The project of Mimosa Bilingual Project in few words
Bilingual teaching is an enriched proposal, because two languages and two cultures blend into a school experience which is unique and of high quality. Children learn how to interact in two languages and in two or more cultures, because bilingual teaching aims at achieving not only the linguistic competence, but also a solid education and an awareness of differing cultures. Languages are taught and practiced for all subjects included in the curriculum, which at the same time follows the Italian school programme and the British Council’s.
In bilingual teaching programmes, lessons are taught in two languages by native speaker teachers, trained and adequately prepared, and according to the basic rule of bilingualism: 1 language = 1 person.
At school, children live in an English-speaking environment: they listen to English all day long, and are encouraged to speak their mind in English. Nevertheless, in no circumstances are they obliged to speak English before they feel ready and confident enough to do so. Due to the children’s innate curiosity and their strong desire to communicate, the linguistic development process becomes much easier.
NOT ONLY TWO LANGUAGES: Bilingual teaching offers not only the advantage of teaching English in a natural and entertaining way for children, but it also represents an enriched educational proposal based on two main factors: cultural and cognitive development.
Therefore, the chosen method is the so-called two-way bilingual education, through which children receive teachings both in Italian and in English, in a language development scheme of 50/50. English and Italian thus become two integrated channels to learn linguistic skills (such as reading, writing, and speaking), while their common skills (alphabet, spelling, and mostly reading) is enhanced in both languages and in an integrated way thanks to the coordination of each class’ two teachers of reference.
Italian lessons are only in Italian, while English lessons are only in English. Therefore, language and content learning are passed on by following the LEARNING BY DOING method: English is learnt by speaking, and children are encouraged to learn through a cross-curricular approach which includes the following subjects: literacy, history, geography and social studies. SCIENCE is taught ONLY in English.
The Mimosa Bilingual School’s goal is for children to take part in lessons in a valuable way, and to have the space and opportunities to not only speak their mind in the foreign language but to also work on peer-to-peer activities while receiving clear confirmation of their improvement from both their schoolmates and their teachers.