Native Language @ ISB

Community Resources

April 7, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

PNLA on Zoom April 7-9

Greetings! Panther Native Language Academy classes will be on Zoom April 7-9, during the ISB campus closure (details here).

For these three days, PNLA classes will begin at their usual times. Teachers will email students’ parents (ES) or students and their parents (MS/HS) to provide Zoom links.
Some ES classes may be shortened. Parents are respectfully asked to assist ES students with PNLA class. 
If you have any questions or concerns, kindly email:
We will see you on Zoom!

April 5, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

“Multilingual is Normal” at ISB

Why not post the Elementary School cafeteria menu in Thai as well as English? 

This question from ES teacher Chad Rimbey recently led to a small yet powerful change at ISB: Khun Pook of Epicure writes the day’s menu in both languages on the chalkboard by the ES cafeteria.

This gives students studying Thai some extra reading practice; helps them to see Epicure staff as experts in a language they themselves are learning; and increases understanding of the menu for Thai readers. (All ES students study Thai for at least one year; Thai passport holders continue to study Thai throughout their schooling, and non-Thai passport holders can choose to continue studying Thai as a world language.)
This action sends a further message that “multilingual is normal”—coincidentally also the theme of the recent International Day of Multilingualism on March 27.
ISB boards and walls marked this occasion in other ways, too—from a prompt on the floor-to-ceiling chalkboard in the ES, to a bulletin board in the MS/HS Library, to posters in the Cultural Centre and around campus.
How else can you imagine sending the message that “multilingual is normal” at ISB?

March 5, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Multilingualism and the Sustainable Development Goals

Did you know? Multilingualism has been identified as key to achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, considered a blueprint for a better future.

This month—between UNESCO International Mother Language Day on February 21 and the International Day of Multilingualism on March 27—is a great time to explore connections between multilingualism and the SDGs. Here are three jumping-off points!

  • “Multilingualism: The language of international development,” blog post by David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
  • “Mother tongue-based multilingual education: the key to unlocking SDG 4: quality Education for All,” booklet, the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group
  • “The Role of Multilingualism in Effectively Addressing Global Issues: The Sustainable Development Goals and Beyond,” journal article by Kathleen Stein-Smith, Fairleigh-Dickinson University

February 1, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

PNLA Classes to Start In-Person on February 8

Students are back on campus, and Panther Native Language Academy classes will start in-person on Monday, February 8! Payment via CHQ is also due by February 8. 

If you still need to register, please write to this new email address:

It will be wonderful to have students back in class!

Above: Panther Native Language Academy teacher meeting in January.

January 11, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Panther Native Language Academy to Resume in February

Happy New Year!
With campus closed due to Covid, Panther Activities (ISB’s after-school activities office) will delay registration and payment for Semester 2 activities in CHQ, so Panther Native Language Academy classes will not begin in January.
Most PNLA classes will begin in February, online if necessary.
Meanwhile, Virtual School is a great time to use native languages at home! Here are ISB’s Tips on Multilingual Learning at Home

December 3, 2020
by ISB Native Language Programs

Four Resources for Parents of Multilinguals

Here are four resources shared at the recent Raising Multilinguals: How? parent workshop, which may help parents of multilingual children. (Click to enlarge!)

November 13, 2020
by ISB Native Language Programs

ES Intercultural Week Video Features Tagalog

For Intercultural Week 2020, ES musicians made a video that features Tagalog!

At the beginning of this video, created by the ES Panther Choir and Panther Orff Ensemble, G5 student Sofie recites the original lyrics to “I Am But a Small Voice.” These lyrics were written by Filipina student Odina Batnag for a UNESCO “Children Helping Children” songwriting contest in the 1980s. The Tagalog lyrics, translated into English, were then set to music by composer Roger Whittaker. 

Panther Choir and Panther Orff Ensemble are taught by Matt Enders, Kelly Mott, and Angela Wong.

November 6, 2020
by ISB Native Language Programs

Sign Up for “Raising Multilinguals: How?” A Follow-Up Parent Workshop

How can parents nurture native language besides speaking it with their children and enrolling them in classes?

Find out by joining us on November 25, 2020, from 8:15-9:45 a.m., for the workshop Raising Multilinguals How? Unlocking the World Through Language-Rich Experiences.

In this workshop, a followup to Raising Multilinguals, we will explore how families can promote literacy (reading and writing) and rich conversation, in support of the family language plan.

Parents of students in PreK through Grade 12 are welcome! Please sign up here if you plan to attend. The workshop will be held in the MS/HS Library’s Literary Lounge, unless sign-ups require a larger room to meet physical distancing guidelines. If you have any questions, please write:

October 15, 2020
by ISB Native Language Programs

Sign Up for Raising Multilinguals Parent Workshop

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, from 7:45-9:15 a.m., ISB faculty and administrators will offer a workshop for parents from all divisions (ES, MS, HS) about maintaining students’ native languages while they also study in English at ISB. 
At this workshop, faculty and administrators will:
  • Present reasons to maintain native language, based on research
  • Describe language classes and resources available at ISB
  • Discuss the importance of making a family language plan
Please join us! Parents of students in PreK through Grade 12 are welcome. In order to ensure that we have enough space to comply with the current physical distancing guidelines, please sign up here if you plan to attend. We will confirm the location prior to the event. 
For further information, please email: