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Mother Tongue Programme

The Mother Tongue Programme supports both students who cannot be provided with formal tuition in their mother tongue during school hours as well as those MYP and DP students who wish to take a mother tongue language course as part of the curriculum.

Research shows that the development of the student’s mother tongue or first language (usually the language spoken at home) is critical for their cognitive development; children who have not fully developed a first language can experience language-based cognitive difficulties later on.

Students may be fluent in their mother tongue however it is essential that they are also provided with the opportunity to become literate in their first language. The level of linguistic competence a student can achieve in their second language is directly dependent on the extent to which their literacy in the mother tongue has been developed. The student’s sense of cultural and personal identity, and their self-esteem, is also greatly strengthened by mother tongue instruction.

Mother Tongue Programme at the International School  of Hamburg