Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Beauty of Bilingual Education

So... my new school is a bilingual school. The students immerse in English for pre-school and kindergarten. Then in grade one they focus on evening out their educational experiences with a push to develop all academic and social skills in both Turkish and English. There is also language support for their mother tongue if it isn't one of those languages... Can you imagine?! Of course in the first grade, this can lead to a lot of confusion and a stilted start with some things as some kids are naturally stronger in one of the main languages. However, as my students were playing some math games to strengthen their understanding of numbers today, it was a beautiful thing to be in a bilingual system. My partner teacher and I shared the instructional time and the idea of the games. We taught the students in both languages so that they had full understanding and then we enjoyed watching and listening to them as they swapped languages to play. Even though all of our class is ethnically Turkish, they used English and Turkish as they communicated together. I LOVE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION and I am falling madly in love with bilingual education too!!

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