IS offers a dual-language programme from Grande Section/ Year 1 until CM2/ Year 6. Throughout the world, there are many different forms of dual-language programmes that take into account the language needs of the local population and that aim to create bilingual learners. In TIS, the type of dual-language programme is called 90/10 and it is progressive. This means that English is the priority language in the early years, with an increasing input of French as children progress throughout the primary years until in CM1/Year 5 all children receive 50% English and 50% French instruction in the academic subjects.
90/10 dual-language programmes are also called two-way immersion programmes. This means that both the mother-tongue language of children and the target language are supported. In TIS, English is the target language and French is the mother-tongue that is supported.
Research has proven that children who remain within a dual-language programme for between 4-7 years become fully bilingual. Concretely, this means that within this time, most children will have the ability to speak, read and write fluently in both English and French and to at least the same academic level as a monolingual child (1). Verbal skills within two-way immersion programmes occur earlier, with research showing oral competency in the target language within two years (2).
- 1. Wayne P. Thomas and Virginia P. Collier (2003) The Multiple Benefits of Dual Language, Educational Leadership.
- 2. Cummins, J. (1993) Bilingualism and Second Language Learning, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 13: 51-70
- Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey (2001) Raising Multilingual Children, Bergin and Garvey: London
- Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey (2008) Living Languages, Praeger Publishers: London