The languages spoken at Western Academy of Beijing are as diverse as the multicultural community the school serves.
As an innovator and leader in international education, WAB's language programs go beyond the dual-language learning other schools in Beijing employ. WAB offers a record-setting number of curriculum-integrated, co-curricular and after school language programs, reinforcing the school's commitment to maximize learning for every child – no matter their native tongue.
Setting WAB apart from other international schools in the region is its range of Mother Tongue Programs, a series of community-run courses for native speakers of Danish, German, French, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese.
"The number and quality of our language programs reflects WAB's understanding that language and identity are inextricably linked," Alexis Kossiakoff, Co-Head of WAB's Elementary School Mother Tongue Program, said. "As opposed to dual-language programs, WAB offers a more inclusive model that affords our school the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of its student body. There are many students at WAB who have complex and impressive language profiles, speaking not only two, but three, four or more languages. WAB aims to provide the framework to celebrate this diversity and grant students the freedom to explore and pursue their own linguistic pathways."
WAB recently deepened its commitment to making high-quality education accessible in many languages by opening the Swiss School Beijing for German-speaking students, the first Swiss school in China officially recognized by the Swiss government. In addition, the Danish Ministry of Education this year approved WAB to host the national Grade 9 exams, which mark the end of Danish schooling, Folkeskolen.
WAB's dedication to serving the capital's diverse community continues with plans for expansion of the school's Mother Tongue Programs and curricular courses.
"Developing Mother Tongue language not only contributes to academic development and success, but perhaps, even more importantly, allows students to remain connected to the people and places that are so important to them," Kossiakoff said. "Maintaining this connection is especially crucial for many students who may spend long periods away from their home cultures and countries."
Visit our website to learn more about WAB's extensive language program.