Benefits of Bilingual Education

Bilingual education, in which students are taught in two different languages, has numerous benefits for early years and elementary students.

According to research, students in bilingual education programs outperform students in monolingual programs in both English and their second language. In other words, learning a second language can give students a real academic advantage.

The benefits of bilingual education go beyond just academics. Studies have shown that learning in a second language can improve children's problem-solving skills, critical thinking and creativity. Bilingual education can also have a positive impact on students’ overall sense of identity and self-esteem. Finally, it can also enhance their cultural understanding as they learn about and appreciate different customs and ways of life.

Bilingual education and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) share a common goal of developing well-rounded, global-minded students who are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world.

The PYP is designed to foster the development of a range of skills that are transferable across disciplines and contexts, and bilingual education can play an important role in developing many of these skills.

These skills include; communication skills (listening, speaking, and presenting), social skills (such as cooperation and collaboration) and self-management skills (such as organisation and self-management).

By developing these skills through bilingual education and the PYP approaches to learning, students become more well-rounded and adaptable learners. They are better able to understand and navigate different cultural and linguistic contexts, and they are equipped with the tools they need to be successful in any learning environment.

Why are we doing this?

We are launching a bilingual programme at ISZN for several reasons.

Primarily for all the educational advantages outlined above. Additionally, it will give families interested in joining the ISZN community, more options and help contribute to an even more diverse community than we have at present.

How will it work?

In the academic year 2023 – 2024, we will begin with a bilingual class in Kiga.

We will build in an additional class each year up until Grade 9. The curriculum will be based on the Lehrerplan 21. The split will broadly be as follows:

  • Maths, Science and Humanities will be delivered in German.
  • Drama, Music, Art and Physical Education will be delivered in English.
  • World Languages will be in either German or English. Students whose stronger language is English will study German and vice-versa.

Who will be teaching the bilingual class?

The Kiga Bilingual Homeroom teacher will be a fluent German speaking teacher with a good working knowledge of English.

Lessons will be delivered in High German rather than Swiss German. The Learning Assistant assigned to the class will be English speaking. Specialist teachers will continue to deliver Music, Drama, Art and Physical Education.

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