SEARCH

Search form

Languages at UWCSEA

Although the learning programme is delivered in English, the College values and celebrates linguistic diversity. Our community is drawn from around 90 countries, and more than 50 other languages are spoken by community members as their first language.

Our language offerings are designed to provide our students with exposure to other cultures as well as to acquire skill in a language other than English—and to support students whose first language is not English in retaining and developing skills in their mother tongue wherever possible. 

Academic courses

In addition to English or English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons, almost all students take a Language other than English (LOTE) class. 

Beginner courses: for students with little or no prior exposure to learning the language. Depending on the grade and campus, the beginner languages offered are Chinese, Spanish and French.

Continuation courses: require the student to have had at least three years of prior study in the language. Refers to a ‘taught foreign language.’ Depending on the grade and campus, the languages offered are Chinese, Spanish and French.

Advanced courses: are for first or near-first (native or near-native, or mother-tongue) language students who also have prior study of the language. See explanation in the mother tongue support section below for more details. These courses are for first or near-first (native or near-native, or mother-tongue) language students who also have prior study of the language. Depending on the grade (generally these are offered in High School) and campus, the languages offered are Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, German and French, and in the IB Diploma Hindi, Russian and Spanish are added to the list of languages offered. Dutch and German advanced courses are available from Grade 7, and on Dover Campus only.

Details of the languages and levels offered by grade and campus are set out on the Languages at UWCSEA factsheet.

School Supported Self-Taught (SSST) courses: non-examined courses for students in Grade 9 as an alternative to an IGCSE certificate course, in the Grade 10 Foundation IB, as well the Language A course in the IB Diploma. This is an ‘advanced level’ course for students who wish to study in their mother tongue but for whom UWCSEA does not run a taught course. More detail is below.

English as an Additional Language (EAL): click here for details on our EAL provision, which extends from the Infant to High School. 

Details of the languages and courses offered by grade and campus are set out on the Languages at UWCSEA factsheet. 

For detailed information on the Middle and High School languages courses available, please download the (I)GCSE, Foundation IB or IB Diploma academic programme guides from our Brochures page.

School Supported Self-Taught Language (SSST) courses

In Grade 9 and 10, this non-examined course helps students develop the literary analysis skills needed for the IB Diploma SSST Language A course in Grade 11 and 12.

In Grade 9 and 10, students have a UWCSEA SSST Language teacher and, in addition, support in their chosen language from a College-appointed native speaking teacher (tutor) who marks their work. On the East Campus, students also have regular classroom contact with this College-appointed tutor.

Literary analysis skills are taught in class, and students apply the skills by reading and writing assignments in their chosen language. In this way, students take ownership of their learning in the target language. In addition to developing the conceptual tools for exploring literature, the SSST course also considers how to structure essays about literature.

The written work of each student is regularly assessed by the native speaking teacher, against criteria provided by the College. These teachers are carefully selected on the basis of their experience and expertise. Parents can play an important role in supporting their children’s efforts by discussing work with them in the target language.

In Grade 11 and 12, students undertaking the IB Diploma select from the IB approved authors list. They are supported by a UWCSEA SSST Language teacher and an experienced tutor in their study towards their Language A course, and a bilingual IB Diploma.

More information on the SSST courses on each campus can be found in the (I)GCSE, Foundation IB and IB Diploma programme guides on the Brochures page.

Home language (mother tongue) support

To support our multilingual students, we offers range of home language (sometimes referred to as mother tongue) courses as part of the academic curriculum. These are outlined above. However,  other languages are offered in small group classes as part of a coordinated after school Home Languages programme. The programme operates differently on both campuses - please contact Admissions for clarification and further information.

Dover Campus

A number of Home Languages classes are offered after school for students in Grades 2 to 12. The classes support students to maintain and develop and maintain their Home Language with a particular focus on their literacy skills (reading and writing). These classes are taught in small groups at an additional cost.

The following home languages are offered, depending on demand Please note that some of these languages have mother tongue classes as part of the curriculum in Middle or High School (Grades 6-12). 

  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish

For information on which languages are taught as part of the academic curriculum, please refer the information above.

Note: Chinese is offered at home language (mother tongue) level through the academic curriculum from Grade 1.

East Campus

A number of Home Languages classes are offered after school for students in Grades 2 to 12. The classes are coordinated by parents, using the campus facilities, and are delivered by external teachers. These classes are taught in small groups at an additional cost and run only if there is sufficient demand.

For information on which languages are taught as part of the academic curriculum, please refer to the information above.

Note: Chinese is offered at home language (mother tongue) level through the academic curriculum from Grade 1.