The International School of Stavanger welcomes students from many countries and language backgrounds around the world. With 50 nationalities across the school, ISS is a linguistically diverse school.

At different stages of their lives, the majority of our students have learned English as part of their academic studies. Within the ISS curriculum, our world language programme includes:

English as an Additional Language (EAL) and language enrichment programmes help with the acquisition of English and enable students to function more successfully in both the academic and social life of school.

When they start school, students whose first language is not English or who have not previously been enroled in an EAL programme are evaluated to assess their language ability and determine the appropriate level of support needed at ISS. (Proficiency in English is not a prerequisite for admission to ISS.)

Various approaches are used based on the students’ individual language needs and their proficiency levels, including:

  • Immersion in mainstream classes where feasible
  • Varying degrees of withdrawal/small group tuition
  • In-class support where possible

Students practice and develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills by studying topics and aspects of language relevant to the age and language ability of the students.

EAL in Primary School

  • Students may receive language enrichment up to five times/week.

EAL in Middle School

  • EAL classes are held between three-six times/week.

EAL in High School

  • Grade 9-10 students who are not yet working at grade level in English classes may gain English credits by participating in their mainstream English class with modifications OR by attending EAL classes.
  • Grade 9-10 EAL students can take the IGCSE-ESL course with the option of earning a recognition certificate from Cambridge University.
  • Grade 11-12 students may take English B as their group 2 option through the IB Diploma Programme.
  • All High School EAL students can receive English language enrichment at another class time (usually during an elective).

All teachers at ISS, in addition to the EAL staff, support students’ English language development.

Modern Languages


  • Primary School:
    • An École Maternelle programme for French-speaking children aged 3-5 years old is available.
    • A Dutch programme for our first language Dutch students in Kindergarten-Grade 5 is available.
  • Middle School:
    • Students choose French or Spanish as a foreign language.
  • High School:
    • Students choose French or Spanish as a foreign language.
    • At the IB Diploma level (Grades 11-12), students can opt for a school-supported, self-taught first language as a group 1 selection along with English from group 2.


  • Primary School
    • All children from Kindergarten-Grade 5 take Norwegian as a first or foreign language.
  • Middle School
    • All students are offered Norwegian as a first or foreign language.
  • High School
    • In Grade 9 (compulsory) and Grade 10 (optional), students can choose Norwegian as a first or foreign language.
    • At the IB Diploma level (Grades 11-12), students can choose Norwegian Language and Literature for their group 1 option or Norwegian B for their group 2 option.

Our after-school language programme is a fine match for children who consistently use a language at home other than English and for which they have age-appropriate fluency.

We believe these first languages (also referred to as “mother tongue” or “native” languages) are critical to a child’s development. Therefore, ISS provides opportunities for children to continue developing that language.

Currently, ISS offers after-school first language programmes for Dutch, German and Italian. French, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian have also been made available when there is a demand.