Native Language @ ISB

Community Resources

March 2, 2022
by ISB Native Language Programs

Payment for PNLA Semester 2 Now Open

Thanks to all who signed up for Panther Native Language Academy (PNLA) Semester 2! The Panther Activities payment window is now open.

Below: PK2 Thai class, taught by Dr. Pimolpun (Jib) Burapharat (far below) with assistant Khun Viyada (Tuu) Kunakorn. 

December 17, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Happy Holidays from Panther Native Language Academy

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Panther Native Language Academy! 

See if you can spot virtual Dutch and Hebrew classes, taught by Kees Meinders and Oren Rubin, in the video here. A photo from an in-person Mandarin class, taught by Zhouying Wang since mid-November, is above.

Sign-up for Semester 2 PNLA classes will open in January. Most classes will start on January 24, two weeks into the semester, when an update to COVID-19 safety measures is expected. [Update, 14 January: most PNLA classes will now start on January 31.]

Here’s to a language-rich Winter Holiday!

October 25, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

A Translanguaging Field Trip

Today, ISB faculty took a “translanguaging field trip” to schools around the world with Tonya Gilchrist of Erin Kent Consulting, as part of a Professional Development Day.

Did you know that translanguaging means leveraging all of students’ languages for learning? Here is an article by Gilchrist that says more—and involves cake! 🍰

Here are more posts on this blog about translanguaging at ISB.

September 4, 2021
by ISB Native Language Programs

Hidden Multilinguals

Greetings! Here at ISB, we often 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 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