A different language is a different vision of life. – Federico Fellini
‘Today, more of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual than monolingual. In addition to facilitating cross-cultural communication, this trend also positively affects cognitive abilities. Researchers have shown that the bilingual brain can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain, thanks to its developed ability to inhibit one language while using another. In addition, bilingualism has positive effects at both ends of the age spectrum: Bilingual children as young as seven months can better adjust to environmental changes, while bilingual seniors can experience less cognitive decline’. (V. Marian, Ph.D., A. Shook).
At Bromsgrove, our overarching aim is to produce happy, creative moral citizens through an enlightened, disciplined and broad education. We believe that in order to achieve this, our students should benefit from excellent instruction in English, whilst also developing their mother tongue competences.
English is the principal language of instruction at Bromsgrove. All lessons, except Thai, Mandarin and Spanish, are conducted in English. However, there may be exceptions. We are mindful of the value of connections between languages and encourage both teachers and students to link English to students’ mother tongues, if this will lead to a deeper and broader understanding of a concept.
As a British curriculum school with a large population of second language learners, we firmly believe that all of our teachers are language teachers. Our teachers are fully trained and equipped to deal with the needs of students whose first language is not English, so students are supported in their language acquisition and partake in meaningful exchanges both in and outside the classroom.
We respect that many of our students come from culturally diverse backgrounds, whose primary language may not be English, and we celebrate the diversity of nationalities that form our school community. However as a British curriculum school we seek to positively promote the use of English throughout the school in order to ensure that our campus is inclusive and that all students no matter their first language feel part of our community.
We also expect all adults at Bromsgrove to encourage students to use English, by modelling this in their daily interactions. This also includes all support staff, unless they are working in a situation where every person present speaks their mother tongue.
Given the profile of our learners, it is expected that the majority of student talk in lessons will take place in English. Occasionally, a teacher may make a personalised judgment that mother tongue is the appropriate medium for discussion and will not exclude others; however, this should be the exception rather than the rule.