Middle School Curriculum

Middle School languages


International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Language acquisition is a key component of the IB Middle Years Programme. It requires that students study a second language for four years. The language chosen in Year 7 must continue to be studied until the end of Year 10. Students do not have the option to change halfway through the course.

In Years 11 and 12, students may choose to continue their study of the same language or start a beginner’s course in another language for the HSC or IB Diploma Programme. Students who choose the HSC can cease their study of a second language.

What languages are offered at SACS?

In the Middle School we offer:

  • Chinese (Mandarin) (简单汉字)
  • French
  • Spanish
How do students select a language?

Towards the end of Year 6, a survey is sent out to collect your child’s language preferences. Based on staffing resources, we will attempt to meet as many first preferences as possible.

All Year 7 languages are taught from beginner’s level. If your child is already fluent (or even reasonably fluent) in one of these languages, he/she must choose a different language. The IB Middle Years Programme does not permit background speakers to take beginner language courses in that language.

For SACS Junior School students or new students who have been studying Chinese for more than a year, these students may opt to start learning French or Spanish in Year 7 or to continue studying Chinese, but they are likely to be placed in a Phase 2 (Early Learners) class. Class placement depends upon diagnostic testing results at the end of Year 6 and upon entering Year 7. Some students may be in Phase 2 while others may still be in Phase 1.


The IB MYP organises the teaching of a second language into six phases. These phases represent different stages of language competency, with Phase 1 being for beginners, Phase 2 for early learners and so on. They provide students with a pathway to build on their prior knowledge and skills to progress to the next phase of language development. There are eight levels within each phase. At SACS, we aim for students to exit Year 10 in Phase 3 in order to take on an HSC Continuers or IB Language B course.

For more information, please refer to the MYP Global Proficiency Table for language learning here, or email ­­­Annick Lombard, the Leader of Learning –  Languages at [email protected]