5 Reasons to Learn a Second Language at the International School of Indiana

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the International School of Indiana.

International School of Indiana

The International School of Indiana (ISI) is the only Indiana school offering immersion and dual language programs in three languages, French, Mandarin, and Spanish, as well as a universal International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for all students ages 3 through Grade 12. Classrooms focus on developing fluency in speaking, reading, writing and understanding, so students can actively participate in their target language. With new classes being added for the 2023-24 school year, there is additional capacity for students age 3 through Kindergarten in French, Mandarin, and Spanish!

The emphasis on bilingual education and language immersion is a big part of why ISI offers the Midwest’s most distinct academics. Research shows that bilingual learning is both natural and beneficial and that bilingual people tend to use their brains more efficiently than those who speak only one language. Bilingual learners ultimately become more independent, creative, and flexible in everything they take on.

The International School of Indiana believes that immersion is more than the language; it encompasses culture, too. Language learning is critical for understanding and empathizing with those from different cultures, ensuring ISI students are ready for the world stage.

Here are the top five reasons the International School of Indiana recommends learning a second language:

A Gateway to Understanding the World

Language learning and learning about culture go hand in hand at ISI. Students learn about the culture surrounding their chosen language, participating in activities that expose them to art, music, cuisine, and stories from all over the world. Understanding different cultures and perspectives allows students to fully understand their place in history and their relation to the world, and the curriculum at ISI reflects that. 

Cognitive Benefits from Learning in Multiple Languages

Research shows that knowing two or more languages has tangible cognitive benefits. As students learn to switch between languages, they trigger and potentially strengthen the part of the brain that manages executive function (problem-solving, multitasking, and focusing attention). Higher-level learning skills come from the power of transferring words and ideas from one language to another, reinforcing the learning students are doing. While students at a bilingual school may learn at a different pace than monolingual students early on, statistics show that dual language students not only catch up but end up surpassing English-only students in high school scores and university achievements.

International School of Indiana
Habit Development in Students

ISI students learn language through the lens of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The IB curriculum focuses on teaching students how to learn rather than what to learn. They learn how to connect big ideas across subjects – all in multiple languages. ISI students learn early to take ownership of their learning, gaining problem-solving skills and learning to use resources made available to them, such as their teachers, databases, libraries, and their peers. These habits are made early on and continue to help students throughout their higher education.

Global Experiences

ISI students participate in trips all over the world, specific to their language track. In the Upper School, students participate in three Study Abroad trips in Grades 6, 9, and 10. Each language track goes on its own specific trip, learning more about culture in an immersive experience. While trips were put on hold during the pandemic due to global health and travel restrictions, they returned during the 2022-2023 academic year.

University and Career Preparedness

As students graduate high school, they enter a world that is increasingly fluid and interconnected. As the world becomes more connected, colleges and employers highly desire individuals who are multilingual. The skills learned at the International School of Indiana assist students in being competitive in the job market later in life, and many students see long-term career benefits from being multilingual – even in careers that don’t center around language.

The International School of Indiana is growing! New pre-elementary classes have been added for the 2023-2024 school year, with additional capacity for students age 3 through Kindergarten in French, Mandarin, and Spanish. ISI is currently enrolling students from age 3 through Grade 12 for an August 2023 start. For more information about the International School of Indiana, visit their website here.


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