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ultiple studies have shown that the optimum period for children to learn more than one language is from birth to the age of six years old. It is what Dr Maria Montessori terms the ‘sensitive period’ and is strongly advocated by many academics including Professor Victoria Murphy of Oxford University.

Having been found to stimulate brain development, bilingual education promotes mental agility and focused attention.
Benefits include:
Faster cognitive processing
Greater mental capacity and memory
Sharper problem solving and multitasking skills
Better maths, reading, and vocabulary skills
Wider choice of career opportunities

A Totally Immersive Environment

“I’m a strong advocate for teaching children a second language at the earliest possible age, but we have to be careful how we do this. Spending just 45 minutes each week will limit our outcomes.”

-Victoria Murphy

Professor of Applied Linguistics,
Oxford University

ontrary to what people may believe, it takes no additional effort for a child to learn more than one language. With an absorbent mind, they are fully capable of easily distinguishing between them. Guided by a native French or English directress a child is totally immersed in the language, providing an authentic learning experience.
Integrated as part of their everyday life, they rapidly start to relate words to their activities and social interactions with the directresses and other children. It is a natural way to learn and allows them to perfect the accent and nuances of each language.

Prepared for a Multicultural World

“Language feeds the brain and links us to our family, our community and our friends.”

-National Literacy Trust

eing able to express ideas in multiple languages builds a child’s confidence and positions them well for life in the rich, multicultural world we live in.
Given that France is so close to the Channel Islands, it makes perfect sense that this language should be part of their learning experience.
As a parent, providing an early opportunity for your child to flourish in dual languages provides greater opportunities in academia, career and social settings. Combined with Montessori principles, a bilingual approach encourages aptitude for creative and independent thinking – valuable skills that a child can carry with them throughout their life.

Bilingual FAQs

Will it overwhelm my child to learn another language at such an early age?
Quite the opposite. There is no better time to learn a second language because it is easy for children to absorb all the nuances and distinguish between languages – much easier in fact than when they are older. This is backed up by research. Children also gain many long-term cognitive, social and career benefits too.
What age is best for my child to learn languages?
As young as possible. It is perfectly fine for your child to experience more than one language right from birth. However, most children will start between the ages of two and four years old.
Will it confuse my child?
What surprises many parents is that their child is totally capable of learning several languages at the same time. The key is consistency. That is why at The Bilingual Montessori School of Jersey our French directresses will only speak to your child in French and likewise, our English directresses will only speak in English. That is the one important rule that we always follow.
Do we need to speak in both languages at home?
If one parent is English and the other parent is French, it is a good idea to maintain the experience in the home environment. This means the French parent would only speak French to their child and the English parent would only speak in English. The parents can speak in either language to each other.
In addition to building the parent-child relationship, it also builds the language and cultural aspects which is an important part of the connection you have with your child.
Where dual-language is not possible in the home (i.e. you both speak English), there is still a great deal your child will benefit from in terms of developing their cognitive, memory, problem-solving and decision-making skills.

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