“A bilingual school offers an appropriate environment for the development of listening, speaking, writing and thinking in both languages, in a natural way.” (Bilingual School Organization of São Paulo state).
Bilingual children are more prepared to focus their attention on relevant information, without getting distracted by irrelevante information. They can also alternate their attention between two tasks or goals without getting distracted.
Bilingualism in Elementary School
For students coming from preschool, elementary or middle school in non-bilingual institutions, Colégio Santa Amália Tatuapé offers extra English classes free of charge, during the opposite period of regular classes. This contributes to a faster and easier adaptation for the student.
1 – What are the advantages of a second language in such small children?
This doubt lingers in the mind of many parents.
Researchers who are in favor of teaching a foreign language since the early childhood differ in regards to the ideal age to begin this learning experience, but they are unanimous when stating that children who are exposed to a foreign language from an early age show an improved development in many areas of knowledge, such as cognitive, cultural and social.
The fact that they take ownership of the new language without any concern for linguistic mechanisms guarantees that the learning happens naturally. Another advantage is that the vocal tract develops towards the specific sounds of the language.
An immersive, welcoming and challenging environment allows the child to deal with the foreign language as a living and stimulating experience.
2 – Can the child adapt to a bilingual school event after studying at a non-bilingual school?
Yes, since this is as immersive process, the child begins to understand that the second language is also useful for communicating and interacting, thus, learning it in parallel to the first language.
3 – Since there are two different curriculums (Portuguese and English), does the student lack in any way in regards to the Brazilian content?
No, all the mandatory contents are in the program. The school has longer hours to make sure this commitment is kept.
4 – After studying in a bilingual school, does the student have trouble adapting to a non-bilingual school in the case of a transfer?
This is not a concern regarding the content. However, the student might not adapt to a different school because of a personal preference.
5 – Do students of bilingual schools show frequent spelling errors?
No. The student might show mistakes in the writing of both languages as a natural consequence of the interference between them, but during the learning process and through intense contact and knowledge of the phonetic aspects of each language, this will improve.