Native Language @ ISB

Community Resources

September 27, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Panther Native Language Academy Stays Online During Cohort (Hybrid) Phase

Panther Native Language Academy classes are staying online during ISB’s cohort (hybrid) phase of reopening.

This is because not all students in each PNLA class are in the same cohort and able to be on-campus together. 

In our Raising Multilinguals workshops, we say that “language learning thrives with consistency and a plan.” Therefore, we are staying consistent with PNLA classes online.

Kindly watch for details by email about your language(s). Thank you!

September 4, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Hidden Multilinguals

Greetings! Here at ISB, we typically send information about Panther Native Language Academy (PNLA) classes to ISB families we know are multilingual. But we sometimes miss “hidden multilinguals” whose native/near-native language(s) we don’t know. Examples:
  • Korean student who attended school in French in Africa
  • American students who acquired Spanish in Chile and Peru
  • Thai student who studied Chinese intensively at prior school
Are your child(ren) “hidden multilinguals” who might benefit from PNLA? If so, please contact us!
More details about native/near-native language classes at ISB are here.

August 18, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Register Online for Panther Native Language Academy

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year at ISB! We are excited to offer Panther Native Language Academy (PNLA) classes virtually while campus is closed.


There are two steps to sign up for PNLA class this semester.

(1) Go to Panther Activities Registration and register for PNLA by 12 noon on Friday, August 27.

(2) In Google Forms, submit the PNLA Schedule Survey for your language(s) by 12 noon on Friday, August 27. If you have not received the survey by email, please contact:


The PNLA fee for Semester 1 will be 6,500 THB plus Panther Activities fees. Like the past four years, this fee is calculated based on 500 THB/one-hour weekly class session. PNLA Semester 1 will run for 13 weeks. If classes cannot meet for 13 full weeks, a portion of students’ fee will be credited to Semester 2.

For students K and up whose families pay for one session per week, ISB offers a second class session per week free if there is adequate demand. 

While class is online, sessions may be shortened to reduce screen fatigue.

The fees and schedule for Dutch classes via Dutch Cultural Society will be provided by DCS.

More About PNLA

In PNLA, our goal is to offer meaningful learning activities in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that reflect ISB’s vision, mission, attributes, and values. We aim to keep students moving forward in their language learning and connected with their peers.

PNLA classes best suit students who are (a) unable to take a native language class during school, or (b) students who need extra support as determined by the teacher of the native language class in school.

A native/near native language is generally described as a language that is used on a daily basis with at least one parent. 

If you wish your child(ren) to take PNLA class after school, please follow steps (1) and (2) above by 12 noon on August 27.

Here’s to a language-rich school year!

August 13, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

First-Ever Summer Native Language Camp: Two Students Publish Essays in Asahi Shimbun

In summer 2021, ISB’s first-ever summer native language camp was offered virtually: 意見文・小論文のクラス (Japanese Essay Writing Camp) for students in grades 8-9, taught by Kahoru Nakamachi.

This intensive, two-week camp provided students with “opportunities to read, analyze, and discuss in order to think critically and write effectively” in Japanese. It took place from late June to early July.

Later in July, essays by two students in the camp were published in the Asahi Shimbun, a premier Japanese national newspaper!

Koki (HS) wrote about why young people do not watch TV as in the past (July 13, 2021):

Takanori (MS) wrote about ways to ensure that people can use social networking services safely (July 24, 2021):

Critical reflection about one’s cultures, and writing for an authentic audience, are key tasks for multilingual students and highly valued at ISB. Congratulations to the students who published essays, and to all who took part in the writing camp!

May 17, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

A New Web Page and a Farewell

Panther Native Language Academy has a new web page with a long-familiar face: Khun Prisana’s.

The web page, part of a Panther Activities website upgrade, goes live just as Khun Prisana completes her time at ISB. 

Khun Prisana’s PK2 Thai students drew letters in salt this term before PNLA went on Zoom.

Khun Prisana taught her final PK2 Thai class on Zoom today, May 17, after four years of teaching in PNLA. Before that, she taught Thai for some 22 years at ISB, full- or part-time, over three different stints. Her first stint was at the former ISB campus on Sukhumvit Soi 15 in Bangkok.

Known for her patience, Khun Prisana told well-wishers today that she sees every challenge as a lesson.

We hope to see her smile for a long time on our website, but meanwhile, we wish her well as she begins her next chapter.

Farewell and ขอบคุณค่ะ, Khun Prisana!

*Note: this blog continues as a complement to the web page.

Khun Prisana reads to the after-school PK2 Thai class in February 2021

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