When my kids were really little, we introduced them to the French language through informal community classes, regular engagement at home and videos found on YouTube. For their toddler years, this was great and served as a wonderful foundation for the language, however, when the time came to send them to school, our language options were drastically reduced.
We live in Sydney, and while there are many schools that do offer in-school language instruction, most kids only have one language to choose from and if it’s not the one you have introduced, it gets tricky maintaining it. Unfortunately for our kids, we didn’t have the option to continue with French as the kid's school only teaches Italian.
While it may be a while before we start to see schools introduce multiple languages in schools, I am excited to see that there has been an increase in the introduction of full immersion language schools – which would make a huge difference in how quickly a child would acquire a language.
This week saw the announcement of a new Italian bilingual school, Marco Polo College in Bossley Park that is set to serve the Sydney south-west multicultural communities. The President of CNA-Italian Australian Services Giovanni Testa said: “The College represents an extraordinary effort to revitalise and involve young families, particularly those of Italian Australian descent, through quality bilingual education.”
Marco Polo College is expected to commence operations in two years. “It will be a school for children of every background,” added Mr Testa, “where targeted educational programs are able to provide students with the required skills to fulfil the linguistic and cultural challenges of a globalised economy.”
While this is a fantastic addition for those who live in the Western Sydney area, we’ve included a list of other Sydney based schools that also offer full immersion programs around the city.
What language are you currently teaching your little one, and do language offerings affect which school you would like to send your child to?
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