At Les Tournesols, children do not learn two languages but 'in' two languages. Throughout the day, two adults, one francophone and the other anglophone, accompany your child. While your child does his or her work choice, there are two languages that are proposed to them.
The absorbant mind of a child will naturally construct a dual perception of their world. Bilingualism has the advantage of stimulating your child's brain while it goes from one language to the other. Your child develops independent concepts (in the 'new language') that enriches their vocabulary while nonetheless retaining their ability to ignore irrelevant information. In general, bilingualism stimulates a child's communication and spoken language skills and increases their decision making skills, which inturn enables them to make appropriate language choices in a given context.
At Les Tournesols, each child is empowered to become a world citizen.
Why start a second language so early?
Between the ages of 3 – 6 a child is mastering language skills , then learning to read and write at around five years of age. Learning 'another language' is, at this particular stage, just one more language acquisition and can be actively maximized during this sensitive period of the child's development.
We don't speak french at home, is it a problem ?
Studies have shown that the key to learning a language is : clarity and consistency. A clear message for the child, in the form of a simple rule: there is a 'language specific referent' who consistently speaks English at school. Learning a 'new language' is persued with the same order and method that all 'learning' requires and as a result there is no confusion for the child. Your child develops their language skills with reduced obstacles in their individualized 'journey of discovery'. There is no need to extend the 'school' to your home, by speaking the new language English or French, at home.
Who speaks what language and at what moment?
The anglophone teachers speak in English. The francophone teachers speak in French. This clear and simple rule ensures that the children quickly find their mark. The children are quickly put at ease with such a modus operandi.