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Parents often ask us when children should start learning another language. There is only one answer: As early as possible!
Studies show that the language acquisition skills of children are better — and more deeply rooted — at the early stage of life when their most strenuous intellectual efforts relate specifically to learning language1.
At Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, students can now benefit from our unique Early Years dual language immersion programme from the age of three, guided by two teachers who each use their mother tongue or native language alongside each other in a warm, family-like setting. This setup creates the ideal conditions for bilingualism to flourish naturally in a safe and nurturing environment. Within a short period of time, children will effortlessly switch from one language to the other with each teacher and acquire the culture and love of each language.
Our Bilingual Early Years Programme is based on the latest and most comprehensive research on early learning. As the first school experience for our youngest students, it’s paramount that the programme be safe, joyful, and rich. Our child-led approach builds on their ideas and interests, allowing them to explore a range of activities while offering multiple opportunities for open-ended learning in both languages.
We believe that every child is a valued contributor, both to their own learning and their surroundings. Each child’s inquisitive mind is developed through play scenarios (Harvard University2 video), and differentiated learning opportunities, pursuant to the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.
To guide children through their educational journey, we recruit highly-trained teachers who provide a supportive milieu based on positive interactions in a balanced bilingual setting. Because our youngest students need to feel safe and secure to achieve their full potential, classes welcome a maximum of 16 students who interact with two Early Years specialists (native French and English speakers).
Through proven yet innovative pedagogical methods, children are encouraged to discover, articulate, and express their own ideas and thoughts and to work collaboratively with others. To develop self-directed and confident young learners, children will experience:
Active project-based learning through innovative methods
Inquiry activities through provocations
Interactions in a safe environment dedicated to experiential learning
Positive interactions and relationship learning from others3
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” — O. Fred Donaldson
To go deeper:
Creating Bilingual Minds, Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez, University of Washington
The Benefits of the Bilingual Brain, Mia Nacamulli, educator and writer
The Linguistics Genius of Babies, Patricia Khul, University of Washington
1 Hakuta K., Bialystok E., Wiley E., Critical evidence: A test of the critical-period hypothesis for second-language learning. Psychological Science, 2003.
2 Brain Architecture, Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, 2008.
3 Hattie J., Visible Learning for Teachers, 2008.