Ilmesters An IB World School

Ilmesters Language Policy

(Last Updated: May 2022)



Ilmesters recognizes that language is essential to all learning. We promote the development of the language of instruction, national/host language, and the mother tongue.

Urdu is the national/host language of Pakistan and was declared as the official language in the constitution of 1973. With multiple provincial languages in Pakistan, Sindhi, Gujrati, Punjabi, Memoni, Pushto are claimed as mother tongue both by the student body and staff.

For this policy, mother tongue is defined as the native language(s) of the parents/guardian(s).

Every member/teaching staff at Ilmesters is a language teacher and is well aware of its importance. We believe that studying language empowers learners to gain an understanding of other cultures  and it indicates deep respect for that culture.

The following are the reasons why we focus on enhancing and developing students’ language skills.

  • Promote diversity and develop cross-cultural awareness
  • Enhance cognitive development
  • Facilitate international understanding

All students at ILA experience an enriched language program in which English is the working language and all the subjects are taught in English. All teachers ensure that the curriculum planning, and collaboration are done in English. The focus of developing language skills is through both written and verbal communication, to enable students to clearly express themselves in real life beyond classrooms.

The national language and mother tongue are emphasized equally as we believe that the promotion of native language(s) leads to confidence and a better understanding of other languages in a child. For this purpose, teachers are encouraged to use bilingual/multilingual teaching during and outside the classroom, as and when required to better facilitate the child.

In Middle and high school students are required to take at-least two languages. One of these has to be language and literature.

Culture 4.2: The school describes in its language policy the way that the school recognizes multilingualism as a fact, a right, and a resource for learning (0301-04-0200). (Programme Standards and Practices 2018)


The Language Profile Survey (appendix B) is sent to parents at the beginning of each academic session or at the time of admission, to establish and collect data regarding mother tongue(s) of  the student body.



At Ilmesters, English is the language of instruction throughout PYP, MYP and DP. All communication within and outside school community, as well as the accessible curriculum, occurs in this language. Learning of this language is not restricted to only English language teacher. Rather, it takes place across the disciplines and all teachers are required to model the use of English language, focusing on clear communication and appropriate usage within and outside  the classroom.

In PYP, English stands as the main medium of instruction throughout transdisciplinary teaching.

In MYP & DP, English is taught as Language & Literature. The medium of instruction for interdisciplinary teaching and all other subjects is mainly English (except in Language Acquisition).


In MYP & DP, students are required to take at-least two languages. One of these has to be language and literature.

All staff members are therefore responsible for catering to the language needs of learners in the language of instruction. Spellings and language protocols follow British English (UK) for common understanding.

As the community consists of students for which English is a second language as it is not commonly spoken at home, the emphasis is given to help students achieve full competence in the language of instruction. For this, the curriculum and teaching strategies are used to develop skills required to attain expertise in the language of instruction.

Teachers are encouraged to use multilingual teaching during and outside the classroom as and when required to explain something further to develop a better understanding so that the child is not disadvantaged due to lack of clarity in the concept.

English Learning Support Program (ELSP) 

Remedial classes are provided by language teachers at PYP level and if required at MYP/DP level to students to enable them to fully participate in the curriculum, to achieve subject objectives and in social life within and outside of the school,

1- The new students coming from other systems/schools where English is not the language of instruction, to develop their language skills based on their need.

2- Students having trouble expressing certain thoughts or in comprehending in Language & Literature, and other subjects due to weak English language skills.


Currently, language teachers of the subject-specific group, who are aware of language needs of students requiring assistance, are responsible for developing the competency and maintaining of the progress record.


Culture 4.3: The school identifies in its language policy avariety of physical and virtual resources used to facilitate language development (0301-04-0300). (Programme Standards and Practices 2018)


Urdu is the national language of Pakistan. At Ilmesters we recognize the importance and value of the national language and therefore have an aim to facilitate students in maintaining and developing it. For this very reason, Urdu is taught from PYP to DP

Culture 4.4 PYP: the school ensures that students learn a language in addition to the language of instruction (030104-0411). (Programme Standards and Practices 2018)

Urdu is a compulsory language to attain the equivalency certificate by IBCC for higher education in Pakistan. Students who are foreign nationals and do not wish to pursue the Urdu examination are exempted by submitting a signed, written application to the school. However, it is mandatory for all MYP students to attend classes.

To attain this objective Urdu is taught across in PYP as transdisciplinary, in MYP (1-4) as Language Acquisition as students enter the MYP with limited oracy in Urdu. To prepare students for the required national Urdu examination, the school will create conditions to support student achieving at least a phase 4 competency.

In MYP, Urdu curriculum is divided into phases as follows:


Class** Phase*
MYP 1 1/2
MYP 2 1/2/3
MYP 3 2/3/4
MYP 4 3/4/5



*Suggested phase in respective class based on past assessment data

Multiple phases (not more than 2) are taught within a class as per students’ proficiency. Students are assessed as they come in MYP at the beginning of the academic session for the right phase placement and then at the end of the term based on their performance they are moved up in the phase level. School is working towards arranging future classes** such that students of language beginners, intermediate and proficient are grouped together instead of class wise. The future aim is to have teaching aid/ more teachers to better support multiple phase teaching in the classroom.

Under normal circumstances, students move from one phase to another in Lang Acquisition approximately once per year, usually at the end of the school year. All students in an MYP-1 start in phase-1 or 2 depending on prior experience. Expats joining later in MYP years with no/little Urdu language experience also start at phase-1 or 2.


Students’ progress through phases when the term assessment data indicates to teachers that they are ready to move. Students progressing from phase 4 will move into the same Language & Literature course unless that language is not available.

Assessments are designed and assessed using Language Acquisition phase-specific objectives (MYP Language Acquisition guide pg. 11) and MYP global proficiency table-3 (MYP Language Acquisition guide pg. 26)

In DP, Urdu is offered both as Language & Literature and Language Acquisition subject to meet the National requirement. In case of enrolment, Ilmesters will enroll students for IGCSE A’level in DP Yr-2 until IB offers Urdu in the Language Acquisition group. Students will have a choice of bilingual certificate by opting for both English and Urdu as Language & Literature.


At the time of admission 

Stage-1: The language profile is collected at the time of registration where parents are required to fill admission form along with a section for the language profile and provide information  regarding the language spoken at home to identify first language/mother tongue and language/s  spoken at home (appendix-A: Admission form screenshot, online form: )

Stage-2: Students are required to sit for a short, written placement test for both English and Urdu.  Language teachers assess those tests and using test data decide about placement in Language & Literature and Language Acquisition. Families make the final decision, but often with a strong recommendation from the school based on data gathered and with the student needs at heart, with the long-term aim of providing at least one Language & Literature at DP level.

Stage-3: As per admission policy, a child is required to spend a day in regular MYP/DP classroom after the assessment. During this time, teachers treat a child as a regular student and assess the child’s performance based on class participation. This helps in assessing child’s verbal communication skills, general behavior and other special needs/issues if any. All teachers provide the feedback to the coordinator at the end of the day.

Stage-4: During the interview of a child and the parents with the admission committee which comprises of the principal, coordinator and language specialist (if needed). The interview is conducted both in English and helps to identify if there is any contradiction in language profile mentioned in the admission form.


Student’s info update form

At the beginning of the academic year, students are required to fill in student update form, which again contains a section on language profile.

Informed by Assessment data

Students’ performance in the language and subject/s informs language and subject teachers about the proficiency level attained by the students during the course of study as communication skills  are integral and assessed in all subjects at all levels.


All students will receive support for the development of their mother tongue. Where the mother tongue of the student is not the language of instruction or a language offered by the school,  Ilmesters will advise parents regarding online courses, or arrange through embassies for face-to face tuition, the cost will be borne by the parents.

Parents will be advised in the strongest terms that development of mother tongue is a central component of a quality education. All students learn Urdu and even beyond the exams in MYP 4, classes will continue.

The school supports further development of mother tongue by activities like International Mother Language Day, National Days’ celebrations, organizing Urdu, English debate and spelling competition, annual play/theatre in different languages, and poetry recital in English, Urdu  and/or mother tongue within school and provide opportunities and encourages participation in  inter-school events.

To promote these languages among students, related resources in the library are extended on regular basis. There are books available in the library to support these languages. Furthermore, the buddy reading program and other regular activities are conducted every term with the help of parent volunteers to support mother tongue as part of library activities.

Ilmesters encourages parents and students to speak their native languages at home beside Urdu.  The school believes that the students should also preserve and deepen their understanding of their mother tongue for the transmission of cultural identity.

Culture 4: The school implements, communicates, and regularly reviews a language policy that helps to foster intercultural understanding through communicating in a variety of ways in more than one language (0301-04). (Programme Standards and Practices Jan 2018)



To promote International languages and to meet the IB requirement for second language, a foreign language (French) will be taught in MYP 1-5 as Language Acquisition.

Students are allowed to choose from the following options:

Option Language A National Language /  IGCSE Language Acquisition

English Language &


French (LA Ph. 1-6)

English Language &


French (LA Ph. 1-6)



In near future, we aim to offer one foreign language which might be foreign language*- French/  Arabic/German/Chinese in DP as Language Acquisition for students as additional option.

DP Language pathway

Option Language A National Language /  IGCSE Language Acquisition*

English Language &


Urdu IGCSE Foreign language

Urdu Language &


English Lang B



Bilingual Diploma

A bilingual diploma will be awarded to a candidate who fulfils following criteria:

– completion of two languages selected from group 1 with the award of a grade 3 or higher in both

Culture 4.1: The school implements and reviews a language policy that is aligned with IB language policy guidelines (0301-04-0100). (Programme Standards and Practices Jan 2018)



The library plays an important role in teaching and learning. Regular library classes are scheduled in the class timetable both in PYP and MYP where students select the book of their choice to read. In DP, year-1 timetable has one library period allocated. MYP-DP students can


visit library during their free time throughout school day to read or borrow books. The teacher librarian guides them in their selection by suggesting books that can help them improve their vocabulary and learning needs, keeping students’ choice in mind.

The teacher- librarian is part of all collaborative meetings that take place throughout the year to stay updated regarding teaching and learning in subjects to facilitate both teachers and students.

The library is equipped with books of the different genre, fiction, non-fiction, language and subject related dictionaries, thesaurus, general knowledge, subject-related books, magazines and newspapers in English and Urdu language to support the development of the language of  instruction, acquisition and subject-specific terminology.

Library also has a selection of books in French/Spanish/German/Chinese/Arabic to support foreign/additional languages.

To support the mother tongue, books in mother/regional languages (Sindhi & Saraiki) which are locally available (developed by local authorities) and are used in government schools as part of  the regional curriculum have been purchased. MYP and DP students are encouraged to borrow and read these books at least once a month. It is compulsory for all students to borrow an Urdu book every alternate week.

MYP students are required to do book review during library class and during assembly presentation on weekly basis to improve communication skills.

At the beginning of the year, all teachers are required to assess the need for language resources for library’s budget allocation. Language teachers are also responsible for purchasing and suggesting a different genre of books and online resources so that students can explore different genres and writing styles.

Parents are invited to host language support sessions, storytelling and to read books with the students. The focus of these sessions is mainly mother tongue and national language. School is working towards making it rigorous and a regular feature.


Students whose first language is different from the language of instruction are provided support to help them achieve their learning goals. This is done by differentiated teaching strategies like:

– Using multilingual instructions

– Group and pair work during lessons – pairing students with strong and weak language skills – Using one to one simplified explanation

– Using differentiated instruction in task sheet


– Decreasing word count at the beginning of the year as required

– Providing sample tasks and texts

– Grouping students having a common mother tongue

– Providing a caring, supportive and flexible environment

SEN in Languages

As per Ilmesters Inclusive education policy, students with severe to complex learning disabilities requiring remedial are required to get support from READ or CARE. All expenses are borne by the parents.


As per IB requirement pre-assessments, formative and summative assessments are developed for Language and Literature- English, Urdu, and Language Acquisition.

All tasks integrate factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge and are aimed to develop listening, speaking, reading, visual and written communication skills and are assessed based on the subject group criteria both in Language and Literature, and Language Acquisition courses.

Other subject teachers are also required to ensure the correct use of spellings, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, and the use of APA referencing and citation in students’ responses to develop students’ language skills. Regular verbal and written feedback is provided to students to help them improve their language skills.

Roleplay, letter writing, biography, short stories, projects, products, exhibitions, oral presentations, quizzes, performances, analytical tasks, investigation reports, case studies and demonstrations as well as written papers, comprehensions, essays all provide evidence for the  assessment of child’s learning throughout the terms.

At the time of the admission, students are assessed for English and Urdu language skills as per Ilmesters Admission Policy. This helps in the right placement of the student into the phases in Language Acquisition and/or Language and Literature (Urdu) course and to identify the proficiency level in English for Language and Literature. This helps the Language &

Literature and Language Acquisition teachers to devise strategies as per child’s need.





All teachers recognize themselves as language teachers and are required to play an active role in developing language for enhancing communication skills across disciplines. All staff members are therefore responsible to cater to the language needs of learners in the language of instruction

– All teachers must follow British English (UK) spellings and language protocols – Provide assistance and resources to a student in the attainment of language proficiency – Help students develop subject-specific terminologies

– Use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to support language development – Guide for referencing and citation using APA format familiarized with other formats – To ensure minimal effect on the academic progress of a child due to lack of competence in the language

– Promote reading in all subject areas

– Provide writing opportunities to allow students to express their ideas

– Integrate appropriate technology in teaching and learning


Ilmesters Language Policy is a working document. The policy is reviewed and revised annually. Changes are implemented if and when needed.

Every year an email is sent out to parents giving them an opportunity to comment on the policies. At the end of the year in May, teachers from PYP-MYP-DP review and discuss policy documents in groups. The changes/suggestions that are put forward by a group of teachers and received from parents are then discussed as one large group of all staff, Coordinators, and Head of school. Final relevant changes are then noted, the amendment is done by the coordinators.


The Ilmesters Academy Language Policy is made available in the school library, with school secretary and on school’s website with the other school policy documents for parents and students to view. Excerpts of this document are also included in the yearly MYP/DP Parent Student Handbook.

Teachers have access to the soft copies of all policy documents on shared Google Drive and through the library.



Admission Form. (2018). Retrieved from I. (n.d.). International education. Retrieved December, 2016, from

Edubridgeschoolorg. (2018). Edubridgeschoolorg. Retrieved 8 December, 2018, from Policy Manual.pdf

International Baccalaureate Organization (2017). From principles into practice. Cardiff, Wales.  International Baccalaureate Organization (2017). Language Acquisition Guide. Cardiff, Wales.

International Baccalaureate Organization (2017). Language and Literature Guide. Cardiff,  Wales.

Isparisedu. (2016). ISparisedu. Retrieved 2016, from Language Policy. (2016). Retrieved from

Nd (1973). The Constitution of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan. [Online]. (6th ed.). Pakistan: . [8 June 2018]. Available from:

Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme Guidelines for developing a school language policy [.pdf]. (2008) . Cardiff, Wales: International Baccalaureate Organization.

Skagerakorg. (2018). Skagerakorg. Retrieved 8 December 2018, from