A bilingual school is a modern and innovative way of teaching foreign language students. This form of running a school is gaining more and more recognition among European Union countries. Lessons in the departments are conducted in the mother tongue and in a foreign language – usually in English. Children who graduated from such school more confidently use a foreign language in their adult life, which is nowadays almost indispensable in education, work or everyday life. What does studying in a bilingual school look like? Is it worth sending a child to such a school? We invite you to read!
What is a bilingual school?
A bilingual school is nothing more than a school where individual lessons are conducted both . These types of schools have a special name CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), which is derived from English and stands for CLIL. As a result, students have daily contact with the mother tongue, and over time they gain an advanced level of knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written.
Does bilingual education have advantages?
Often parents consider sending their children to specific types of schools. They are usually new compared to what children can learn in a regular primary school (public school), so the concerns and questions of parents, legal guardians, are understandable. In the case of bilingual schools, there are many advantages and it is them that make parents more willing to enroll their children in them.
According to education regulations, a bilingual class must have a smaller number of students. Thanks to this solution, children learn more easily not only in the field of modern language (usually English), but also in all other school subjects. It is also a great help for teachers who can pay more attention to their subordinates.
In addition, by attending a bilingual school, students get the chance to:
- Breaking language barriers from an early age,
- Mastering the ability to communicate both in the mother tongue and in a foreign language (written and spoken),
- The use of a foreign language by students in everyday life,
- Expanding the scope of vocabulary with specialist terminology, thanks to the study of selected subjects both in national and in a foreign language (biology, geography, history, mathematics, chemistry),
- Continuing to learn a foreign language at a further level of school and extracurricular education,
- Bilingualism (bilingualism), which means that they can use two languages on an equal level,
- Active opportunity to live in a global and IT society.
As you can see from the above, there are many advantages that schools or bilingual classes in schools offer. Sending a child to this type of school from an early age guarantees comprehensive development, greater self-confidence and significant opportunities in adult life.
What does the establishment of a bilingual branch look like?
In fact, each primary school may establish bilingual departments in its institution, i.e. classes where individual lessons are conducted both in the mother tongue and in a modern language (usually in English). First of all, students of this school are admitted to a bilingual class. One of the most important conditions for admission to such a class is the student’s promotion to the next class and a positive result in the language aptitude test carried out according to the rules established by the school’s pedagogical council. Subsequently, students from other schools are admitted. In the case of a larger number of applicants, the following factors should be taken into account jointly:
- The result of a test that checks language predispositions
- Average of grades and marks on the promotional certificate for the next class in such subjects as: mathematics and modern language
- Promotion certificate for the next class with honors
The school may also make further criteria to select the most suitable students for the bilingual department.
Why Choose a Bilingual School?
If, as a parent, you have the option to send your child to a school with bilingual departments or to a bilingual school, then it is definitely worth taking this opportunity. Currently, English is no longer treated as a second language or as a foreign language, but as a full-fledged language that can be used together with the mother tongue: in everyday life, study, work or private trips. Teaching a foreign language in classic classes, i.e. teaching basically for exams and tests, is very impractical and almost impossible to use in real life.
When studying in bilingual schools, students learn all the necessary subjects from the curriculum with the difference that they learn English in a pleasant and, most importantly, practical way. As a result, the child learns a foreign language faster and more willingly, which will bring positive results in the future. As you can see from the above examples, it is worth sending your child to a bilingual school or class.
How to prepare a child for education in a bilingual school?
In a bilingual school, educational activities are conducted both in national and in a foreign language. For this reason, it is worthwhile to prepare a child a bit before transferring the child to such a school, so that he not only gets into such a class, but also feels more confident and does not lag behind other students. A good way to familiarize a child with a foreign language is from an early age to create situations in which it could come into contact with this particular language. It is worth mentioning here that a 3-4-year-old child who interacts with the language learns it naturally. For this reason, communicating with a toddler in a given language, reading books or even turning on fairy tales without dubbing is a great way for the child’s first contact with the language …
If there is such a possibility, it is also worth sending the child to a bilingual or English-speaking kindergarten before sending the child to a bilingual school. This is also a great way for your child to learn the first words and sentences in a foreign language every day.
What are the lessons like in a bilingual class?
A full curriculum is organized in a bilingual classroom, which students in all other classical schools also receive. The whole difference is that the program provides for a doubled number of English lessons, as well as at least two classes (math, geography, physics, chemistry, biology),