. Courses of level 3 and above function as Pre-IB courses. Level 3 serves as a prerequisite for IB Language B at Standard Level. Levels 4 and 5 provide a good foundation for students preparing to do the IB Language B courses at the Higher Level and eventually for Language a Language and Literature at Standard Level. The Mother Tongue course is taught separately for Grades 9 and 10 and accommodates all suitable Language "A" students. It prepares native German speakers for the requirements of the Language A Higher IB courses in Grades 11 and 12.
The Pre-IB courses are designed to build on the foundations of the Middle School (MYP) programme over two years and to prepare students for the range of language options offered at IB (A Literature/ Language and Literature, Language B). Students will explore and develop a critical appreciation of a range of the traditional genres and well as contemporary textualities, including visual and digital media. During this course students are introduced to more formal written and oral literary analysis of texts.

French or Spanish
Students can take French or Spanish in grades 9 and 10. In grade 9 emphasis is placed on spoken French or Spanish as well as on reading and writing; so the student learns to apply and transpose language material. In grade 10 the emphasis placed on spoken French or Spanish is maintained, but dictation, structural composition and introduction to French or Spanish culture through readers, newspapers and comparisons with their own culture become an equally important part of the course. By the end of Grade 10 all important grammatical patterns will have been introduced.
The Pre-IB courses are designed to build on the foundations of the Middle School (MYP) programme over two years and to prepare students for a Language B course in Grades 11 and 12.

Grades 11-12

The IB Programme offers a range of language options. There are two at A level: Literature and Language and Literature. These courses are of equal academic value but have a slightly different focus. In addition there is a Language B option. The DP programme requires students to take at least one A language. All courses may be taken at Higher or Standard level.
The IB A Literature course encourages students to appreciate the artistry of literature and to develop an ability to reflect critically on their reading. Works are studied in their cultural and literary contexts and by considering a range of critical approaches. An important feature of the course is the inclusion of a range of works in translation which aims to introduce students to other cultural perspectives. Assessment takes the form of both oral and written assignments. The course aims to refine students’ skills of analysis as well as to develop a personal appreciation of literature and the literary heritage.
The IB A Language and Literature courses are designed to develop students’ skills of textual & visual analysis. Students develop an understanding that our reading of texts is influenced by our own cultural experience. Students are encouraged to consider the text itself is a product of a particular time and place and by focusing closely on the language of the texts students become more aware of how meaning is constructed. A selection of literature is studied, including works in translation to present students with a wider range of perspectives and diverse human experience. The course is flexible and can be designed to reflect the interest and concerns of the students.
Language B course is intended for students who have had some previous experience of learning the language. The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Language skills are developed through the study of a range of spoken and written material including literary texts.
German ab initio is designed for students who have no or very little experience with a foreign language. It allows those students who have not learned a second language to fulfill the requirements of the Diploma Programme.

The Modern Languages Programme offers courses for students grades 6 to 12. The basis for the Modern Languages Curriculum is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). The CEFR is an instrument of the Council of Europe established to design systems of validation of language competences, providing a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility

Classes are established according to background and ability. German is taught at up to six levels of proficiency and is a compulsory subject, unless the student is required to take English as an Additional Language (EAL).The German programme is particularly enhanced by the fact that there is a German-speaking student population in the school and that it is supported by "total immersion" in the environment of the host country.

At IB level the Modern Languages Department currently offers German Literature and German Language and Literature, both at Higher and Standard levels, German B, French B and Spanish B at higher and standard levels and German as ab initio.

In the design of our programme, the selection and presentation of our materials we aim to reflect the ideals of the IB Learner profile.

At all levels we aim to encourage students to express their ideas clearly and precisely, coherently and creatively, experimenting with a variety of styles and forms in both oral and written communication.

The central focus of all courses is the study and enjoyment of literature in all its forms, through time and across cultures. An exciting range of works is offered to inspire students to reflect on literature and to develop skills of critical thinking. Ideally, students will develop an appreciation of the richness and complexity of human experience that literature records, greater self-knowledge and an understanding and respect for perspectives different from their own.

We also invite students to examine textualities beyond the literary as well as visual media in order to develop a discriminating critical awareness of the way language is used in the world around them.