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Our Bilingual Program

French is an international language, spoken around the world. An international education, such as we provide here, allows children to learn about other countries and cultures. At FISW, we promote global awareness by cultivating a diverse student body, promoting tolerance, and celebrating world holidays.

Students are immersed in the French language at least 75% of the time and receive a rigorous, complete, challenging education conforming to the French national curriculum in French, math, science, history and geography, art, music, and physical education. Immersion in another language gives children the opportunity to become bilingual in a natural and effective way. The children learn while acting on concepts, creating, listening, actively participating, and learning new skills.

The ability to understand and speak French is only one benefit of our bilingual program. Research shows that students who are educated in a second language, particularly those who learn in an immersion setting, demonstrate increased mental flexibility and creative thinking. Bilingual students are also better able to analyze language. Because they learn that there are at least two ways to say the same thing, they have a greater understanding of the relationship between words and meaning. They also have a greater ability to focus, taking into account only relevant pieces of information.

Through curriculum content and exposure to cultural differences, bilingual students also learn to respect differences between people and cultures.

There are benefits to introducing another language early, and maintaining it through a lifetime, as compiled by the news editor for Psychology Today in his article, Of Two Minds,

• "Languages learned before the age of 5 are represented differently in the brain than are later languages. For example, they trigger sensory associations more actively." Proverbio, Alice Mado, Adorni, Roberta, and Zani, Alberto, www.sciencedirect.com, "Inferring native language from early bio-electrical activity"

• "Learning a second language can help you out decades down the road. On average, lifelong bilinguals incur dementia four years later than others..." Bialystok, Ellen, Craik, Fergus I. M., and Freedman, Morris. www.sciencedirect.com, "Bilingualism as a protection against the onset of symptoms of dementia"  

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