Native Language @ 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

Happy International Mother Language Day 2019!

February 21st, 2019 · No Comments

“We need to take care of our languages just like we take care of a garden.” With these words, librarian Nat Whitman showed a Grade 1 class several books authored in their native languages, and asked staff member Khun Jeab to read a book aloud in Thai. Down the hall, teachers, parents, and students wrote “good luck” phrases in their languages—from Slovak (above) to Portuguese and Tagalog (below)—on a large chalkboard. These were just two observances of International Mother (Native) Language Day 2019 at ISB.

International Mother Language Day is a day to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The UN reports that at least 43 percent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Every two weeks a language disappears, taking with it a way of knowing.

To affirm the importance of native languages, ISB hosted a Raising Multilinguals followup workshop for parents in all divisions, in which participants (some shown below) discussed ways to offer children language-rich experiences.

ISB staff also affirmed languages with a display in the MS/HS Library, images in the High School student bulletin, and a Facebook post showcasing several Native Language classes. We applaud them!

Happy International Mother (Native) Language Day!

Tags: Native Language at ISB · Parent Workshops

Got Motivation? Check Out This Student’s Speech

March 14th, 2018 · No Comments

Staying motivated to practice a native language can be tough. In this TEDxYouth@ISBangkok speech given in March 2016, former ISB student Hantz Hessouh shares his reasons for maintaining his native French. This video was discussed by ISB grade 8 EAL students on International Mother Language Day 2018. Enjoy it with a multilingual child near you!


Tags: Mother tongue at home

Happy International Mother Language Day 2018!

February 21st, 2018 · No Comments


Today is International Mother Language Day, an observance recognized by the United Nations and long celebrated by UNESCO, with the aim of promoting linguistic diversity and multilingualism— “keystones of sustainability and peace” on the UNESCO International Mother Language Day 2018 website.

ISB marked International Mother Language Day with observances throughout the school, ranging from read-alouds, to writing prompts, to art projects, to special bulletin boards. A selection of international pop tunes played in the cafeteria during MS/HS lunch. A floor-to-ceiling chalkboard in the ES featured writing in children’s languages, about how their families say good morning.



We hope all students felt especially proud of their native languages today at ISB. Happy International Mother Language Day!

Tags: Native Language at ISB · Websites

Books for International Mother Language Day 2018

February 19th, 2018 · No Comments

In observance of International Mother Language Day on February 21, the ISB libraries have displayed books in several languages represented on the ISB student body. To see the books, please visit the MS/HS Library or the ES Hub. 



Occasionally, community members express interest in donating books in various languages to the libraries. If you wish to do so, kindly speak with a librarian first about what titles suit the libraries’ needs. 

Whether you read a book from ISB, a local bookstore, or your home bookshelves, reading is a wonderful way to celebrate International Mother Language Day!

Tags: Books

Posters for International Mother Language Day 2018

February 15th, 2018 · No Comments

February 21 is International Mother Language Day. ISB High School students have made posters that are now displayed in the MS/HS cafeteria and HS hallways. Below is a small sampling of the posters. Please come to the HS to see more! About 40 languages are represented on the ISB student body.

Tags: Diversity · Native Language at ISB