Language Acquisition in the MYP

Learning to speak another’s language means taking one’s place in the human community. It means reaching out to others across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Language is far more than a system to be explained. It is our most important link to the world around us. Language is culture in motion. It is people interacting with people.

Savignon (1983)

The ability to communicate in a variety of modes in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes multilingualism and intercultural understanding, both of which are central to the IB’s mission.

The study of additional languages in the MYP provides students with the opportunity to develop insights into the features, processes and craft of language and the concept of culture, and to realize that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world.

The acquisition of the language of a community and the possibilities to reflect upon and explore cultural perspectives of our own and other communities:

  • is valued as central to developing critical thinking, and is considered essential for the cultivation of intercultural awareness and the development of internationally minded and responsible members of local, national and global communities
  • is integral to exploring and sustaining personal development and cultural identity, and provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development
  • greatly contributes to the holistic development of students and to the strengthening of lifelong learning skills
  • equips students with the necessary multiliteracy skills and attitudes, enabling them to communicate successfully in various global contexts and build intercultural understanding.

To assist in achieving these broader goals, this guide provides both teachers and students with clear aims and objectives for MYP language acquisition, as well as details of internal assessment requirements.