Bilingual learning

Bilingual learning

At CSi, English is the primary language of instruction whilst Portuguese is maintained at grade level proficiency for native speakers and taught as an additional language for non-native speakers.

The ultimate instructional goal is the attainment of appropriate levels of proficiency in the two languages, taking into account those variables, as stated above, which affect language acquisition and development. 

One advantage of this approach is that it promotes an appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity. CSi students transcend their own cultural boundaries to become international and independent thinkers and communicators. CSi also values bi/multilingualism among its students for the educational and professional opportunities it may open up for them in a global community.

In the classroom:

  • In Language class ONLY the language being taught should be talked by the teacher and pupils;
  • Through classroom environment and strategies which provide comprehensible input, such as:
    • Relating new material to students’ life experiences;
    • Drawing attention to key specialist vocabulary;
    • Using a variety of assessment tools and implementing interactive group activities in an integrated curriculum;
    • Making high-level academic content instructionally comprehensible (through the use of contextualisation strategies such as gestures, visual aids, maps, graphs, manipulatives, drama, and songs);
    • Creating classroom environments that are discourse-rich and process-oriented (plentiful opportunities for students to listen, read, speak, and write through interactive strategies).
  •  Through instructional strategies which specifically support content-based language learning:
    • We teach students to use active and experiential learning strategies appropriate for linguistically and cognitively diverse students.
    • We use specific instructional strategies for different kinds of learners and take into account their different backgrounds.
    • We teach and model language-learning strategies (metacognitive, cognitive, and affective) to enable students to become self-directed and self-regulated learners.
    • We integrate language instruction with content instruction (explicit attention is given to the syntactic and semantic features of language in the design of lessons).
    • We teach aspects of speech, word forms, language structures, discourse and writing conventions explicitly or in the form of pop up grammar as outlined in the language scope and sequence.
    • We consider holistic performance more significant than knowledge of discrete linguistic items (i.e. what students can do over what they have memorised).
    • We systematically keep track of the language acquisition of all students and use this knowledge to help students overcome difficulties and facilitate progress.