Language Programs

WAB language programs

The languages we speak are as diverse as our multicultural community. The Western Academy of Beijing provides an integrated approach to language learning that helps our students become engaged international thinkers and communicators within a global society.

WAB offers IB curriculum-integrated language courses for a number of languages during the regular school day.

For other languages not offered as part of our IB curriculum, WAB’s Mother Tongue Programs are provided at our international school in partnership with the parent community to native speakers outside of regular school hours. Other specialized language programs are also available.


Our Language Programs

Curricular Languages


Mother Tongue


Swiss School Beijing





WAB has contributed to our child's development through reading, both in English and in Chinese. Judy reads a lot of books. Independence, freedom and respect - these ideas come from WAB and have really helped Judy to develop herself.

Mr. and Mrs. Huang, WAB Parents

Curricular Languages


English is the language of instruction and primary language of communication at WAB, as well as part of the IB programs in all our schools.

We provide English as an Additional Language (EAL) support for all grade levels. Our EAL students receive help in every area of language acquisition in order to reach a high level of English language proficiency and achieve full participation in the WAB curriculum.


WAB is committed to providing opportunities for students to engage with their host country, China, in an authentic and meaningful way.

Interactions with members of the Chinese community within WAB, and in Beijing, form an integral part of the curriculum and provide genuine opportunities for students to develop and use Chinese language for real purposes. IBPYP, IBMYP and IBDP Chinese are offered at WAB. Complimentary Chinese Mother Tongue courses are offered during school hours to native speakers.

Other Curricular Languages

IBMYP and IBDP Spanish and French are offered at WAB. Curriculum-integrated language courses for native German (IB PYP) speakers are also available - additional fees may apply.

With the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, WAB offers a Dutch language program leading up to the CNaVT certificate and/or IBDP Dutch (self-taught). This opens up opportunities for students who would like to study at an institution of higher education in The Netherlands or Belgium. 

With the approval of the Danish Ministry of Education, WAB is the first and only school in Beijing to have permission to offer the Danish national examinations, which mark the end of Danish schooling, Folkeskolen. The certificate Danish students earn from passing the test opens up opportunities for further education in Denmark, where Danish is often required for university admissions.

Mother Tongue Programs

Our Mother Tongue Programs are a series of language courses for native-speakers of other languages.

There are two ways students can access mother tongue classes at WAB:

  • Studying a WAB mother tongue provided in the curriculum – Chinese.
  • Studying a mother tongue not provided by the school through a Community Languages Program – Dutch, Danish, Finnish, French, and Japanese (Japanese classes will resume soon).

If you have any questions about our mother tongue programs please feel free to contact our coordinator Hershey He at:

If you would like to start a new mother tongue program at WAB, please register your interest through this form.

After-School Language Programs

WAB’s After-School Language Program (ALP) is designed to allow students to study an additional language at lunchtime and after school. These courses are offered based on teacher availability and sufficient enrollment, and are taught by qualified WAB teachers.

ALP represents a ninth course for students, one more than the regular course load. These courses run for a minimum of 150 minutes per week and cover similar course content as the language courses timetabled within the regular school day. ALP allows students who are enrolled in other language courses, EAL or the Learning Support Program, the opportunity to study the host country’s language.

Students may select one ALP course: Chinese Language and Literature (for native speakers) or Chinese, French or Spanish Language Acquisition (for non-native speakers). Students are expected to attend two sessions per week for the entire school year and follow full WAB program requirements. Students may not enroll in two of the same ALP classes.

WAB is really contributing to creating well rounded, mature, open minded, confident and unprejudiced young people.

Jodi Hu, WAB Alumni Parent

Elementary School

Structured inquiry is the main vehicle for learning. Grow. Discover. Experience.

Middle School

Middle School, WAB

Filled with individual and collective potential. Transition. Challenge. Innovate.

High School

High School, WAB

Higher learning within the classroom and outside it. Opportunity. Passion. Achievement.


Student Support

Student Support, WAB


Extensive, individualized support services are available to help each student reach his or her potential.