Our plan to open a Mandarin bilingual Children’s House responds to a growing interest in bilingual AMI Montessori education around the world says Michel Capobianco, Head of School.
There is much research on the benefits of bilingual education which include better communication skills and improved cognitive functioning. The chance for the children to engage in a bilingual environment day-to-day allows them to build a foundation in understanding and speaking another language during a period of development in which they are absorbing language with impressive ease.
From this September, our Children’s House for two to six-year-olds in Notting Hill in West London will become a bilingual Mandarin school – the first AMI Montessori Mandarin Bilingual Programme in the UK. British Council research conducted as part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme showed that Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world and one of the most important languages for the future. The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) has strong links and experience in China where AMI training courses have been offered since 2008, many delivered by the Maria Montessori Institute’s training team.
But how will the bilingual Children’s House work in practice?
An AMI-trained mother-tongue Mandarin teacher will work as part of our team at the Notting Hill site, incorporating the language into the daily life of the school and introducing Montessori materials in Mandarin. Due to their age, the children will be able to absorb sounds, structures, intonation patterns and the rules of the language more easily than in later years.
The children attending the bilingual Children’s House will develop not only language skills but the confidence to access many varied opportunities in the future. They will also benefit (as all our children do) from our AMI-trained teachers who have a deep understanding of child development that promotes hands-on, self-paced, collaborative and joyful learning.
Places at our bilingual Children’s House in Notting Hill are limited and parents are advised to book a place on our next open day or book to visit our school in order to ensure a place for their child.