Language learning

ISI is the only Indiana school offering immersion and dual language programs in three languages; French, Mandarin and Spanish. The focus is on developing fluency in speaking, reading, writing and understanding, so students can actively participate in their target language.

Our 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.

We believe 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.

  • Taught by native speakers
  • No language prerequisites 
  • Supportive of new language learners throughout

How Language Learning Works at ISI

Language learning is a continuum along which each individual progresses differently. The guidelines below are based on students learning a language from pre-elementary. 

As there is no previous language experience required to attend ISI at any grade level, students who are new to language learning are provided specialized programming and attain language skills at a different stage to their grade level peers.  



(3 yo - Kindergarten)


Students follow a language immersion program in French, Mandarin, or Spanish with rapid development of comprehension and spoken skills.

English is introduced in Kindergarten to build a foundation for writing and reading in English

90-100% of class time spent in target language*


(Grades 1 -5)

Immersion through Grade 3

Dual Language Grades 4-5

Students gain an understanding of complex concepts, developing proficiency in oral and written skills.

Time spent learning in English increases, and by Grade 4, students transfer to the dual language program.

50-70% of class time spent in target language*

Middle School

(Grades 6 - 8)

Dual Language

Students have an increasing sophistication in comprehension and expression of abstract academic language.

Introductory language courses available to new students.

25-35% of class time spent in target language, 6-7 subjects taught in English. 

High School

(Grades 9 - 12)

Dual Language

Students with language experience reach educated adult levels.

Introductory language courses available to new students.

Opportunity to learn a third language for students with sound academic performance.

25-35% of class time spent in target language, 6-7 subjects taught in English. 

*Time spent in English includes Music, Art, Physical Education, recess, and lunch.

Global Seal of Biliteracy

ISI credentials language learning for students from the end of grade 8 through grade 12 with the Global Seal of Biliteracy. 

The Global Seal of Biliteracy provides bilinguals anywhere in the world an opportunity to test and document their language skills with a respected international language credential.  Language proficiency in two languages at one of two different levels, functional fluency and working fluency, based on the U.S recognized American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) language competency framework.

This credential offers a competitive advantage for bilingual individuals by helping them earn scholarships, higher pay, advanced placement, increased study abroad opportunities and so much more.

To learn more about the Global Seal of Biliteracy visit their website at