GIST – Benefits of Bilingualism
“Bilingualism is a gift which you can give to your child.”
BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM
Welcome to the German International School Toronto! We believe in the power of bilingualism and offer German and English language education from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 10. Research shows that learning a second language in childhood can provide lifelong benefits for the brain, personal growth, and career opportunities.
Here are some of the benefits of bilingualism:
- Bilingualism and the brain: bilingual brains have denser grey matter which improves memory and language skills. Bilingual individuals also have increased problem-solving skills and delay the onset of age-related dementia.
- Bilingualism and academic excellence: bilingual children can overcome academic disadvantages and outperform their monolingual peers by grade 6. They also have an easier time learning a third language.
- Bilingualism and personal growth: bilingual children have lower levels of anxiety, loneliness, and higher self-esteem. They can also make friends more easily who speak their second language.
Resources on Bilingualism:
- TED Talk: The benefits of a bilingual brain — Mia Nacamuli
- 6 Potential Brain Benefits of Bilingual Education — NPR, Anya Kamenetz
- The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals — New York Times, Katherine Kinzler
BILINGUAL EDUCATION AT GIST
At the German International School Toronto, we prioritize internationally relevant education and multilingualism. Our kindergarten and Pre-K programs are fully bilingual in German and English, with native-speaking educators providing phonetic programs in both languages. In Elementary school (Grades 1-4) the focus is on German, as this 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. By grade 5, we offer a fully bilingual setting in English and German, with additional French instruction. Our after-school program focuses on improving German language skills.