Language department

Our education Language department ​

The Shanghai French School welcomes children from 48 different nationalities, French and non-French speakers, from Kindergarten to High School. We follow the French national curriculum enriched by 5 unique and challenging streams aiming at developing students’ abilities to think, communicate and act in a multilingual and multicultural world.

These 5 streams provide our students with the linguistic and cultural experiences to achieve a high level of language prociency, a thorough knowledge of the cultures of the countries of these languages and to develop a multilingualism and multiculturalism (depending on the program followed).

Our Head of languages closely monitors each student’s progress and moves them across the several language ability groups, within the same stream and across the dierent language streams, over the course of the academic year and throughout their time of schooling at the Shanghai French School.

Explore our streams !

The general stream

Welcomes children, beginners in French, English or Chinese, or with less than 2 years of learning in one of these 3 languages. Once enrolled in this stream, children develop their oral and written abilities in the 3 languages and build strong grammatical foundations.

They can then transfer to our European English, International American, Oriental Chinese or International Chinese Streams. Chinese and English classes take place in language ability groups according to each child’s prociency, and with the exibility to move between groups over the course of the academic year.

For children joining us with limited or no French, specic support is provided as part of our French as the Language of Instruction Program.

The European English stream (SEA)

Accommodates children with a good knowledge of the English language. Within this stream, students strengthen their knowledge and acquire an excellent prociency in English as well as the deep understanding of the Anglo-Saxon culture.

This stream opens onto our International American Stream. An English test is required for admission in this stream.

The International American Stream (SIA)

The International American Stream (SIA) of Shanghai French School starts from the third year of Kindergarten and goes up to Grade 12. It is a challenging studying path which allows students to practice English on a deeper level and aim for a native level.
Throughout their education path, students will not only follow the standard curriculum but will also follow specific courses in English language.

The International American Stream is one of the language streams provided at Shanghai French Schools. It targets motivated students who have the capacity to take on a heavier workload compared with other streams. This path allows students to access renowned international schools and universities.
English language is taught by native speaker teachers.Designed in compliance with the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CECR), the reference levels expected in the 5 language activities are the following: A2 in Grade 6, B2 at the end of Grade 9, whilst a C1/C2 level is aimed for in High School.

A demanding program

With an important exposure to English language (ten hours of English classes in primary school and up to thirteen hours in middle school), students who choose this stream benefit from a real international overview and English-speaking culture. The methodology of the curriculum offers students the opportunity to broaden their outlook and be surrounded by different cultural perspectives.

Beyond English language and literature courses, students also follow history and geography, mathematics, music, technology, and sports in English language in middle school. In both middle and high school, the schedule of the students allows them to take these classes in smaller groups.

A path towards OIB

The SIA allows students to prepare the OIB (Option Internationale du Baccalauréat), which is not a diploma in itself nor the International Baccalaureate (IB) but a specialisation within the French Baccalaureate, the French national exam.

Passing the OIB certifies an excellent level in language and international culture. To succeed, students need to take the following tests: English, Anglo-American literature, history and geography (both oral and written exams).

Going global

The OIB is a major asset for students who wish to continue their studies abroad. Since French Baccalaureate is internationally recognized (thanks to partnerships settled between France and foreign states or the main organisations representing their education system), half of our graduates choose to pursue their studies outside of France each year.

Our SIA graduates apply for prestigious universities in the UK, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Italy or even the Netherlands.

Some universities request language certifications to process applications, which is why Shanghai French School is also a centre for standardised tests such as Cambridge, IGCSE, SAT, HSK, etc., giving students the best chances to succeed and access higher education worldwide.

What are the admission criteria?

It is not necessary to be bilingual to join the SIA. In K3 and Grade 1, no English level is required but the mastering of French language is mandatory. In order to join the SIA at a higher level, English language and literature skills are assessed at the time of enrollment by the Shanghai French School Language Department and are part of the admission criteria.

Besides, choosing the International American Stream is an ambitious project for the student. It is thus important to measure motivation, involvement and workload, which are expected to be high. For students coming from a different education system or in need of additional French learning, the mastering of French language remains a prerequisite to be able to join this pathway.

English-speaking streams at Shanghai French School


The International Chinese Stream (SIC) at Shanghai French School is a unique linguistic, cultural and scientific curriculum. Provided from K1 until Grade 12 in our school, it allows students to study Chinese language, literature and culture whilst learning mathematics in Chinese.

This broad and in-depth stream, which comes on top of the general French curriculum, allows students to reach a remarkable level of skills and knowledge at the end of high school and at the begin their path in higher education.

Who is this stream for?

The International Chinese Stream is aimed at students and families who have a long-term project with China. Just like our other international streams, the SIC requires a full investment from the students and their families in order to succeed in the best way.

Whether it is in Primary or Secondary, our school welcomes in SIC many students who have at least one parent with Chinese as the mother tongue. There are also students whom none of the parents speak Chinese. In this case, we recommend families to get extra support at home by a Chinese-speaking person.

At Shanghai French School, the prerequisite to enter an international stream is the mastering of French language.

What is taught in SIC?

Students get to acquire an exceptional knowledge on the Chinese world, the richness of its language, literature, culture, arts, and scientific mindset. Besides the knowledge and skills acquired with time, the SIC makes students more autonomous, dedicated to their work, cultivating a sense of effort and an open mind to the world around them.

In Primary school, language, mathematics, arts, science, history, and geography are taught in Chinese. In Secondary, we focus on Chinese language and literature, mathematics and arts.

A unique curriculum

Covering ¼ of their education, this curriculum gives our students the capacity to reach a formal level of language, both oral and written.

It also allows students to develop an analytical and independent mindset as well as a wider autonomy and it favors their creativity and self-expression. It also contributes to their intellectual and cultural growth and broaden their knowledge of Chinese cultural and literary heritage. Finally, the SIC is a strong pillar to develop intercultural skills.

Who are the teachers?

Our teachers are all experienced and their mother tongue is Chinese. Their teaching answers on a daily basis to the requirements of this specific curriculum.

Is this stream to be favored for children coming from Franco-Chinese families?

Yes, but not only! A child coming from a Franco-Chinese family will find in the SIC a place where to develop one’s double culture and bilingualism. A child coming from a fully Chinese or French family will also find in the SIC new territories to explore, knowledge and skills to acquire with confidence and pleasure!

The SIC is open to those who, in the context of a French school, wish to deepen their knowledge of Chinese language and culture and become experts in those fields. They will also be able to progress in other languages like English, German, Spanish or even Latin! Often, SIC students are excellent linguists!

A path to the OIB

The SIC allows students to prepare the OIB (Option Internationale du Baccalauréat), which is not a diploma nor the International Baccalaureate (IB) but a specialisation within the French Baccalaureate. Passing the OIB certifies an excellent level in language and international culture. The students need to take the following exams: language, Chinese literature and civilisation, and mathematics in Chinese.

The OIB allows students to apply easily to international schools and facilitate the access to renowned universities. This diploma naturally proves an open mind and a wider cultural knowledge.

Progress of students

Our students progress continuously thanks to a dedicated teaching program (six hours of Chinese per week in Primary school and up to 8.5 hours in Secondary school) as well as a language environment. The results of our students, especially in the mastering of languages, often exceed our expectations.

In Grade 12, our students generally reach a B2/C1 level of Chinese language according to the CECRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Their oral and written level allow them to evolve easily in higher education as well as a professional environment in Chinese.

The International Chinese Stream at Shanghai French School


Opened from the Seconde to students who already have a good knowledge of the Chinese language. Within this stream, students strengthen their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture, acquire the tools to understand the contemporary Chinese world and the condence to evolve in it.

This challenging stream requires consistency and motivation to learn the Chinese language and culture. A Chinese test is required for admission in this stream.

Language certifications

The language streams of Shanghai French School offer students the possibility to gain recognized language certifications, giving them additional credits to get admitted into the best universities worldwide.

non-native speakers

The Shanghai French School welcomes students whose native language is not necessarily French or who haven’t been previously schooled in a French system. All adults at school will help your child to learn French. In primary and secondary school, your child will be enrolled in a regular class and will receive special lessons in French with new comers from his/her class and from other classes, for a few hours a week.

the LFS language courses brochure

Contact our language department

Santa Lorenzoni
Head of languages and english teacher
Yangpu & Qingpu campuses

Anne-Laure Fournier
Teaching coordinator and Chinese teacher
Yangpu campus

Aurélia Petragallo
FLSco teacher and coordinator
Yangpu & Qingpu campuses

Apply for admission