A prepared approach to dual language learning adapted to our students
Instruction of the English language at L’Enfant is strategically planned and delivered through various literacy and language development activities adapted to the age of our students.
Additionally, our Montessori approach and prepared language environment capitalize on the child’s sensitive period for language development and support our students’ cognitive skills development and problem solving abilities.
Studies have shown that because English is the main language spoken in our students’ environment outside school, our younger students can focus exclusively on the second target language at school (French) to get a native level fluency in that language at an early age while the other target language (English) is naturally absorbed and learned outside school (via interaction with neighborhood kids on nearby playgrounds, English content on TV, radio, and internet, communication with some family members and friends and participation in outside enrichment activities).
Then, starting with our emerging bilingual 4-year old students, to deepen their understanding of the English language and expand their vocabulary, our curriculum gradually introduce the English language in a more academic setting, twice a week, with one session focusing more on English literacy and reading aloud in English and the other one focusing on increasing our students’ English vocabulary.
This English language structured instruction ensures that our students are fully prepared for later instruction in English in first grade and beyond.
It also helps our students makes easy connection between both languages and mutually reinforce both languages, allowing for example our students to make spontaneous comparison between both languages and think critically about the structure of both languages.