Bilingual Education in Phnom Penh

French & Mandarin Bilingual Education

Bilingual Education provides students with the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills for speaking, reading, writing, listening and communicating in both English and the target language (either French or Mandarin). In our CIS Bilingual Program the target language and English are used as the languages of instruction, beginning in Senior Kindergarten or Grade 1 and continuing to Grade 9.

French Bilingual Program
CIS Mandarin Writing Program

Registration at No Additional Cost

  • Students entering kindergarten or Grade 1 can register in the bilingual program of choice. Previous experience with the target language is not required and parents do not need to know the language.
  • Students with previous French or Mandarin language experience may start the appropriate Bilingual program at other grade levels if they meet the assessment criteria.

How the Bilingual Program Works

Students in Bilingual Programs follow the Alberta Programs of Study as follows:

  • From SK to grade 9, an approximate 60/40 split in instructional time between English and the target language allows students to build fluency in both languages. Children learn to understand and respond appropriately in either Mandarin or French in a range of everyday situations.
  • Students who wish to pursue an internationally recognized DELF (French) or HSK (Mandarin) certificate will be provided with this option once their teacher indicates that they have reached a high enough level of proficiency.
Canadian International School Bilingual Program

Benefits of Bilingual Education

Alberta Education Instructional Program Content

From SK to grade 8: Mandarin Bilingual*

Mandarin Language Arts, Math, Health, Art, and PE are taught in Mandarin

All other subjects are taught in English. 

From SK to grade 5: French Bilingual

In addition to the daily French class, Social Studies and Science are taught in French
All other subjects are taught in English

Grade 6 to Grade 9: French Bilingual

Social Studies, French Language, Art and Drama are taught in French and all other subjects are taught in English.

*The Mandarin Bilingual program is available to students from SK to Grade 4 starting Fall 2021. Each year, CIS will add a new grade level to the program as students are promoted. During the 2021-2022 school year,  a special program will be offered to Grade 4 students which includes a complimentary Mandarin after school program. 

Meet the Team

Clara Faubert-Fadoul

My name is Clara Faubert-Fadoul and I am part of the French Bilingual teaching team at CISP. I am a French-Canadian new teacher who grew up in West Africa. As a child, I traveled a lot and lived in many different countries. This helped me develop a great sense of openness to other cultures and a growing interest in foreign languages. I currently speak 3 languages: French, my mother tongue, English, and Spanish and I started learning Mandarin and Arabic. I believe learning a new language is the key to opening new doors in a world full of opportunities and this is why I decided to become a bilingual teacher. Learning a new language helps improve academic and social skills and most importantly it helps students become more open-minded and curious about the world they live in. My role as a teacher will be to guide them through the process and make sure they have all the tools to succeed.


Amanda Freeman

Hello to the amazing CIS community! My name is Amanda. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Kindergarten and Elementary Education (French immersion) at McGill University. I have been teaching in Montreal for the past two years in an international IB elementary school. Now, I am excited to be able to join the CIS team again. I completed my final internship as a student-teacher at CIS back in 2019.

I love animals, volleyball, swimming, food and travelling.

J’ai très hâte d’arriver au Cambodge. À bientôt !


Susie Chen

Ms.Chen was born in China and moved to Canada when she was 12. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in BSc. Environmental Science and BEd. Elementary Education. She gained her teaching experience through community service, environmental education, substitute teaching, and volunteering in schools. She believes that language is a critical part of a culture and increasing the proficiency of a language helps to understand the culture. Ms.Chen appreciates Chinese traditional operas, Chinese traditional music, and Chinese traditional art. She enjoys eating Chinese food and is learning to cook more Chinese food. Last but not least, she loves traveling and teaching in different countries because she loves learning about other cultures while also sharing Chinese culture with others, allowing her to share and understand multiple perspectives.


Raphael Pech

My name is Raphael Pech and I’m originally from Paris where I got my educational degree 20 years ago. I’m proud to work at the Canadian International School of Phnom Penh for the last 4 years, and it has been an amazing professional journey to witness our student’s creativity and motivation year after year. Most of them have been able to join French-speaking international schools or programs all over the world after completing a few years at CIS with us. The French bilingual program has been awarded by the French government with the label France éducation for its excellency and rigorous instruction provided but also for our outstanding effort to promote the French language in Cambodia. The program is not just about being able to speak, it is also a way to understand the French culture and being a member of Cambodia’s francophone community. I will be happy to meet any families interested in the program.



Valerie Thomas

My name is Valerie Thomas, I am a French accredited teacher, and have been teaching for 17 years ; 2 years in France and 15 years abroad in different countries (USA, Qatar, China, Norway and Bulgaria).I really enjoy the challenge of teaching abroad with non-French speaking students. The bilingual program offers the opportunity to the students to communicate in French but more importantly to think, explore, innovate, create in another language. By learning in the bilingual program students are opening their mind to new cultures, preparing themselves to impact the world of tomorrow. The program also gives them the chance to pursue their studies in French University.



Esther Wong

I am Esther, an avid traveler. I enjoy tasting different food as well as having conversations with people from different backgrounds. I am passionate about teaching Mandarin, especially to non-native children. I strive to make learning Mandarin fun and exciting while applying my knowledge of Linguistics and Literature into practice.

Before joining CIS, I taught whole school Mandarin from early years to IGCSE level at a British international school in Myanmar for years. I have many hobbies ranging from reading and singing to hiking and exploring nature. I am coming to CIS with family and my two-year-old son will attend school soon. We are excited about joining CIS!



With a strong emphasis on language learning, we are  proud to offer French (since August 2015) and Mandarin (since August 2019) Bilingual Programs.  

Students in the bilingual program have the advantage of following the Canadian curriculum while improving their language skills in French or Mandarin. This represents over 80 minutes per day of instruction, or about 40% of instruction time, which is why our students improve their language skills very quickly.
Our French Bilingual Program was awarded the LabelFrancÉducation seal by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The goal of a language option program is to expose students to the language and the culture. Language options provide 200 minutes of instruction per week, allowing students to gain exposure to the target language. 


Bilingual programs provide more than 400 minutes of instruction per week in content areas. The greater exposure to the language and the more in depth instruction allows students to gain a greater degree of fluency more quickly. 

Our bilingual programs are designed for students whose first language is not the target language, so you don't need any special skills. Your child's teacher is highly trained to teach the target language using research-informed strategies. 


Language skills are integrated and transferable. For that reason, talk, listen, read and write with your child in your home language and these will set a strong foundation for acquiring French or Mandarin in school. 

  1. Help your child broaden their vocabulary in their first language.
  2. Have your child read to you in the target language and have them tell you what it means.
  3. To improve listening comprehension skills, have your child record themselves reading something and then listen to it.

No. Our bilingual programs provide the same quality of education and the same curriculum for students at no additional cost.

Students entering Senior Kindergarten (SK) and Grade 1 (6 years old) and up who demonstrate an interest and aptitude in learning French or Mandarin are eligible for the program.

For students above Grade 1, if students wish to enroll in one of our programs, our qualified instructors will conduct a quick assessment of the child’s language level and assess whether the bilingual program would be suitable for them.

We keep our classes small, allowing our teachers to focus on French or Mandarin as a meta-cognitive tool, not only as a communicative and linguistic tool. We encourage learning through discovery and projects while using state-of-the-art teaching tools (inverted classroom, laptops, tablets and interactive whiteboards).

Our program allows everyone to progress at their own pace. This helps students recognize their own strengths and areas that need to be strengthened. Cooperation, autonomy, and individual progression of learning are all objectives of our program.

We also know children learn in different ways; we practice differentiated instruction to respect different styles of learning and enable our students to reach their full potential.

Along with our Bilingual Programs, French and Mandarin Language courses are offered to all students who wish to learn French or Mandarin from the age of 3 years old and up.

These language courses prepare students effectively for the Bilingual Program (if they choose to enroll). With this option, students learn in French or Mandarin for over 3 hours a week.

Our French students partner with French students from the school École Française Internationale (EFI). This allows students to practice their French frequently, learn more about the French culture, and allows us to organize common inter-school learning times.

Every year, we celebrate the language options at CIS through various events bringing together our school community. Our language assembly, prepared by our students, is an opportunity for them to share their interest in these programs with the entire CIS community.

Our school library has an impressive selection of books in French and Mandarin; we believe in the importance of expanding our library each year. At CIS we learn in different languages and read them too!

We have already seen a number of students from non-French-speaking families able to speak fluently in French in just a few years.

We are very proud of two students who are continuing their schooling in Quebec, Canada and have chosen to continue their studies in French; a perfect example of the transition and integration of Francophone culture.

From 2017 and on, our French students will have the opportunity to challenge the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) to have their language level officially certified in French.

As our Mandarin Bilingual Program is new (from 2019), we are excited to see how this program will help students with their Mandarin and where it will take them in their future!

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