Throughout our blog entries, we’ve constantly made it a point to extol the virtues of bilingual education.
For example, we’ve illustrated that bilingual education provides a variety of cognitive and social benefits for students. These students have better social skills, are more empathetic, do better in school, and have improved problem-solving abilities. On top of that, they have better executive function, and have greater emotional intelligence.
We also provided tips on how you can cultivate bilingualism at home with your children.
But what exactly does bilingual education entail, for your children?
Bilingual education is an umbrella term for many types of programs in which two languages are used for instruction, for example:
• Two-way immersion programmes, in which native speakers of both languages are enrolled, and interact with each other in the class, providing bilingual immersion for both.
• Foreign language immersion programmes, where students are primarily native speakers and are learning the partner language.
• Heritage language programmes, where students are native speakers, but their parents or ancestors spoke the partner language.
• Developmental bilingual programmes, in which students are native speakers of the partner language and are progressively taught in English.
• Dual language programmes (sometimes named two-way bilingual programmes), in which the students develop their language proficiency and literacy in English and a partner language.
Dual language programs foster bilingualism, biliteracy, enhanced awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages.
At SISD, we are committed to early immersion, which research has shown to be the most suitable tool that allows children to have command of more than one language at a highly functional level.
The aim of immersion at SISD is the development of two or more languages, as well as the appropriate knowledge of the subject content and intercultural competence.
Immersion is progressive and age-appropriate, starting in Pre-KG with an exposure to the partner language by the presence of a native-speaking teaching assistant in the class room.
In KG2, children are taught by a native English-speaking teacher and a native French or German speaking teacher, instructing both languages on a daily basis.
In primary, one week is taught in English, and one week in French or German, this cycle being repeated throughout the academic year.
In the Secondary school, the model is discipline-based, as certain subjects are taught in English and others in French or German.
Swiss International School Dubai provides a diverse and multicultural environment that exposes students to many different perspectives, and cultivates a more global-thinking student body.
A large part of our effectiveness comes from our well-rounded bilingual curriculum, taught in the German/English and French/English streams. We also provide an elite Swiss education along with top-tier facilities that truly make it a premium international school, a home away from home for your child, that will equip them with what they need to be competitive in a workforce that will soon demand a lot of skills benefited by bilingualism.