The Language A / Mother Tongue Programme is under the endorsement of the IBO and provides the opportunity for students to receive instruction in their mother tongue or best language. Mother Tongue teachers aim to develop and promote students’ language and literacy skills. Specifically, the Language A / Mother Tongue Programme is a liaison between parents, students, Mother Tongue teachers and the Language A / Mother Tongue co-ordinator, but the promotion of bilingualism and multilingualism can involve all members of the MIS community.
As the IBO states, gaining and maintaining proficiency in one’s mother tongue helps in the learning of other languages. It also provides students with a deeper understanding of inter-cultural awareness and engages students in the language, literature and culture of their home country. Furthermore, maintaining the mother tongue facilitates students’ transitioning back into the school and society of their home country, should they return there. As proficiency in one’s mother tongue is an indicator for later academic success, students should begin studying their mother tongue as soon as possible based on each individual case. When students are transitioning from the IB Middle Years Programme to the IB Diploma Programme, they should know in which Language A course they will enrol, in order to complete the full IB Diploma.