Bilingualism & Co-Teaching

Teaching the French & American Curriculum

A Blend of 2 Systems

Our curriculum is not a translation of one curriculum into the other language, nor a repetition of concepts in both languages, but an intentional balance. What we learn in one language is applied to the other language.

Combined curricula give students opportunities to explore and identify similarities and differences, allowing them to bridge concepts and make connections.

Students are not learning only through one lens but through at least two points of view. 

EXAMPLE: If a child already understands the concepts of “justice” or “honesty” in her own language, all she has to do is acquire the label for these terms in the 2nd language. She has a far more difficult task, however, if she has to acquire both the label and the concept in her second language.

iceberg analogy of bilingualism

Conceptual knowledge developed in one language helps to make input in the other language comprehensible

Bilingualism in the Classroom

In preschool, children are immersed in French language and culture, approximately 80% of the day in order to build a linguistic foundation in French. 

Gradually, we increase the amount of English instruction until 4th grade. This proven model allows students to be equally fluent in both language, regardless of the language spoken at home.

Grades% of French% of English
Preschool8020
1st to 2nd7030
3rd to 4th6040
5th to 8th5545

Why a Bilingual Education?

Our bilingual curriculum not only allows our students to speak, read, write, count, and think in both languages, but it also gives students a cognitive and cultural edge over their monolingual peers by:

  • Fostering open-mindedness and divergent thinking
  • Enhancing critical thinking and cultural empathy
  • Transforming students’ worldview

Bilingualism at the French American Academy

Co-Teaching
How we Teach in 2 Languages

At the FAA, Co-teaching is when a native French and native English teacher work together on delivering a lesson in both languages to a single class of students:

  • This allows students to interact with the same concepts in both languages.
  • Co-teaching starts in PreK2 with co-teaching in science class.
  • As students progress in grades, we gradually add more co-teaching subjects such as science, language arts, and math.
 
In short, co-teaching allows students to understand concepts on a deeper level, rather than simply memorizing material for exams.

Benefits of Co-Teaching

Co-teaching allows for more personalized instruction and support for students, as the two teachers work together to address the diverse needs and backgrounds of the students in the class. 

Co-Teaching allows to deepen classroom discussions, for example:

  • In science, comparing scientific methods
  • In math, comparing French & English long division methods
  • In history, comparing and contrasting French & American revolutions, and understanding causes and effects rather than simple dates and facts
  • In language arts, comparing where an adjective falls in a sentence differs in French and in English
  • Understand the difference between rationalism & empiricism

Creating Energy and Incorporating Project-based Learning in Middle School

Prix Albertine Jeunesse

How to Talk about Race

Frequently Asked Questions

Preschool years are a good time to start learning an additional language as children’s brains are like sponges at this age and are more receptive to new language learning. Children at this age are naturally curious and open to new experiences, making them well-suited for language learning. While it is possible to start learning a second language at an older age and still achieve proficiency, starting at a younger age makes the process easier and more effective.

  1. A bilingual education develops strong language skills in two languages, which gives your child an advantage in the job market.
  2. As students constantly switch between languages and understand concepts in multiple languages they develop enhanced cognitive skills, including problem-solving and critical thinking, which leads to better academic and professional success.
  3. Being able to speak multiple languages can open up career opportunities and increase competitiveness in today’s global economy.
  4. Bilingual education also fosters cultural awareness and understanding, which can be valuable in fields such as business, education, and healthcare.

Accreditations

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The French American Academy Preschool Student

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