As a truly bilingual school we operate in two languages in all areas of the school. This means that the children hear, converse and learn in both English and Slovene from 11 months old. For the younger children their experience is integrated, with an English speaker and Slovene speaker with them all day. For the children from Grade 1 and older, they learn in both languages, the teachers divide the week between the two languages, not repeating teaching but continuing where the other language left off. We practice fully bilingual education for all children, independently of their national, linguistic or cultural background. We are experienced at supporting the children who do not speak either language, helping them communicate their needs, learn the languages and feel confident in our classrooms.
This is an educational model designed to prepare the children to become global citizens – they will develop academic, linguistic and cultural competencies needed to be active members in today’s global society. Bilingual classes are an opportunity for the children to learn a second (or third, …) language by learning about all things relevant through both languages.
FOR BILINGUAL CHILDREN
Being immersed in a fully bilingual programme at school further strengthens the parallelism of learning everything in multiple languages. This reinforces the natural flow of thoughts in multiple languages and continues to encourage the children to actively use all the languages they are learning.
FOR SLOVENE-SPEAKING CHILDREN
Through bilingual teaching, the Slovene native-speakers develop the full ability to actively use a second language, English. However, this process also helps them learn more and faster about their first language while also preparing them later to learn a third, fourth and any subsequent languages. At the same time, children also develop strong awareness of cultural diversity thus opening their minds to wider perception of the environment they find themselves in..
FOR NON-SLOVENE SPEAKERS
Bilingual primary education is also highly recommended to the children of the international community. On the one hand, it makes it much easier for these children to integrate in the local community while still using their mother tongues at home with their parents and other family members. Furthermore, such children can much better leverage the opportunity given to them to learn about the local habits and culture, thus giving them a priceless life experience of continuous learning and cultural diversity – while actively engaging with the local children and their day to day activities.
ADVANTAGES OF BILINGUALISM
Recent research has revealed significant advantages of bilingual (and multilingual) education.
Children that are raised speaking two or more languages:
- …can focus better;
- …can switch between activities better and faster;
- …are more creative;
- …achieve better linguistic and other academic results;
- …have better logical thinking;
- …are better at learning further languages;
- …are better protected from brain damage and illnesses due to changed brain function
- … have better analytical and problem-solving abilities;
- … have more developed imagination;
- … have better self-esteem and trust others more;
- …can understand, accept and respect cultural diversity;
- …can better adjust to new situations, people and events.
Particularly good results can be seen with children learning multiple languages from the very early years. Our kindergarten programme introduces multiple languages through play and fun – and children embrace additional languages completely naturally, just as another mother tongue. As no formal pressures to learn are present, children’s inner curiosity and strong desire to communicate further simplify the process of acquiring further languages.
SOME MORE INFORMATION
A scientific study on bilingualism: The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All
Interview with a leading neuroscientist on effects of bilingualism on children: The Bilingual Advantage
Creating bilingual minds | Naja Ferjan Ramirez | TEDxLjubljana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp2Fvkt-TRM
Bilingualism Matters is a Centre at the University of Edinburgh which studies bilingualism and language learning and communicates their findings to enable people to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence. http://www.bilingualism-matters.ppls.ed.ac.uk/
GET IN TOUCH
We would love to hear from you…
We are on hand to answer any questions you may have! Please get in touch either with the following contact details or by using our quick contact form. We will endeavour to reply to you within 1 working day.
Call Us: +386 51 662 042
Visit Us: IES Ljubljana International School