The ISA Lower School program is rich and stimulating, both because of the academic rigor and the act of learning in a second target language – French or Spanish. Our students “learn to read” and “read to learn.” They take these fundamental skills and use them to analyze, think critically, and create. By studying in this multicultural and multilingual environment, our students become global citizens of the world at a very young age.
Following the European Curriculum, the Lower School includes Grades 1 to 5 – which corresponds respectively to “CP, CE1, CE2, CM1 and CM2” in the French system and “Primer, Segundo, Tercero, Cuarto and Quinto Grados” in the Spanish system. The subjects studied, in full immersion and English, are: French/Spanish Language Arts; English Language Arts; Singapore Math; Social Studies; Art; Music; Physical Education; and the Science-based program, STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math).
The French/Spanish 1st and 2nd grades have 6 hours/week of English, 2 hours of Physical Education and 1 hour/week of Music. The 6 hours of English are divided in 1 hour of Math, 1 hour of Science/Social Studies, and 4 hours of Language Arts. All the other subjects are taught in French/Spanish.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th Grades have 8 hours/week of English, 2 hours of Physical Education and 1 hour/week of Music. The 8 hours of English are divided in 1 hour of Math, 1 hour of Social Studies, 1 hour of Science, and 5 hours of Language Arts. All the other subjects are taught in French/Spanish.
U.S. Curriculum and English language instruction is taught by highly educated native English educators, all awarded bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees by well-respected American universities.
In 4th grade, all ISA students are evaluated on their competence and mastery of the Spanish or French language. Spanish students are awarded Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) and French students receive Diplomas of French as a Foreign Language (DELF).
Widely used in schools and summer camps throughout Europe, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) allows for foreign language proficiency assessment. This rating system divides learners into levels from A1 (basic user) to C2 (advanced academic fluency), and allows instructors to assess speaking, reading, writing and listening skills of each ISA student. In Europe, students now place their CEFR rating on resumes to differentiate their fluency.
For more information about the curriculum, please visit the website of the French Ministry of Education / Le Ministère de l’Education Nationale (look in “Les In-structions Officielles”) or the Spanish Ministry of Education / El Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (look in “El Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)”).