GIST – Benefits of Bilingualism

“Bilingualism is a gift which you can give to your child.”

BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM

The German School in Toronto helps children learn German and English from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8.

There is plenty of scientific evidence regarding bilingualism, all showing that there are far-reaching and long-lasting brain benefits to learning a second language in childhood.

Additionally, the ability to speak more than one language fluently and navigate effortlessly between two cultures can translate into a wealth of personal and professional opportunities. This is of significant importance, since the world grows more connected every day.

We would like to offer some details on the benefits of bilingualism:

Bilingualism and the brain

  • Bilingual brains have denser grey matter. Denser grey matter correlates to increased memory and language ability.
  • Bilingual brains show increased skill in planning and problem-solving.
  • Being bilingual from childhood delays the onset of age-related dementia.

 Bilingualism and academic excellence

  • Bilingual children overcome academic disadvantages, which may be experienced at a younger age, quickly and outperform their monolingual peers with the beginning of grade 6.
  • Bilingual children learn a third language more easily.

Bilingual children feel better

  • Bilingual children have lower levels of anxiety and loneliness and enjoy higher self-esteem.
  • Bilingual children can more easily make friends who speak the child’s second language.

Resources on Bilingualism:

BILINGUAL EDUCATION AT GIST

Internationally relevant education and multilingualism are at the very core of our mission. Our families and faculty form an open-minded, international community, in which our students grow and learn in a friendly and warm-hearted atmosphere.

The Kindergarten and Pre-K are fully bilingual in German and English. Our educators are native English and German speakers who interact solely in their native language while with the group. We offer phonetic programs in both languages. As a result, our children are confident and proficient language users who are ready for school at the end of senior kindergarten. 

Elementary school (Grades 1-4) emphasises on the German language. In grades 1 and 2, German is the primary language of instruction. The increased German instruction time is accompanied by a strong English program focusing on oral communication, reading, writing and media literacy. French becomes part of the timetable starting in grade 3.

With the start of Grade 5, the school offers its students a fully bilingual setting in English and German, interlinked with a strong accent français. History, Geography, Social Studies and Ethics as well as Music are taught in English.

The After School Program places the focus on the German language, thus giving the students an additional opportunity to further improve their German language skills.

Since 2021 we offer an improved and qualitative three-step German language program to meet the different demands and learning levels of our students. Our aim is to ensure that children with no knowledge of German can also attend our school and that we support students at beginner and advanced levels. For more information about our language program, please take a closer look.

If you are interested in further details regarding Bilingualism or our program, we are happy to meet and speak with you.