The Canadian International School (CIS) in Singapore has been an authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) World School since 2002. Over 68 different nationalities are represented within our school community, making them a diverse and multicultural international school. With this in mind, they have announced a new bilingual Mandarin-English programme in August 2014. They will be discussing this, along with answering any questions at their Open Day on May 28 – find out more and register here.
The bilingual programme
What is unique about this programme is that there will be two fully qualified teachers in each classroom. One teacher will be a native English speaker, the other will be a native Mandarin speaker. Pupils will receive balanced exposure to both languages in a programme that is fully aligned to the IB Primary Years Programme, promoting intercultural understanding, inquiry based learning and key features based on current “best practice” in teaching and learning.
The new Mandarin-English bilingual programme at the Canadian International School will be launched with classes for students aged 4 – 6, in Junior Kindergarten (JK), Senior Kindergarten (SK) and Grade 1 in August 2014.
Class sizes will be capped at 20 students in JK (1:10 student-teacher ratio), 22 students in SK (1:11 student-teacher ratio) and 24 in Grade 1 (1:12 student-teacher ratio). Learners will receive balanced exposure to both languages in a programme that is fully aligned to the IB Primary Years Programme, promoting intercultural understanding, inquiry based learning and key features based on current “best practice” in teaching and learning.
The benefits for little ones
The idea is that kids will develop and integrate new language practice into a very complex dynamic multilingual repertoire. Children who are fluent in more than one language will enjoy many more benefits than simply being better communicators in one of the world’s key business languages.
Additional languages provide students with an opportunity for developing international-mindedness, intercultural awareness and critical thinking skills. The world is now anticipating the emergence of Mandarin as a key language. It is quickly becoming apparent that children who are bilingual in English and Mandarin will have a competitive edge in tomorrow’s job market.
Advantages to being bilingual include being able to learn new words easily, being more adept at solving mental puzzles, a heightened ability to monitor the environment and increased creativity in solving mathematical problems. Language researchers have found that a child learning two languages whose structures and rules are significantly different from each other (such as English and Mandarin), are required to think in more complicated ways. Needing to constantly switch between two languages leads to improved executive functioning of the brain and cognitive processes such as problem solving, mental flexibility, paying attention and task switching. Students who study additional languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading and vocabulary.
Find out more about the new programme and classes by attending the upcoming Open House on Wednesday May 28 at 9am. It will take place at CIS’s Lakeside Campus on 7 Jurong West Street 41. Register for the session here (spaces are limited). For more info, visit the CIS website or contact the Admissions Team.