be.Living

Learning opportunities in bilingual education

Bilingual education transcends learning English as a second language. Unlike learning English, our children learn in English. The second language therefore becomes the medium through which instruction takes place.

At be.Living, this instruction takes place all the time, through a wide variety of situations proposed for the children to experience their daily routines in English: from the activities foreseen in the school curriculum to the relationships and forms of expression, logical thinking, and working with the body and the arts.Our intention is to promote diversified circumstances so that children can experience the social function of the English language in a meaningful way, thus generating effective learning.

Our consultant for Bilingual Education, Silmara Souza Parise, explains that the daily experience of the English language in the school context – where various subjects are studied – allows the student to learn this language in circumstances that enhance linguistic, cognitive, and multicultural development, providing a broader worldview and, consequently, greater respect for cultural differences.

Silmara says that learning another language from a young age in everyday school life is more natural and spontaneous. “This is because learning occurs in environments, actions, and interactions that make sense to the child. It is the same process as learning the mother tongue: everyday experiences.”

The expert comments that childhood is a great window of opportunity to learn a second language fluently. “Children are more susceptible to environmental influences, which promotes greater brain stimulation. When we are small, we don’t realize that we are learning another language, because it is all part of our linguistic pool and our need to communicate. As we grow up, we become aware that there are two or more languages involved in our communication, and then we ‘separate’ the languages and learn to use them according to the communication situation of the moment. From there comes the awareness that there is more than one language of communication, with its similarities and differences.”

In addition to being able to differentiate similarities and differences between languages, the child expands the possibility of communicating in the international community, becoming aware of his or her position as a citizen of the world. “A broader cultural understanding and greater sensitivity to multicultural differences, greater tolerance and social harmony are developed.”

Silmara points out that the learning opportunities offered in the bilingual school context are numerous. “In the cognitive sphere, bilingual education fosters problem solving and analytical skills, logical reasoning, and allows better concept formation. On the personal side, it stimulates creativity, raises self-esteem, develops flexibility and adaptation, and improves interpersonal and social skills. And at the curricular level, understanding and developing concepts in more than one language enables the transfer of academic skills between them, facilitating collaborative and cooperative learning in a diverse language environment.”

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