Bilingualism

We define bilingualism as the ability to express oneself in French or in English, orally or in writing, with native ease and compelling effectiveness. This ambitious goal opens the doors of top universities around the world and enable our alumni to live, study, work and excel anywhere in the world. The native command of the nuances of both languages demands a rigorous early learning program as well as need-based support for students who join the School along the way. From inception, Ecole Jeannine Manuel has focused on the teaching and learning of languages in a bilingual context. Our methods rely on structured language immersion and student engagement.

For young EFL children (English as a Foreign Language, i.e. non-English speakers), the School uses the interactive audiovisual Knock-Knock™ method from Kindergarten through 4th grade. This method, developed by Jeannine Manuel, is based on storytelling with the vocabulary and syntax used by native English speakers in the same age groups. EMT children (English Mother Tongue) follow a school-based native English speaker program using American and British teaching resources. Finally, ESL children (English as a Second Language) follow an intermediate-level curriculum conceived to bring them to EMT proficiency as soon as possible.

All teachers are native speakers educated in English-speaking countries. As such, they also contribute the pedagogical perspectives of their countries of origin.

By the end of Primary School, students can use English as a working language across academic disciplines. At that point, when the language grounding is in place, teaching is shared equally in French and in English. In 5th grade, each class has two teachers, one English speaker and one French speaker, who share the curriculum. Hence, for example, Mathematics, History and Geography are taught in both languages and students benefit from a carefully coordinated dual teaching approach.

In Middle School, Science is taught in English and follows an inquiry-based science curriculum conceived at School. History and Geography are also taught in English in 6th and 7th grade. After that, History and Geography are taught both in French and in English and students benefit from both perspectives. The two teachers work closely together to ensure a coherent treatment of historical themes.

Through bilingualism, two educational cultures come into contact, two ways of teaching and assessing students, two ways of approaching subjects, and arguably, two fundamental approaches to education.

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