It is a very exciting time when your child starts school. You have seen them develop from a baby and into a toddler, from a toddler to a preschooler and now they are ready for their next step.
As parents, you want the best for your child and this includes their education. You want them to have the best start in life so you do your research to find the best schools. This includes determining whether a school that offers a dual language education would be right for your child.
If you are thinking of sending your child to a bilingual school, here are some tips that will help you prepare for your child’s first day at a bilingual school:
At some bilingual schools, teachers will primarily speak only one language with your child during certain classes
Bilingual education can have many forms, so it is important to research a school’s curriculum and education model.
In a 50/50 model, students receive instruction in the primary language 50% of the time and 50% of the time in the secondary language. This could mean that 50% of every class is taught in both languages half of the time, that 50% of the subjects are taught fully in either of the languages — where one subject would be taught only in the primary language while another subject would be taught only in the secondary language, or the language of instruction alternates by the day or week.
In a 90/10 model, instruction starts with the secondary language used 90% of the time and the primary language used 10% of the time, gradually progressing toward 50% with each grade level.
Talk to other parents
It is important that you talk with other parents who have already enrolled their children in a bilingual school. They can tell you what to expect, their child’s experience, and give you an idea of what life is like at these schools. It is also important that you ask them about any issues or problems that they may have encountered.
Introduce yourself to your child’s teachers
Find out who the teachers are at your child’s school and introduce yourself before school begins. This will give them a chance to get to know your child better and hopefully open a line of communication.
Make inquiries about extra support services
As some classes may be taught primarily in the secondary language, your child may need extra help. This can be frustrating for both parents and children because it may lead to students falling behind and require extra time outside of school to learn new words and phrases.
Ask about additional support services for children who need extra help. Some schools offer after-school tutoring programs where volunteers come in once or twice per week to work one-on-one with students who need extra practice with their skills in math or reading. Other schools may provide additional help for a fee.
To learn more about our bilingual school in Paris and to see if it may be the right fit for your child please click here.