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Why bilingualism

  /  Why bilingualism

EFI provides a French-English dual language education. Each class is staffed with two native-speaking teachers in each language.

The earlier a child starts learning a second language, the greater their capacities, not only in terms of development, curiosity and openness to the world, but also in terms oftheir ability to learn, and succeed at school.

Very young children possess remarkable memory, and tend to be less inhibited, so they are extremely receptive to the learning of a foreign language. When engaging with a native speaker, they have a natural ability to acquire spoken language without deliberate effort and to speak with a native-like accent (or simply to speak without an accent). Moreover, developing skills of two languages from the earliest years on allow bilingual children to easily learn other languages thereafter.

The structure of a language is an underlying structure for the way a child perceives the world.The earlier a child develops abilities to refer to more than one language system, the more open-minded that child will become. Several studies have shown that bilingual children are better trained to immerse themselves in other cultures and respect others, and bilinguals build stronger social interactions and relationships.

At EFI, we believe that an early French-English bilingual education is contribution to improve the school system to adapt to today’s changing world. In the midst of globalization, multilingualism has become a requirement. In the future, English proficiency, added to the strong command of another native language, will increasingly be a necessaryprecondition to enter the labor market.

To go further:

Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer, « Enfants d’expatriés : les formidables atouts du bilinguisme », La Découverte, 2015.A recognized social psychologist and professor, Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer explains the benefits of children’s bilingual development. She is also the editor of www.enfantsbilingues.com and authored the book entitled “Le défi des enfantsbilingues”.

Why does a 5-year-old learn a new language much quicker than an adult?

Canadian neuroscientist d’Aaron Newman explains how learning a language becomes more complex as we grow older. The interview is available here: http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/fra/dimensions/numero5/aaron_newman.html