English is the school’s medium of instruction and Arabic is mandatory for all students attending school in the UAE up to Year 12.

For students new to English or developing their fluency, additional support will be provided based on teacher and EAL assessments on entry. The Arabic A curriculum and course of study is mandatory for Arab students. Arabic B is provided for non-Arabs and students are grouped according to years of study, with beginner, intermediate and advanced groups at every year level.

Starting in Year 3, all students choose between French,Spanish or Mandarin as an additional language. This language option continues to end of Year 9, at which time iGCSE subject options determine language choices.

Through our mother tongue programmes, and in association with individual Mother Tongue coordinators, we provide learners with the opportunity to maintain and develop a social, cultural and linguistic connection with their home country. RIS currently offers French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi and German mother tongue classes taught by native speakers and scheduled during the course of the school day or, if numbers dictate, in after school classes where small year group cohorts can combine to assist with conversation and develop a sense of a cultural community.

Mother Tongue Programme

To help students retain a connection with their home language and culture, Raffles International School offers two to three hours a week of language instruction for children with  French, Hindi, Russian and Spanish as their mother tongue.

The Mother Tongue classes are scheduled within the school timetable against Islamic Education and after school. The MT languages are taught in year groups, allowing children of the same age to develop their home language together. Certified native speaking teachers recreate the feeling of learning language as if the children are in their ‘home’ country and include elements of culture, geography, history and traditions as well as language. New mother tongue groups continue to join the programme.

The Mother Tongue Programme is not a language acquisition programme, but a programme for native speaking children living abroad to maintain their mother tongue. Mother tongue classes are an extra paid activity, organized by a private institute or voluntary parents’ initiative with support from the school.

The programme started over 11 years ago and since has made very good progress with some students graduating with their mother tongue in the IB Diploma. The classes are held in small groups in order to allow the teacher to concentrate on each child. The curriculum, books and materials are based on a modified school curriculum from back home.

For further information

French Mother Tongue Programme

Hindi Mother Tongue Programme

Russian Mother Tongue Programme

Spanish Mother Tongue Programme

German Mother Tongue Programme

Living in multinational Dubai, it is essential to encourage love and respect towards different cultures and languages. However, this can be difficult when time is precious, and schedules are packed with endless to-dos. Therefore, Raffles International School introduces German Mother Tongue, available for all grades.

German Mother Tongue is a unique opportunity for your children to improve their German within their school curriculum. Your children will gain cultural insights and develop their German language skills in a hassle-free small group setting, together with other German classmates and an experienced native German teacher.

German is widely spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is popular around the world. Refining your children’s German language skills provides several opportunities and can empower them to study at a university abroad.

The course is designed to enhance German language skills in a meaningful way. The goal is to expand your children’s abilities in speaking, reading, writing and listening. Also, grammar exercises will be a part of this course as well as language games, to improve German in a fun way.

German Mother Tongue provides numerous advantages:

· Improve your children’s German language skills in a joyful environment with other German speaking classmates.

· Progress in a small group setting of up to 8 participants only, with individual attention to each student.

· Enhance speaking, reading, writing and listening abilities with an experienced native German teacher, holding appropriate diploma.

· Prepare your children for common exams in German, like DSH or Goethe.

Enjoy some impressions of our latest German class. We are always happy to welcome new classmates.