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Bilingual education develops essential skills for living and creates a broad range of career pathways in a global society.
South Australia’s first French Bilingual/Binational Program was established in 2017 with strong international ties to France to deliver a world class education.
The program is being progressively implemented across Highgate School and Unley High School and will deliver a continuous reception to year 10 French Bilingual/Binational Program by 2022. Students participating in the program learn from the combined French National curriculum and Australian Curriculum.
These schools are part of the Australian Association of French English Bilingual Schools (AAFEBS).
Watch this video to hear about the French Bilingual/Binational Program.
French Bilingual Binational Program video transcript
We're very excited to have engaged in a very strong international context and direction and the French bilingual program's integral to that.
The other benefit we have is that we are a direct feeder school for Unley High and many of our students have traditionally gone to Unley High and they have a continuation of the French bilingual programme.
The IB that we are commencing will feed into the IB Diploma there for those children who are looking at that pathway for the future. What we know about our second language learners is that it changes their learning, not just for language but it changes their learning for everything else. How the brain develops and how the brain works to decode and learn new things. It’s a huge advantage for students to stay with a language.
It is cool because you learn to read, write, and speak in French at school.
I like learning French because the teachers help us in French and how they help us in a fun way. It's not just games, there’s other stuff but that's fun too!
We use a harmonised curriculum which means that for the French language classes, they are aligned with the English Australian curriculum. The students have the skills and knowledge to be able to enter in to Unley.
The Australian pedagogy is excellent, and the French content is excellent as well and they marry the two together. If you do not practice a language, even if it is your mother tongue, you will lose it.
It allows them to maintain the language but also the culture. They are very supportive when we have a problem, we can always ask them, they help us with everything. It gives us a lot of opportunities and for me, it’s something that is part of who I am. French helps with a lot of other things because it’s an international language like English. For me, it will help a lot in the future if I want to go back to France or get a job somewhere in Europe. It will help a lot for talking with people and for more career opportunities.
The unique side to it for us is that we have children come into the programme who do not have to speak French. So their families obviously are non-French speaking and we have a host of resources to support them to do that.
We are doing some of the exams like the DELF so they do have accreditation when they go back. If they stay in Australia and stay to do senior school here with us, they’ve got a couple of options. One of course is SACE. That gains them entry to any of the Australian Universities. If they want to, they can also now pick up the IB Diploma, the International Baccalaureate. Those students come out with qualifications to go to any university.
We've participated in bilingual concerts, French food day. Students also organise and deliver bilingual assemblies.
The little ones, so they loved having the senior school students with them, and for out students as well, in middle school and high school, so senior school, they absolutely loved being a role model. I think it is a great challenge for me and my future. The fact that it is a Diploma that is respected by other countries. I think that it gives me an advantage, for the ideas that I have for going overseas.
It's really the child who's at the centre of the learning experience. It’s about engaging with the learning and also about learning by experimenting, rather than being told what the answers are.
[End of transcript].