Bilingualism

English from a very young age

The peculiarity of Saint Denis School is introducing learning in English from a very young age.
Right from the first days at school, the teachers pose the learning objectives of their pupils in English. Within the context of a normal school day, the activities are carried out in English as an exclusive means of communication. This full emersion in the language stimulates and develops the child’s listening and speaking skills. From when the children are welcomed at the beginning of the day, or go home, they get used to following instructions, learning the names of the objects and people around them, ask and reply to questions, sing songs and learn rhymes in the language.
Initially, further to the verbal dimension of learning, actions and images assist the association of the new language in concrete scenarios. Using this method, children are able to memorize sounds, words and associate them to their meaning in context. This progressively gives them an ability to comprehend and develop the language without the interference of the Italian language.
To encourage learning of the English language itself, the teachers make use of a multitude of teaching materials, from flash cards to total physical reaction games facilitating the learning of new words or songs and rhymes further to various multimedia supports.
A child is able to learn in a natural and spontaneous way by becoming familiar with the English language through play.
In the three year program of the nursery school, all the morning activities (until and including lunch) are held in English by a native speaking teacher (for a total of 20 hours a week). The afternoon activities are held in Italian by trained and qualified teachers.
For pupils attending the preschool section, some lessons are held in French by a native speaking teacher.