The key to developing global citizens is a blingual education. However, being bilingual at SIS is not defined solely by being able to speak two languages. Upholding the 4Rs of our core values, cultural background, and other factors comprise a “bilingual” individual.
“Many more children throughout the world have been, and continue to be, educated via a second or a later acquired language…than the number of children educated exclusively via first language.” (Tucker, 1999)
It is our belief that the acquisition of multiple languages during childhood leads to flexibile thought, ability to adapt to other cultures, better understanding of speech and analytical skills. These enrich a child not only culturally but intellectually, and are essential qualities in a globally minded citizen.
During the initial kindergarten years, students will master basic interpersonal communication skiills. This means that students will attain langauge abilities needed to interact socially at the playground, lunch room, playing sports, or even during mat time. Social interactions are usually context embedded and they occur in a meaningful social context. These language skills usually develop within 3~4 years. We do not pressure students to speak a certain language but rather have them choose a language that they wish to communicate their thoughts and ideas. However the medium that the teachers use in classroom is English (except for Japanese class).
Upon reaching grade school, students will transition into formal academic learning. This includes listening, speaking, reading and writing about subject area content material. Academic language acquisition isn’t just the understanding of content area vocabulary, but requires students to be able to apply higher thinking skills. This includes skills such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing, evaluating, and inferring. Therefore students need time and support to become proficient and may take from five to seven years to master. However, research suggests that a student’s social emotional skills are intimately linked with his/her acqusition of a second language. Therefore at school we make sure that student’s social and emotional development are concurrently developed.
Classes are held either in Japanese or English, with 80% of class being held in English.
Outlined below is the ratio that English and Japanese is ultilized in the class from Kindergarten through 6th grade. Please be aware that this doesnt include extracurricular activities
Early language immersion improves overall academic achievement. It enhances brain development, memory and cognitive learning. Many studies have proven that bilingual students outperform monolingual students on standardized tests.
Scientific research has also shown that foreigh language learning increases social development such as communication and listening skills.
Bilingualism promotes awareness, appreciation and acceptance of other peoples and cultures. Dual language speakers become more flexible thinkers and exhibit greater nonverbal problem solving abilities.
The student becomes more aware of ones own hertiage and language and gives a new perspective of their own identify.
Students are better perpared to fully function in a globalized society.
※参照： Roxana A. Soto
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