FAQ’s about the Bilingual Programs at CIS
- What are the Bilingual Programs at CIS and how do I enrol my child?
CIS is proud to have offered our French Bilingual (French/English) Program since August, 2015. We are also implementing a Mandarin Bilingual Program (Mandarin/English) starting August 2019. All students from Grade 1 (6 years old) and up who demonstrate an interest and aptitude in learning French or Mandarin are eligible for the program. Students learn in French or Mandarin for over 10 hours a week (40%).
Along with our Bilingual Programs, French and Mandarin Language courses are offered to all students who wish to learn French or Mandarin from the age of three and up. Our program allows everyone to progress at their own pace. This helps students recognize their own strengths and areas that need to be strengthened. Cooperation, autonomy, and individual progression of learning are all objectives of our program.
If students wish to enrol in our bilingual programs, our qualified instructors will conduct a quick assessment of the child’s language level and whether the French or Mandarin Bilingual Program would be suitable for them.
- What subjects are offered in the Bilingual Programs?
At CIS, we teach science, social studies, health classes and, of course, French-language or Mandarin-language courses for our Bilingual Programs.
Students in the Bilingual Program have the advantage of following the Canadian curriculum while improving their language skills in French or Mandarin. This represents 120 minutes per day of instruction, or about 40% of instruction time; which is why our students improve their language skills very quickly.
- What are the benefits of enrolling my child in the Bilingual Program?
We keep our classes small, allowing our teachers to focus on French or Mandarin as a meta-cognitive tool, not only as a communicative and linguistic tool. We encourage learning through discovery and projects while using state-of-the-art teaching tools (inverted classroom, laptops, tablets and interactive whiteboards). We know children learn in different ways and at different paces; we practice differentiated instruction to respect different styles of learning and enable our students to reach their full potential.
- Do you offer other programs for my child to learn French or Mandarin without being in the Bilingual Program?
CIS offers specific French or Mandarin language option courses to students from 3 years old, preparing them effectively for the Bilingual Program (if they choose to enrol). With these as an option, students learn in French or Mandarin for up to 4 hours a week.
From 2017 and on, our students will have the opportunity to challenge the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) to have their language level officially certified in French.
- Who teaches your Bilingual Program and your language classes?
Our French team is made up of 3 French teachers from Canada and France and a Cambodian teaching assistant who is fluent in French and studied at the French Institute in Phnom Penh. They are committed to educating students and their families about the richness of French culture and its diversity.
We have already seen a number of students from non-French-speaking families able to speak fluently in French in just a few years.
Our Mandarin team is made of up fluent, qualified Mandarin instructors who teach the Mandarin language classes and the Mandarin Bilingual Program. Our Mandarin Bilingual instructors are fully qualified to teach the Canadian curriculum to our students in Mandarin with the help of a Mandarin-speaking teaching assistant.
- Have any students from CIS gone on to study French or Mandarin elsewhere?
We are very proud of two students who are continuing their schooling in Quebec, Canada and have chosen to continue their studies in French; a perfect example of the transition and integration of Francophone culture.
As our Mandarin Bilingual Program is new (from 2019), we are excited to see how this program will help students with their Mandarin and where it will take them in their future!
- What else should I know about the Bilingual Programs and language options at CIS?
Every year, we celebrate the language options at CIS through various events bringing together our school community. Our language assembly prepared by our students, is an opportunity for them to share their interest in these programs with the entire CIS community.
Our French students are constantly interacting with our partner school, École Française Internationale (EFI). This allows students to practice their French frequently, learn more about the French culture, and allows us to organize learning times in common.
Our school library has an impressive selection of books in French and Mandarin; we believe in the importance of expanding our library each year. At CIS we learn in different languages and read them too!