Native Language @ ISB

Entries Tagged as 'Native Language at ISB'

ES Intercultural Week Video Features Tagalog

November 13th, 2020 · No Comments

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.

Tags: Native Language at ISB

ISB Language Snapshot, Semester 1, 2020-2021

September 25th, 2020 · No Comments

What languages might you hear on ISB’s campus these days? Here is a snapshot based on student data for Semester 1, 2020-2021 (click image to enlarge).

Note: This graphic shows the number of students for whom each language is listed as Student Language in PowerSchool. The data is incomplete, as multilingual students could report only one Student Language, and some families did not report a language. To check on your child’s language data, please contact:

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Five Students Publish Essays in Asahi Shimbun

June 5th, 2020 · No Comments

During the 2019-20 school year, five students in the HS Japanese Native II and MS Native Japanese classes published essays in the Asahi Shimbun, a premier Japanese national newspaper. The students wrote about navigating overseas moves and about their intercultural identities.

Click images below to enlarge.

Kotoha (HS) wrote about negotiating academic English and classroom discussions at international school (November 20, 2019): 

Lisa (HS) described maintaining two family languages, Japanese and Korean, with inspiration from a friend (November 26, 2019):


Emina (MS) called for acceptance of people with a wide variety of physical appearances in Japanese society (January 7, 2020):


Satomi (MS) reflected on flying to Japan to be with an ailing grandparent, who struggled to communicate (January 16, 2020):


Karen (MS) urged that virtual reality and artificial intelligence be used to foster intercultural empathy (January 28, 2020):


The students drafted and submitted their essays as part of Media and Culture units instructed by Kahoru Nakamachi. The units called for writing one’s opinion with a particular outlet, audience, purpose, and style in mind.

Students in prior years have published essays about striving and about similarities and differences between Japanese and international school. 

Comparative reflection about one’s cultures, and writing for an authentic audience, are key tasks for multilingual students and highly valued at ISB.

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Panthers Pounce Reading Challenge: Read in Any Language!

May 2nd, 2020 · No Comments

Panthers Pounce is a school-wide May reading challenge where everyone—students, staff, and families—can join the fun in ANY language! To participate, read in any/all of your languages during May and log your reading time here. (Choose the Students or Adults box on the right side of the page.)

Happy reading in ANY language!

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Native Language at ISB

An Elementary School Virtual Songkran

April 15th, 2020 · No Comments

สวัสดีปีใหม่ค่ะ! Happy Thai New Year! In celebration of Songkran, ISB ES faculty posted a video wishing students well in four languages. Enjoy! 

Tags: Native Language at ISB

What Multilingualism Means to Me: Virtual Middle School Edition

April 10th, 2020 · No Comments

Multilingualism can help us understand different cultures…which is sometimes weird. It makes travel easier…when we can travel! Middle schoolers in virtual Native Spanish with Maite Montero-Nahoum recently represented what being multilingual means to them, celebrating the International Day of Multilingualism. 

Here are videos by Gaby and Natalia (their names en español), shared with permission. Students may be stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus, but they’re having fun!

Video 1 (Gaby)

Video 2 (Natalia)

Tags: Multilingualism · Native Language at ISB

Happy International Mother Language Day 2020!

February 21st, 2020 · No Comments

Like biodiversity, linguistic diversity is important to study and safeguard. Every year on February 21, the United Nations observes International Mother Language Day to celebrate all languages and promote multilingualism.

ISB observed #IMLD2020 with displays in both libraries, a themed prompt on the ES floor-to-ceiling chalkboard, and a video in the MS daily announcements. HS student Shea (above) read aloud in Mandarin to ES classes as part of her Global Citizenship Week internship with Nat Whitman, ES Hub. (Last year’s Hub observance featured read-alouds in Thai.)

Happy International Mother (Native) Language Day, and have a language-rich February Break!

Above: Shea, grade 10, with a table of Mandarin children’s books she prepared in the ES Hub. Below: Instructional Assistant Khun Mam with the multilingual bulletin board she made in the Main Library.

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Translanguaging in the Classroom

December 6th, 2019 · 1 Comment

The word translanguaging comes from the Welsh trawsiethu and refers to using more than one language for teaching and learning. ISB’s multilingual student body stands to benefit from translanguaging, so educators have been exploring it at several recent professional days.

Faculty study translanguaging at the All Staff Professional Day on November 15, 2019.

How might translanguaging look in an ISB classroom? This video by consultant Eowyn Crisfield offers a glimpse.

Crisfield has also published a journal article about translanguaging in international schools. 

What questions do you have about translanguaging?

Tags: Journal articles · Native Language and Education · Native Language at ISB

Multilingual Slides from ES Intercultural Day

November 22nd, 2019 · No Comments

Hello from all 67 nations represented in ISB’s Elementary School! 

These slides were shown at today’s 2019 ES Intercultural Day assembly. (For best quality, kindly download.)

The slides show a greeting in at least one language from every nation represented in the ES, according to Powerschool and ES students themselves.

The slides also show each nation’s location and an example of its art–whether music, literature, visual art, or dance. Languages and art/culture represent core aspects of identity, vital to celebrate and share.

Happy Intercultural Day!

Tags: Native Language at ISB

A Buffet of Bilingual Glossaries

November 14th, 2019 · No Comments

When parents, faculty and administrators gathered for today’s Raising Multilinguals: How? workshop, they enjoyed a buffet of samosas, sushi, mangoes with sticky rice—and bilingual glossaries.

The glossaries, organized by school subject and division (elementary, middle, high) are downloadable from the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation in Schools, New York University. They come in many ISB languages.

Bilingual glossaries can help students and families discuss schoolwork in their native tongue(s), one of many language-rich experiences discussed at Raising Multilinguals: How?.

At this workshop, presenters defined a language-rich experience as “any experience where opportunities to use language are created and nurtured.” Participants explored ways to transform everyday experiences—from discussing homework to texting to waiting in traffic—into language-rich moments. Small groups considered ways to infuse speaking, listening, reading, and/or writing into different scenarios, and they pondered ways to have conversations that nurture language growth. Finally, everyone affirmed the importance of reading aloud in one’s native language(s).

If you missed last month’s Raising Multilinguals workshop or today’s Raising Multilinguals: How? workshop, feel free to email us for information:

Meanwhile, do sample the bilingual glossaries online! Click on Bilingual Glossaries under Bookmarks at the right side of this blog.

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Native Language and Education · Native Language at ISB · Parent Workshops · Websites