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The Importance of Language Learning

The Importance of Language Learning

Friday, 12 May, 2017

Dear Parents,

After a successful SEC MYP language week, it may be a good moment to reflect on the paramount importance of language especially in our international school context. At this moment, we have students from 65 countries enrolled at BBIS. We do not have detailed data but roughly one third have English as their home language, one third German – and the last third a diversity of other home languages!

Being bi-cultural and thus often being bi-lingual is more the norm at international schools. As it is worldwide, data from UNESCO indicates that only 40% of the world’s population are monolingual. This is something that can be improved and we/your children are working on that every day.

Long gone are the myths which expressed fear that the bilingual brain would respond to a second language by developing schizophrenia. Conscientiously we have replaced the word “mother-tongue” by home language or dominant language. Research is robust now in showing that children growing up bilingual develop a more agile and more connected brain through synapsis growth.

We constantly encourage families where two languages are spoken to use this gift and to speak in both languages with the children. That form of early language acquisition is the most powerful and cannot really be replaced by the formal learning in later years.

So, if you are a Primary parent and hear from your child that their teachers were out yesterday or today, it was for the good reason of (even) further training in the awareness of languages – we had two experts here at BBIS.

If you want to learn more about our approach and future plans, please join me at the upcoming “Director’s platform evening” on Tuesday 19:00 in the Primary Aula (sign-up here: – as usual, an opportunity to ask all questions you might have.

Lastly, we have a wonderful new short film that captures the magic of BIMP (Berlin International Music Project) below as well as a student reflection from Eszter Magyar on their 8 years of participating in BIMP.

Peter Kotrc

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13/05/2017 - 10:00 to 14:00
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