Language learning

At International School Delft (ISD), we believe that language is at the heart of learning, fundamental to all teaching and learning as it is central to the entire curriculum. It empowers students to develop their conceptual understanding, critical thinking and cognitive skills. All teachers at ISD are responsible for the language development of our students.

Throughout our programme we nurture the development of English as the language of instruction, Dutch as the language of our host country, and students’ mother tongue languages. Language learning is most effective when learned and used in context. A rich language environment is promoted throughout the school.

Language learning at ISD is arranged into three main strands:

  • Oral Communication listening and speaking- for language development, for learning and for relating to others.
  • Written communication reading and writing- for enjoyment, instruction and information
  • Visual communication viewing and presenting – for conveying ideas, values and opinions through the interaction of image and language.

Multilingualism and international mindedness

We are proud of our unique body of learners, our students come from a wide range of language backgrounds bringing with them rich cultural resources. Although English is our Language of instruction, we strive to work in and through languages with which students are comfortable, in order for them to access the curriculum.

Additionally, at ISD, we will organise various activities to celebrate the diversity of nationalities, cultures and languages in our school.

Home Language

ISD is a multilingual community. We celebrate the variety of languages spoken at home. Home Language learning is strongly encouraged to enable students to maintain their cultural heritage and identity. We recommend families to maintain the home language at home in order to strengthen the student’s general language development. Maintaining high levels of the home language is also a feature of high cognition and is a key determinant in the development of international mindedness.

Our Media Resource Center is developing its collection of Home Language books and we encourage families to share and exchange their own resources. 

English as an additional language (EAL)

The support and teaching of English as an additional language (EAL) has great emphasis at ISD. Class sizes are small and teachers have experience of teaching EAL within the classroom.

Keeping students in the main classroom whenever possible, ensures students do not miss out on curriculum entitlement. Additionally, specialist EAL support outside of the classroom is available when deemed appropriate.

EAL learners will be placed in the English Acquisition course.

Host Country Language: Dutch

Dutch is taught to enable ISD students to integrate with the local host-country community. Teaching and learning of Dutch is offered at different levels: Language and Literature Dutch (for native or near native speakers) and Language Acquisition Dutch (for students who are learning the Dutch language). The Dutch Language Acquisition programme aims for students to be able to communicate in Dutch and with functionality and participate in Dutch culture.

ISD Language Profile form

Upon entry to ISD, parents/students are required to complete a language profile form, to indicate the student’s proficiency in their mother tongue, English and other languages studied at school or spoken at home.

Our prospective Secondary students will be invited for an Admissions’ interview in English.

If needed our English and support teachers are consulted to determine correct placement of the students, this may be done with the use of a placement test.

Language learning in MYP


Language and Literature is the study of language and literature at a mother tongue level.

At ISD, the secondary department offers.

  • English Language and Literature for all students, with the exception of students who are new to English, those will start in an English Language Acquisition class 
  • Dutch Language and Literature is for all students whose home language is Dutch. Additionally students who are not Dutch but who meet the language requirements will be allowed to study at this level.
  • It is an IB requirement that all students are enrolled in at least one Language and Literature course at the beginning of MYP5.


We believe that acquisition of more than one language enriches intellectual and personal growth and nurtures international mindedness.

ISD is an excellent environment for your child(ren) to acquire language skills. Language Acquisition focuses on the following objectives: listening, reading, speaking, writing, students learn a language other than their first language.

Language acquisition in MYP is organised in phases. The phases represent a developmental continuum. Students with no prior knowledge of the language start in the Emergent Phase (phase 1-2). The MYP Language Acquisition Proficiency Table and a placement test are used to identify the appropriate phase for a student.

Phases do not necessarily correspond to age groups or MYP year groups. The phase in which the student is placed should offer the student an academic challenge.

In English and Dutch Acquisition students will progress to the Language and Literature course, towards the end of the capable phase.

At ISD, the Secondary Department offers Language Acquisition in Dutch, English, and a choice between French or Spanish.


For further information please refer to the Language Policy