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2017 marks the official beginning of the Bilingual Program at BSPS. It is a journey that has seen us experiment with various approaches, deepening our understandings and developing teacher capacity to achieve best practice. Countless models exist when teaching in bilingual settings.

At BSPS, Italian is the medium we use to deliver the Victorian Curriculum to all students from Foundation to Year 6. We use Italian 100% of the time in our Italian lessons. These include Literacy, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability, and Science.

At BSPS we believe that it is our responsibility to do whatever it takes to make individual success a reality.  We only use the best educational practices, all of which are founded on scientifically-based research. Studies shows us that, regardless of your child’s ability, learning another language can:

• Stimulate brain development Learning through language helps develop essential areas of children’s brains. It also helps them to think more creatively, connect ideas and solve problems more easily.

•  Significantly enhance English literacy skills Learning through language means more than just memorising lists of words.  Languages all use different systems. Children automatically compare and contrast the system of the new language they are learning with the language that they already know. This gives them insight as to how English works, which can then accelerate their ability to read and write.

•  Improve memory, concentration and numeracy skills Learning through language strengthens children’s memory for sequences and their ability to concentrate and build connections.

•  Improve overall performance at school Learning another language is associated with excellent, long-term academic results. Studies show that in the world’s highest-performing school systems, all students in all year levels learn one or more languages.

•  Encourage respect and understanding of other cultures Our Bilingual Program is strongly supported by both the school and Italian communities.  It allows the students’ first language and Italian to work in partnership to strengthen and enrich their repertoire of literacy practices – in other words, what we learn in one language helps us with any other languages we encounter.

This short film is an introduction to the CLIL and explores the journey of four schools, including BSPS, that were trialing this methodology in the Victorian context.

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Further information
Promoting Languages in the Curriculum

The conversation.com ‘Speaking in tongues: the many benefits of bilingualism’