Native Language @ ISB

Entries Tagged as '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

ISB’s Multilingual Peace Pole Gets an Update

November 1st, 2019 · No Comments

ISB’s peace pole, a wooden obelisk in the courtyard between the MS/HS Creative Art Room and ES Music, has had an update! (Click the arrows to see.)

Carpenters in the Building and Grounds department refinished the pole and reinstalled it with a new base.

The pole was first erected after the International Day of Peace in 2015, when ISB began marking this occasion annually as a school. The pole’s faces bear messages of peace in four languages used by many students in 2015: English, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. It exemplifies the school’s commitment to ideals greater than itself and to #manylanguagesonevoice.

The carpenters who removed, refinished, and reinstalled the pole with its new base are: 

  1. Mr. Preecha Prasit
  2. Mr. Kosol Panngern
  3. Mr. Ekkalak Sasuya
  4. Mr. Songchana Ponthong
  5. Mr. Anan Nilpradub
  6. Mr. Suranal Ouychan
  7. Mr. Santas Satwasana
  8. Mr. Somsong Muanthong
  9. Mr. Prakit Kimchua
  10. Mr. Supachai Penngrueng.

The photos accompanying this post were taken by Mr. Thatthien Poonsawad. To all, ขอบคุณมากค่ะ.

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Watch: ISB Students Rap in Dutch about Thailand!

October 2nd, 2019 · 1 Comment

Ready to groove? Check out this music video, featuring students in Dutch Cultural Society classes at ISB and other international schools in Bangkok. Students in the video co-wrote the lyrics with the support of DCS teachers and the visiting theater duo Oogpunt, to welcome new and potential Dutch expats to Thailand. ISB was pleased to cosponsor this project. Enjoy!

Tags: After-school classes · Native Language at ISB

ISB Language Snapshot, Semester 1, 2019-2020

September 20th, 2019 · No Comments

What languages might you hear on ISB’s campus these days? Here is a snapshot based on student data for Semester 1, 2019-2020 (click to enlarge).

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

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Native Language Academy Office at Top of Zigzag

August 13th, 2019 · No Comments

Welcome to the new school year! Looking for the Native Language Coordinator? Find me in the new Native Language Academy office at the top of the Zigzag. 

Native Language Academy office

You can also find me this Saturday, August 18, 2019, at the Community Activities Information, Registration and Payment Day, to be held from 9 a.m.-noon in the Elementary School Air-Conditioned Gym.

I am sending surveys (Google Forms) to all language communities currently served by our after-school Native Language classes. Please kindly complete the survey for your language(s).

Sample survey (German)

Last but not least, reach me anytime online by emailing:

Here’s to a language-rich year!


Avery Udagawa, Native Language Coordinator

Tags: After-school classes · Native Language at ISB

After-School Native Languages—Double the Learning Time!

June 4th, 2019 · No Comments

We’re excited to announce that starting in the 2019-2020 school year, we will be expanding our after-school Native Language classes at ISB. Beginning in September, we will be offering two sessions each week for each language in which there is adequate demand. This will allow your children to have twice as much instruction time for the same cost. Instruction will be provided by passionate, dedicated teachers who will carry ISB’s Vision, Mission, Learning Attributes, and Values into each class.

ISB Native Language Academy 2019-2020. Click to enlarge.

The Native Language Academy will run after-school allowing for flexibility in class sizes, intentional groupings across age and language needs, and schedule setting. The native languages that are currently offered within the school day will remain unchanged, with classes every second day in Elementary School (Thai) and Middle School and High School (French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Thai). After-school classes are not a replacement for Native Language classes offered in school.

Most after-school classes will be offered twice a week for an hour each session. The languages on offer:

  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

For Pre-Kindergarten, Thai and Mandarin will be on offer once a week.

A native/near native language is generally described as a language that is used on a daily basis with at least one parent. This is fundamental to ensure that the language can be supported outside of the classroom. We believe that native language learning happens best when students experience a strong home-school partnership.

The schedule of classes will be shared at the start of next school year, as registrations are received and confirmed. To inquire about native language support for your children, in any of the languages above or a language not listed, please email:

Tags: After-school classes · Native Language at ISB

Native Language Books Have New Home in MS/HS Main Library

May 29th, 2019 · No Comments

Need some multilingual reading for summer? Native Language books in ISB’s Main Library for MS/HS have moved to the tall shelving in the Literary Lounge, the room to the left as you enter the library.
The collection currently includes books in Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Turkish and Thai, and is due to to expand in both language range and book quantity in coming months (hence the extra space).
Meanwhile, summer checkout begins on Tuesday, June 4. Parents as well as students are welcome to borrow books! 
Summer checkout in the ES Library (Hub) also begins on June 4; the Native Language collection here includes books in Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish, and Thai.

Tags: Books · Native Language at ISB

Student Publishes Essay in Mainichi Shimbun

May 21st, 2019 · 1 Comment

A student in ISB’s MS Native Japanese class has published an essay in the Mainichi Shimbun, a premier national newspaper in Japan. The student, Yuiko, wrote about how watching two famous figure skaters inspired her to keep working hard as a flutist.

Yuiko drafted and submitted her essay along with all students in MS Native Japanese, taught by Kahoru Nakamachi, in a Media and Culture unit. In this unit, student worked on articulating their opinions with a particular media outlet, audience, purpose, and style in mind.

Some students submitted their essays to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, in which two ISB students published essays last year; other students submitted to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. Yuiko chose the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper because her grandparents in Osaka subscribe.

In her essay (published March 31, 2019), Yuiko expresses what the word ganbaru (頑張る) means to her, including self-motivation and follow-through, referring to the careers of Mao Asada and Yuzuru Hanyu.  

Thoughtful reflection about one’s learning, as well as writing for an authentic audience, are key tasks for multilingual students and highly valued at ISB.

Tags: Native Language at ISB

Being a Second Language Learner

May 7th, 2019 · No Comments

How do multilingual students feel when struggling with a language? Embarrassed, shy, and sometimes “awful,” according to Yeonie, a grade 11 student who presented at TEDxYouth@ISBangkok 2019.

Drawing on her experience as a Korean speaker learning English at ISB for three years, Yeonie powerfully described going quiet and even changing her personality when switching from Korean to English. She offered seasoned advice to both language learners and their peers.

To language learners, she urged learning from mistakes and letting yourself “be a kid, be a child.” 

To native speakers of a language that others are learning, she urged respect, encouragement, and patience. “Wait for us.”

Yeonie, 잘 했습니다.

Tags: Multilingualism · Native Language at ISB

Of 日本語, High-Contrast Languages, and ISB Parents

April 25th, 2019 · No Comments

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, several languages represented at ISB are “exceptionally difficult” for persons whose main language is English. This is because the languages—Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic—contrast highly with English, for example in their writing systems.

For students who study mostly in English at ISB, it can be hard to maintain proficiency in these languages, even as native speakers. Beyond speaking the languages at home and taking classes, many students make extra efforts related to the languages—as do their parents.

In the Elementary School, Japanese parent volunteers run morning literacy sessions twice per week, in which students practice Japanese reading and writing before going off to their homeroom classes. The morning sessions complement weekly classes taught by Ms. Kaori Iwaki, and weekly afternoon cultural activities led by High School Japanese students.

The morning sessions are well attended and, in combination with other efforts, lead to clear progress in students’ writing and reading skills. Massive thanks to the ISB parents who give their time for this purpose!

Tags: Native Language at ISB