World Languages

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

– Nelson Mandela

Language defines us. Our personalities, perspectives and cultures evolve from words, each loaded with power and meaning. As the world grows ever smaller, conflict arises as languages collide, and words are used to both harm and heal. Through its World Languages Centre, NIST is dedicated to empowering students to become connectors and peacemakers.

With one of the most extensive world languages programmes in Thailand, NIST offers courses in over a dozen languages, including several as Language A options within the IB. Through an emphasis on communication, dialogue and understanding, our students learn to bridge cultures and heal wounds.


World Languages Programme Structure

There are three ways that a student can learn languages at NIST:

  1. Studying a NIST mother tongue Language A provided in the curriculum
  2. Studying a Language A not provided by the school in the fee-paid Community Languages Programme (CLP); this requires an additional payment through the Community Languages Committee
  3. Studying a Language B offered by the school

For ease of understanding world languages are described as either a Language A (usually the main language spoken at home) and Language B (an additional or learned language not spoken at home). The IB curriculum requires that in addition to learning English as the language of instruction, students should learn their native language (Language A) if that language is offered or, if it is not, should begin to learn a second language (Language B) in Year 2.

Those whose mother tongue language is offered by NIST are strongly encouraged to take it as Language A in order to help them develop academically in their first language. Thai students, enrolled with a Thai passport, must study Thai as Language A in line with the Thai Ministry of Education requirements. Other mother tongue languages are available through private tutoring at an additional cost. Students whose mother tongue is not offered as a Language A option must choose from the Language B choices.

Upon entering the Diploma Programme, students select their Language B in conjunction with the relevant coordinators according to their abilities in one of three strands:

  • Ab initio: Little or no knowledge of the target language
  • Standard level (SL): Exiting from the MYP with a level of achievement of 5 out of 7 in Phase 3 (or the equivalent) is recommended
  • Higher level (HL): Exiting from the MYP with a level of achievement of 5 out of 7 in Phase 4 (or the equivalent) is recommended.
 Language A OptionsLanguage B Options
PYP (Year 2 - Year 6)Dutch*, French*, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Swedish*, ThaiFrench, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai
MYP (Year 7 - Year 11)Dutch*, French*, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Swedish*, ThaiFrench, Mandarin, Spanish
DP (Year 12 - Year 13)Dutch*, French*, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Swedish*, ThaiEnglish, French, Mandarin, Spanish
DP (Year 12 - Year 13) Ab InitioN/AFrench, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish

* These languages are offered through the CLP, and the exact year levels available may depend on demand. Please inquire directly about this. Fees for the CLP are available in the tuition fee structure.