In preschool through fifth grade, all of the traditional subjects—language arts, science, social studies, math—are taught IN Spanish. MIS students learn the content of a primary grades curriculum while they also learn a second language.
Benefits of Bilingualism
MIS preschool through first grade students are taught exclusively in Spanish. Thus, at an early age our students learn a second language much the same way they learn their first—by hearing and seeing it used in a natural setting. This method, known as language immersion, benefits children academically and socially while preparing them for the global reality of their future lives: “In addition to reaping the social and economic advantages of bilingualism, immersion learners benefit cognitively, exhibiting greater non-verbal problem solving abilities and more flexible thinking.”
- Learning through multiple languages promotes greater appreciation and understanding of the world, while helping to develop global citizens and lifelong learners.
- Language learning is taught in meaningful and enjoyable contexts, so, students are able to make connections, apply their learning and transfer their conceptual understandings to new situations.
- All teachers are responsible for language development of students and whenever possible language is taught within the context of the unit of inquiry.
- Language is involved in all learning that goes on in a PYP or MYP classroom and is considered an essential vehicle for inquiry and construction of meaning.
- Students are motivated to learn the additional language when they have a sense of academic accomplishment and of increasing competence in using the additional language for communicative purposes.
- Language acquisition in the additional language is considered as a developmental and continuous process where students build on prior knowledge and skills to progress on the next phase of language.
- The Program of Inquiry and MYP unit planners provide an authentic, relevant and engaging context for our students to develop and use language critically.
- In the PYP and MYP teachers collaboratively plan unit weaving language objectives into all parts of the curriculum.
- MIS teachers embrace each student’s individuality and commit to teaching practices that guide each individual toward a confident level of oral and written proficiency in the additional language.
- Language is learned in a context, and proficiency in languages is seen as a process that occurs through years of practice. Thus, errors are indicators of the learners’ efforts for mastering linguistic forms of the language.
Formal English instruction begins in second grade so that ultimately our students gain proficiency in two languages as they learn to understand, speak, read, write and think in Spanish and English. By learning a second language at school, MIS students begin to experience the multiple perspectives present in the world and find even more ways of communicating with people from other backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities.