A well-developed Home Language is important to students’ academic success and emotional wellbeing.
Decades of research in different countries and in multiple languages (Cummins, 2000; Carder, 2007; Collier and Thomas, 2009; Genesee et al, 2009) show a clear outcome: Students with strong literacy skills in their first language have more success acquiring additional languages and achieving academically. The cognitive advantages of bilingualism include more flexible thinking, creativity, and better problem-solving skills. Additionally, multilingual individuals can communicate with a wider range of people; this brings emotional and career benefits. The home language also is part of a child’s sense of identity and cultural cohesion.
For this reason, BBIS has a Home Language programme both within the school day (at Primary) and after school (Primary and Secondary school). The goal of this programme is to foster mother tongue development, promote academic achievement and increase understanding and awareness of students’ own cultural heritage. This is in keeping with the IB mission to nurture multilingualism, intercultural understanding, and global engagement.
Children with strong home language proficiency have greater self-esteem and enjoy greater academic success.