EFI Brussels is a unique bilingual school : French and English. At the end of their schooling, our pupils will be able to speak and write idiomatically in both languages.
- 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. In the 21st century, mastering English has become essential. 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.
Why choose multilingual teaching?
At EFI Brussels, pupils get used to learning with several teachers and switching from one language to another from a very early age. They develop various skills and the ability to adapt, a valuable asset for their life in school and their future.
Numerous studies show that bilingual students benefit from:
- A greater ability to deal with several subjects simultaneously
- Better attention to detail
- A well-trained memory
- Stronger social skills
Multilingual learning also promotes the stimulation of cultural and intellectual construction. It prepares them for a successful career in Belgium or anywhere else in the world.
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 (3 years old).
Many people are not aware that small children can distinguish all sound frequencies. Sound varies a great deal from one language to another, but from the age of 7 or 8 this ability slowly begins to decrease. Moreover, small children are usually straightforward and extremely spontaneous. After a period of adjustment, young children talk more willingly as they are less worried about making mistakes, an extremely valuable asset for language learning. After only a few months, they will gain in enjoyment and self-confidence, both essential elements in education.
In both kindergarten and elementary schools, the teaching is bilingual : 50% French, 50% English. From CP onwards, in order to guarantee a perfect mastery of the fundamental subjects of the French school curriculum, special attention is given to learning to read and write in French. This learning can lead the teacher to offer personalized support and guidance formulas that allow each of our students to achieve the academic objectives of our school in both French and English.
NATIVE SPEAKING TEACHERS WORKING IN TEAMS OF 2
Language classes are given by native speaking teachers who have studied and taught in their country of origin. Linguistic authenticity is key for teaching rhythm and intonation and to ensure the good development of pronunciation and oral comprehension.
Each class has three teachers who work together closely:
- A head teacher who teaches in French
- A English-speaking teacher
The two teachers occasionally work in co-intervention. This means that both of them are simultaneously present in the classroom. This system requires the time schedules to be finely designed to avoid overloading school days and over-layering language classes.
EFI Brussels is thus at the crossroads of three teaching cultures. Among the teaching trio, the French teachers steers the coordination as he/she is responsible for the proper conduct of the programs.
A RIGOROUS PROGRAM THAT PLACES ACTIVE LEARNING METHODS AT ITS CENTER
With Bilingual education, the articulation between language learning and disciplinary knowledge acquisition is essential. Students thus learn “English” as well as “in English”.
- In preschool, the majority of the pedagogical animation is centered around playful and interactive sequences that place pupils in an active role (doing) with success (realizing that I have succeeded) : games, songs, manipulation of objects, staging...
- The study of Reading and Writing in English starts when Reading and Writing are first mastered in French (i.e. during Year 1). The transfer to English then happens smoothly.
- From Year 2 to Year 5, the hourly volume dedicated to English further increases. Our teachers use a well-recognized program (The English National Curriculum).
- In Secondary School, students acquire the subtleties of the English language and are encouraged to write creatively, developing a deeper connection with the language, as it becomes a tool for expressing their imagination (“Whole Language” method).
At EFI Brussels, we use a skills and aptitudes booklet that takes into account the Bilingual specificity of the school. However, to ensure students acquire all the necessary fundamental knowledge of the French National Programs, the French teacher does a specific individual follow-up focused on the acquisition of fundamental written and oral skills in French.
GROUPS ADAPTED TO THE LEVEL OF PUPILS
On the basis of the tests taken during the admission process and during the school year, students are placed into groups, adapted to their level and progress. There are 3 levels for English : Starter / Intermediate / Flyer NB : For pupils integrating EFI Brussels in Year 3, a minimum level of English is required. At beginner level, students will be asked to take part in an intensive course (the week before class begin in September) and to the English workshop “Let’s Take Off!” on Wednesday afternoons.
The school constantly creates bridges between languages and cultures with educational and collaborative projects or extracurricular activities in three languages.
PREPARATION OF LANGUAGE CERTIFICATIONS
All our students prepare the international language certifications. These language tests, recognized by the CECRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), evaluate the student’s level and more importantly add value to their school curriculum ahead of university orientation.
At the end of elementary school, pupils prepare language certifications in French and English:
- English: Young Learners English Tests
Later, during their secondary studies (junior high school and high school), our students will continuously prepare language certifications for which they will receive the best training at the school:
- English: KET, PET, FCE, CAE, IELTS, TOEFL
- Dutch (reprendre logo site)