English from a very young age
The peculiarity of Saint Denis School is introducing the English language from a very young age.
Right from the first days at school, the teachers offer the learning objectives to their pupils directly in English. Within the context of a normal school day, the activities are carried out in this new language as an exclusive means of communication. This full- immersion stimulates and develops the child’s listening and speaking skills. From when the children are welcomed at the beginning of the day to when they leave the school, they get used to following instructions, learning the names of the objects and people around them, asking and replying to questions, singing songs and rhymes in English.
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 the ability to comprehend and develop the new language without the interference of their mother tongue.
To encourage the learning of English, the teachers make use of a multitude of teaching materials, from flashcards to total physical response games and various other multimedia supports, thus facilitating the apprehension of new words, songs and rhymes.
By becoming familiar with the English language through play, the child is able to learn in a natural and spontaneous way.
In the three year program of the nursery school, all morning activities, including lunchtime, 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.