Bilingualism

What is a dual-immersion international experience?

Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS) offers a comprehensive education structured to promote an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and nations. This 'multilingual international experience' begins with the enrollment of the child and becomes a lifelong learning process. Parents frequently remark on how our school environment shifts a child's worldview. The aims of the 'multi lingual international experience' are two-fold: firstly, children develop a curiosity and passion for both the second language and the culture in which it is spoken; secondly, children gain the ability to think and communicate in two (or more) languages. Within this environment, bilingualism, along with a genuine understanding and appreciation of internationalism are achieved with ease.

What are the benefits of bilingualism?

Children acquire oral and written fluency in two languages, and carry that functional ability across the entire Montessori curriculum. They become familiar and comfortable with Eastern and Western customs and traditions, and can operate successfully in both worlds.

We are not native speakers of English. Shouldn't our child be concentrating on learning English?

Our dual immersion approach allows students to become proficient speakers, readers and writers in both English and the second language. Maintaining their link to their country and culture of origin enhances their education as well as their understanding of themselves and their place in the world.

We speak Chinese or Japanese at home. Why should we consider a bilingual program?

At PRINTS, children develop fluency in speaking, reading, and writing in two languages; they learn to express their thoughts and ideas across academic disciplines. While dedicated parents may be able to 'home-school' the parents' language(s), the students benefit greatly from our dual immersion environment as they receive constant input in two languages and engage in meaningful practices.

Particularly after the age of 6, most students in the U.S. begin to speak only English when it is the medium of instruction. Our dual immersion model continues to strengthen their language skills throughout the entire curriculum and enables them to experience the integration of language with content. Hence, they are able to conduct research, and express their understanding of concepts and ideas bilingually.

We speak neither Chinese nor Japanese. Why should we consider a bilingual program?

Our non-bilingual parents choose a multicultural, bilingual environment for their children for a variety of reasons. Some are committed to assist foreign-born adopted children in maintaining a connection to their birth culture and language. Others see the benefits of bilingualism in assisting brain development and preparing their children to meet the increasing need for multi- lingual and multi-cultural participants in the world.

Can a child from an English-speaking home really become bilingual at PRINTS?

Every child has the ability to acquire more than one language. However, the process varies with the individual and with the home environment. PRINTS provides an optimal environment, where native speakers help support and enhance the child's ability and interest in the acquisition of the second language.