Bilingual education provides many benefits to students, including increasing their
exposure to language
linguistic and subject knowledge and skills
capacity to think conceptually and take differing perspectives
intercultural knowledge, appreciation of and respect for other cultures.
Bilingual programs exist where there is either a large cohort of students with the same language background or when families want and can afford the program.
The main challenges with implementing bilingual programs are employing suitable teachers, employment costs, and scheduling classes.
Qualified teachers, familiar with the bilingual approach and with a high level of competence in both languages, are essential to a successful program.
Assuming class sizes of 25, a school needs one bilingual teacher for every 50 students.
Students attend classes in the main language of instruction for half of each week and in the target language for the other half. This involves a change of classroom and teacher.
Throughout the week, all students continue to learn the regular curriculum, which is delivered in both languages.