Rijksstraatweg 200 2241 BX Wassenaar The Netherlands Tel.+31 (0) 70 512 10 60 Fax+31 (0) 70 511 24 00
Share E-mail Print

Elementary School


ASH believes in the importance of multilingualism as well as mother tongue and culture maintenance for all in our international community. By Mother Tongue , we mean any language that may be “the first language learned at home in childhood” (StatsCan, 2001) sometimes also referred to as the home language, or native language. Generally, this is the preferred language of normal family interaction.
Frequently Asked Questions about our Language Program
Q. What additional languages are offered in the Elementary School, Middle School, and High School? (that is, in addition to the core subject of English)?
A. Within the mainstream curriculum the following languages are offered at ASH: Elementary School offers Dutch or English as an Additional Language (EAL). Middle School offers Dutch, EAL, French, and Spanish, at various levels including Dutch for native speakers. High School offers Dutch, Spanish, French and German at various levels including Dutch for native speakers.

Q. Why is Dutch the only additional language offered in the Elementary School? (apart from English as an Additional Language for non-English speakers)
A. Dutch is the host country language and basic knowledge of the language for our youngest learners is culturally appropriate. Many students are likely to encounter Dutch children and families in their neighborhood, and the language is very helpful socially. Of
course, learning something of the culture of the country they live in helps students to learn to respect and appreciate the host country and culture. Cognitively, children are also still developing English as their academic language whether as native or non-native speakers. We believe that the study of other languages, outside of the host language, is most appropriate and best supported beginning in middle school.

Q. Can a student take more than one additional language at ASH?
A. Because of scheduling concerns, only students in the high school are able to enroll in more than one language as an elective course choice. This is due to the already schedule of core and special classes at the other divisions.

Q. What is the ASH philosophy on the teaching of mother tongue languages?
A. ASH believes in multilingualism, as well as the importance of maintaining mother tongue languages and culture for everyone in our international community.

We believe in an additive atmosphere in the school, where all languages are respected, and where the addition of English (for speakers of other languages) enhances the students’ language experience. We encourage students and families to maintain high levels of language in their mother tongue whenever possible while students are studying in English.

Q. Are mother tongue language classes other than English available at ASH?
A. Mother tongue languages at ASH include Dutch in the MS and HS. It is also possible to study mother tongue languages within the IB Diploma Program provided there is a qualified teacher/tutor available in the community.

Q. I want my child to continue learning our native language. Is this possible at ASH?
ASH strongly encourages students to develop their native tongue language. There are native speaker Dutch classes offered in the MS and HS. Should a student want to continue with a language not offered within the mainstream curriculum, students and parents may organize individual or language study groups after regular school hours. ASH will assist in finding the appropriate space to do so.

Q. Who should I see for information if I am interested in a language not offered at ASH?
A. In most cases, the counselors in each division can guide parents in this regard. The PTO is also a good source for information about language groups and study in and around our community.

Q. Can I take a self-study language course at ASH?
A. The only opportunities for self-study language courses comes in the high school as a special part of an individual’s IB diploma program. These are rare exceptions to the normal course of study and usually are reserved for unusual languages. Wherever possible, students should have regular contact with a tutor. Student involvement must be approved by the school after consultation with the family, IB Coordinator, high school counselors, and Principal. Students must show a compelling reason to pursue a self-study language course.

Q. How is the curriculum determined for a language taught outside the mainstream?
A. The teacher/tutor of any language taught outside the mainstream would be responsible for determining the curriculum of the class in consultation with the families participating in the program.

Q. If I do take a mother tongue language, who is responsible for finding the teacher? (Who chooses a Mother Tongue tutor or teacher?)
A. The responsibility lies with the student and her family although the school will assist families where possible. In the case of the IB tutorial, the IBDP Coordinator must ensure that the tutor has the required credentials and training to teach literature at the IB level. The Coordinator will orient the tutor and assist in designing a proper course, but the employment agreement is between the family and tutor.

Q. Who supervises the Mother Tongue teacher?
A. The families involved in the Mother Tongue class would be the ones to “supervise” and/or direct the teacher in these private classes. In the case of the IB diploma program, the IB Coordinator, in order to support the student, must supervise the tutors to be sure the course and IB curriculum is being delivered within the IB regulations. The coordinator may serve as a liaison between the family and tutor, but generally, all parties cooperate to give the student the optimal experience with the language.

Q. Can I get High School credit for studying my mother tongue outside of the mainstream?
A. Credit may only be granted to students who have been approved to study a particular language as part of their full IB diploma program.

Q. Are there any circumstances where language credit for Mother Tongue study is given for non-IB diploma students?
A. No, credit is only possible in the mainstream or within the IB diploma tutorial program.

Q. How do we find space at school to offer a mother tongue class?
A. The school will assist families in finding the best space available in the school for language classes. Normally, this is arranged through the division offices.

Q. Who pays for a mother tongue language not offered in the mainstream?
A. The families involved in organizing extra-curricular language classes are responsible for the costs associated with such an endeavor. This includes the remuneration of the tutor/teacher.

Q. Is there outside funding available for Mother Tongue instruction?
A. ASH is not aware of funding for mother tongue study, though some companies have supported mother tongue maintenance classes for the children of employees in the past.
Translate this page
To return to English, and show the original page, click the button in the Google Translate bar above.
We asked Elementary School Students...
Why do you want to learn Dutch?

The EAL Class is a friendly place with many languages spoken.
Which mother tongue languages do you think are the most common in our EAL classrooms?