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Linguists and educationalists agree it is of great importance to maintain and develop a child’s mother tongue whilst developing his or her second or third language. A strong foundation in one’s mother tongue guarantees more successful learning in a foreign language.

The Serbian Mother Tongue program aims to primarily develop the children’s literacy, as well as introduce them to their rich cultural heritage. By familiarizing children with literature by Serbian authors and exposing them to the culture and history of their own country the program strives to reinforce the children’s roots in the local community. The program makes meaningful connections to the PYP units of inquiry, thus enriching the children’s vocabulary and building on concepts being studied in class.

The grade 1 program's primary aim is to build on the foundations a child already has in his/her mother tongue by fostering a love of literature through reading aloud, learning poems and songs and doing role playing. Children are also exposed to some of the concepts covered in the PYP units. By the end of the school year children are expected to be familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet.


In grade 2 children learn to read and write using the Cyrillic alphabet. The program follows the Serbian first grade program using methodology practiced in international education. At this age reading aloud is a key element in developing literature appreciation. Poetry also plays an important part in the program as it develops a child’s natural enjoyment and awareness of rhyme and rhythm. By the end of second grade children are expected to be able to read poems and simple stories, memorize poems and participate in a puppet play for which they have written a script.      

In grade 3 children work on developing reading and writing strategies. The program follows the Serbian second grade program using methodology practiced in international education. Children study fables as a genre, poems by well-known Serbian authors (Ljubivoje Ršumović, Vladimir Andrić, Arsen Diklić, etc.)  and a variety of age appropriate texts. We do a month long study of Hans Christian Andersen’s work and children also read nonfiction texts related to the PYP units of inquiry. By the end of the year the children are expected to be able to read short chapter books.

In grade 4 children learn to write using the Cyrillic cursive alphabet and to read in the Latin alphabet. Children continue to read independently for pleasure and information. They study the poetry and short stories of Duško Radović and Branko Ćopić among  others, fairy  tales as a genre, Greek mythology and are introduced to epic poetry through the poems about Marko Kraljević. They are expected to be able to read chapter books by the end of fourth grade.

In grade 5 children read a range of texts with the aim of gaining literary appreciation and understanding. They study  Dositej Obradović’s fables, folk stories as a genre, as well as epic poetry, short stories about Saint Sava, and they do an in-depth study of  two novels by acclaimed  children’s authors. Children write for a range of purposes using both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet. They are introduced to two important periods in Serbian history: medieval Serbia and communist Yugoslavia. They are expected to use a variety of reference materials to gain information and write reports. By the end of grade 5 children are expected to be able to write reasonably fluently and to read for sustained periods at school and at home.