The EFI Brussels offers a bilingual education, alternating between instruction in French and English. In both nursery and primary school, an equal amount of teaching is carried out in both languages. More specifically, this means that our pupils are able to express themselves in these two languages, both orally and in writing, and, in turn, fully understand their socio-cultural dimensions and behavioural codes, by the time they complete their education with us.
- French is our main language and academic reference. French is also the language used for communication, and accounts for more than half of the teaching time. Pupils are mainly assessed on the French language as it constitutes the foundation of our curriculum in primary and high school.
- English is our second language. English is an important asset for our pupils as today, as it is the world’s language of communication.
Each of these two languages is a founder of identity and a bearer of values for our school, which has placed bilingual education at the heart of its educational project and has designed a program based on immersion, progressiveness, decompartmentalisation and active pedagogies.
EARLY AND DAILY TEACHING OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
In addition to French, EFI Brussels has chosen to start teaching English from the first year of preschool (2.5 years old).
Young children are able to hear all sound frequencies, which vary considerably between languages. Children also tend to make things straightforward and are very spontaneous. In addition, they are less fearful of making mistakes, and, in turn, more willing to give things a go – a priceless asset in language learning.
Whether in class, or through educational projects or extra-curricular activities, the school is constantly building bridges between languages and cultures.
NATIVE SPEAKING TEACHERS WORKING IN TEAMS OF 2
Lessons are taught by native-speaking and qualified teachers. The linguistic authenticity of our teachers facilitates the teaching of the rhythms, intonation and idiomatic expressions specific to each language. Each class has two teachers, a native French speaker and a native English speaker, who work in full coordination with each other. The French speaker coordinates the teaching of the French curriculum across the two languages. Pupils not only learn English, but also in English, through total immersion in both languages.
Fun and interactive learing are at the heart of our teaching programme, placing pupils in the thick of the action (doing) and at the centre of their success (acknowledging what they have achieved): games, songs, handling objects, performances, etc. Pupils are not taught to read and write in English until they have mastered both of these skills in French (CP, Year 2). Nevertheless, their transition to English takes place very quickly. Other French curriculum subjects, such as Science, Maths and the Arts, will then also be taught in English, with our native-speaking teachers drawing on all their expertise and employing the methods they have adopted in the English-speaking world.
Preparing for international language certifications
Our pupils prepare for benchmark language certifications throughout the course of their secondary education. Compliant with the CECRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), these language exams objectively measure their proficiency and, more importantly, highlight the fact that their educational experience has been geared towards university studies. At the end of primary school, some pupils prepare for English certifications: Young Learners English Tests.
Our pupils go on to study a third foreign language as part of our secondary education programme, preparing for language certifications in the best way possible.