Language learning from a young age

Posted on 8th Oct 2020 in School News, United Kingdom, Language Learning

Collège Français Bilingue de Londres is the meeting point of two teaching cultures

Learning a language is rewarding in so many respects, opening up new ways of communicating and seeing the world, and providing a deeper understanding of other values, beliefs and customs. In a globally connected world, it is now essential to acquire the mental flexibility to move seamlessly between languages and cultures. At CFBL, our students are accustomed to doing so from a young age, as they work with two teachers (one native French speaker, one native English speaker) throughout primary school, switching from one language to another halfway through the week. CFBL’s teaching is bicultural in addition to being bilingual, as our English-speaking and French-speaking teachers use different methods and practices which enrich the classroom experience. CFBL is therefore the meeting point of two teaching cultures, bringing students the best of both worlds.

Studies have shown that bilingual learners have better detail-oriented focus, improved problem-solving skills, enhanced mental multitasking ability, strengthened memory, as well as heightened social skills and awareness. Our experience is also that the ability to speak a second language makes it easier to acquire additional languages. Students can start studying Mandarin from Year 5, German or Spanish from Year 7, Latin from Year 8, and Greek from Year 9. Foreign exchange programmes with partner schools in Germany and Spain enable them to practise their language skills outside the classroom with their peers and gain further insights into other cultures. With over 35 nationalities represented in the student body, and teachers from dozens of countries around the world, CFBL students are immersed in a truly multicultural experience on a daily basis, fostering tolerance and openness to others that will serve them well throughout their studies and in their future careers.

We welcome beginners in French up to Year 7, with intensive support classes throughout primary school and a “fast-track French” programme in Year 7. Beginners in English are welcome at all levels, and will be given personalised support.

This article first appeared in John Catt's Guide to International Schools 2020/21, which you can view in full here: