Language acquisition

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The study of additional languages in the Middle Years Programme (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, viewing and behaving in the world.

MYP language acquisition is a compulsory component of the MYP in every year of the programme. Schools must provide sustained language learning in at least two languages for each year of the MYP.

Language and identity

Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to students’ identity affirmation.

What is the significance of language acquisition in the MYP?

The ability to communicate in a variety of modes, in more than one language, is essential to the concept of an international education. The language acquisition course provides a linguistic and academic challenge for students in order to facilitate the best possible educational experience.

Students are given the opportunity to develop their language skills to their full potential, as well as the possibility of progressing through various phases over the course of the MYP.

How is language acquisition structured in the MYP?

In this subject group, teaching and learning is organized into six phases. The phases do not correspond to particular age groups or MYP year levels. Students do not necessarily begin in phase one – they can begin at any phase, depending on their prior experiences, and may exit from any phase on the continuum.

MYP eAssessment offers IB-validated grades for a range of language acquisition courses through international moderation of student work in ePortfolios that document reading, writing, viewing and speaking skills. Course results are available in three levels of fluency: emergent, capable and proficient.

When planning the language acquisition curriculum, teachers will need to decide the most suitable phase in which to place individual students or a group of students, as informed by the achievable exit point for the students and the language learning pathways available to the students.

Find out how to become authorized to implement the MYP.

Learn more about language acquisition in an MYP workshop for teachers

Language aquisition subject brief

Subject briefs are short documents providing an outline of the course. Click on the brief below to find out more information about this subject.


MYP language aquisition (PDF, 395 KB) pdf