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Language Program

Our language program follows the model used in many parts of Europe, where bilingualism and trilingualism are often the norm. Second and third language acquisition is treated as a part of everyday life. Language experiences are embedded in regular daily activities which are child-centered and very ‘hands-on'. In order to prevent confusion each educator at the pre-school works in only one language – either French or English. For the children, this also eases the transition to second language activities. Initially, children will tend to form relationships with the educators who speak their language, then get to know the others as they engage in interesting activities (often disguised as play). Gradually, children are exposed to longer activity periods in their second language.

During each child’s ‘silent period’ of language development, he/she is developing skills at the oral-receptive level. We see that this work is going on, even if no language is being produced. This period can last for up to a year, though most children will begin to incorporate some second-language vocabulary into their repertoire. Often this begins with singing familiar songs.

Like our approach to all learning at preschool, the philosophy for language development is to create an environment which facilitates children’s’ innate desire to learn and communicate.