Language and Literature

Language A in the PYP

Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and is a component of the whole PYP curriculum. In addition to learning language, students use it as an essential tool for learning other important content. Because of our diverse community, NIST has a special responsibility to recognize and support language development to ensure that all students are provided with the environment and the necessary language support to enable them to participate fully in the academic programme and in the social life of the school, as well as to develop as individuals. All teachers in the PYP are considered teachers of language. Language learning plays a major role when the language(s) of instruction may not be the student’s first language, and we try to support the development of the mother-tongue language alongside English as the language of instruction wherever possible. Language learning takes place in authentic contexts, and literature plays a special role in enabling this to happen. The strands of oral, written and visual communication are learned across and throughout the subject areas, so that their purpose and relationship to language as a whole are reinforced at all times.

The aims of PYP language are to encourage and enable students to:

  • understand the difference between literal and figurative language, and how to use language differently for different purposes
  • become aware that they are building on their previous experiences and using language to construct new meaning
  • engage with an increasing range of visual text resources, as well as explore the viewing and presenting strategies that are a part of the planned learning environment by selecting and using strategies that suit their learning styles
  • make connections between visual imagery and social commentary
  • show more discernment in selecting information they consider reliable
  • use visual imagery to support a position
  • understand the strategies authors use to engage them
  • identify their favorite authors and articulate reasons for their choices
  • gain a sense of accomplishment, not only in the process of reading, but also in the access it provides them to further their knowledge and understanding of the world
  • understand the conventions pertaining to writing, in its different forms, that are widely accepted
  • demonstrate a high level of integration of the strands of language in order to create meaning in a manner that suits their learning styles
  • analyze the writing of others, and identify common or recurring themes or issues
  • accept feedback from others


Language and Literature in the MYP

The MYP language and literature course is  inquiry-driven and aims to ensure all students have a thorough grounding in at least one language that will enable them to study in language and literature in depth, and also use a sophisticated level of language in the core and other academic areas. The course promotes a reflective approach to the study of language and literature. If students have become proficient in two (or more) languages in the MYP, they may be eligible for a bilingual diploma in the DP. MYP language and literature equips students with linguistic, analytic and communicative skills that can also be used to develop interdisciplinary understanding across all other subject groups. Students’ interaction with chosen texts can generate insight into moral, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental factors, and thus contributes to the development of opinion-forming, decision-making and ethical-reasoning skills.

The aims of MYP language and literature are to encourage and enable students to:

  • use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression, analysis and social interaction
  • develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts
  • develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literary and non-literary texts
  • engage with texts from different historical periods and a variety of cultures
  • explore and analyze aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary texts
  • explore language through a variety of media and modes
  • develop a lifelong interest in reading
  • apply linguistic and literary concepts and skills in a variety of authentic contexts


Language and Literature in the DP

The DP offers a comprehensive range of language courses in two groups.

  • Group 1: studies in language and literature
  • Group 2: language acquisition

Students may study one group 1 and one group 2 subject, or two group 1 subjects.

Most students will continue to study their MYP A Language from English, Thai, Korean, Japanese, German or Mandarin. The fee-paid Community Languages Programme also provides opportunities for some students to study their mother tongue through a private arrangement.

Learn more about the World Languages Programme at NIST.