BILINGUALISM – A FOUNDING PILLAR OF HAUT-LAC | Editorial
In 1993, when the benefits of a bilingual education were less known, the International Bilingual School of Haut-Lac was already setting up to become a pioneer in the field.
ADAPTING TO NEEDS & WORKING WITH EXPERTS
Haut-Lac is and has always been a bilingual school, but its bilingualism model has evolved over the years according to the needs of the students and educational developments.After noticing a drop in student productivity in the afternoons, academic leaders knew it was time for a change. So they collaborated with experts to design a new model that would ensure a more equal development of English and French.Their research took them away from a half-day model to fully bilingual 1-day-1-day models and subject-specific models for infant and primary and secondary respectively. Alternative unilingual and progressive bilingual pathways have also been added to help students with less knowledge of English or French develop their language skills at a pace that suits them.
REAPING THE BENEFITS OF A TRULY BILINGUAL EDUCATION
Ease of communication is the first, and probably the most important advantage to study bilingual, especially for international students. Being able to understand and speak the local jargon makes it easier to settle into a new country and culture, allowing students to focus on more important things like immediate learning.Language learning also opens our minds to new perspectives, to new ways of seeing things. Take sign language for example. Each language uses its own because their understanding of even simple concepts like eating is different and therefore requires different movements.The same goes for school subjects. By learning history in both English and French, students at the Haut-Lac International Bilingual School expand their knowledge to include views of events from different nations. This, in turn, increases their sensitivity and cultural awareness.
TRAINING THE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD OF TOMORROW
It’s probably time to redefine the word “nomad”. Or at least add to the definition.As travel becomes easier, a new breed of nomads have replaced the hunter-gatherers of the past. They do not move to survive, but to open their minds to new experiences. It’s not an easy path to get started, but with two or more languages under their belt, students have the foundation for success abroad.And if they combine these with the heightened adaptability and cultural awareness gained by studying renowned international programs with international peers, the world is their oyster.
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