A Multilingual Education
Beginning as early as age 2, ISB students are introduced to the world through French-English bilingual learning in an international environment. At all grade levels, ISB students challenge themselves academically, explore their creativity, and increase their confidence as they speak and think in two or more languages. Long known for excellence in French-English bilingual education, ISB recognizes the importance and value of not only bilingualism, but also multilingualism. Today, nearly all ISB students are exposed to at least three languages.
ISB’s curriculum builds the basis for multilingual learning in an age-appropriate way. Our approach is based on the best pedagogy combined with decades of expertise stretching back to our founding in 1962.
The developmental benefits of students beginning their multilingual journey from the earliest age are vast:
- It’s scientifically demonstrated that multilingualism improves cognitive function, strengthening the ability to focus effectively and make sound decisions more quickly.
- Those with exposure to multilingual environments tend to more readily grasp the perspectives of others.
- Neurobiological research shows that speaking more than one language from an early age may even extend cognitive health later in life.
Following the French Ministry of Education’s recognition of ISB’s Elementary Division as a Section Internationale, the International School of Boston offers the Éveil aux langues program from PreK-Grade 1. Building on that foundation, beginning in Grade 2 and continuing through Grade 5, Lower School students also choose between learning Spanish or Mandarin, in addition to their French-English bilingual curriculum. This recognition from the French Ministry of Education serves as an official guarantee of ISB’s excellence in multilingual and multicultural education. The two programs are integrated within our French and English bilingual curriculum.
In the Middle School, academic classes are taught in French and English. Students have the opportunity to select a schedule that more heavily emphasizes either the French or English language, depending on their academic interests and early interest in pursuing either the International Baccalaureate (IB) or French Baccalaureate track. Students also have the opportunity to add Spanish, German, or Mandarin to their schedule.
ISB’s Upper School students choose between two internationally recognized diplomas: the French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate (IB) taught in English. Building off of opportunities offered in the Middle School, Upper School students have the option to learn Spanish, German, or Mandarin, in addition to French.