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  • Writer's pictureVéronique

What Does A Bilingual Classroom Look Like?

Updated: Nov 14, 2023


What does a bilingual classroom look like?
What does a bilingual classroom look like?

Fred Genesee, professor of psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, an expert in bilingual research, tells us that:

  • “All children are capable of learning two languages in childhood”

  • “Bilingual acquisition is a common and normal childhood experience”

  • “Bilingual acquisition is facilitated if children have sustained, rich, and varied experiences in both languages”

In our Toddler’s classroom, English and French language are spoken in complement of each other. We do not “translate”, we scaffold on building vocabulary.

For example, the child can be playing with cars and the interaction with the teachers will go:

– “Are you playing with the car?” (tu joues a la voiture?)

– “tu fais rouler la voiture…” (you are rolling your car…)

– “it’s rolling on the shelf…” (elle roule sur l’étagère…)

– “la voiture est rouge…” (the car is red…)

The goal is to provide as much vocabulary in both languages around the same concept, so that fluency and understanding is built at the same time.

For the same reason, nursery rhymes and poetry are selected based on their cultural relevance and a common subject. They echo each other’s while retaining their specificity.


Interested in visiting The French Académie of Minnetonka?

We offer a high-quality french immersion daycare and preschool in a play-based structured learning environment for children 18 months - 6 years. Our students not only benefit from the priceless gift of a second language, but also weekly forest school, Montessori activities and practical life skills, Reggio Emilia creative project explorations, steam and cultural learning in our on-site learning kitchen, and musical engagement that is built into our curriculum alongside weekly piano lessons offered to our preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students.

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