Teaching a second language has become one of the predominant and representative elements of the 21st education and it is for sure transforming paradigms and bringing new challenges to schools all around the globe.
By: Lic. Andrés Ruiz Ramírez.
Head of Bilingual Programme.
As a school, we have always understood the importance of giving our students the chance to learn and acquire the necessary skills for becoming proficient and independent users of a second language, in our case, English. The truth is that English is today considered the universal language by nature since it is the one employed for international communication and in all areas of information. Therefore, since 2018 Colegio Biffi La Salle started a transitional process to adjust and renew its academic curriculum so students could be immersed both linguistically and culturally in the English language on their way to achieving real competitiveness in a very globalized world.
With the implementation of our bilingual curriculum, we have been focusing on carrying out effective teaching processes and methodologies to ensure the development of skills needed for our students not only to speak the language but to master content subjects through the acquisition of technical vocabulary and the use of proper materials so they are more exposed to academic reading and literature pieces. In fact, our bilingual curriculum is completely based on reading and it is needed to say that it has resulted in more critical and perceptive students.
Not only do we care about having students interact with their second language as much as they can, but also with the culture. Languages are the most direct connection to other cultures and promote the appreciation for traditions, arts, and the people associated with the language. This may be the reason why we mind cultural immersion in our school because we are aware of the correlation and how connected culture and languages are. The latter is probably due to the fact that culture is the driving force in the second language learning process. Therefore, Colegio Biffi La Salle is constantly providing students with scenarios for them to have a glance at the English-speaking culture, this includes our traditional Biffi Fest (annual bilingual week), Anglophony, MUNs, workshops, seminars, contests and so many more activities which the main goal is for our students to be more willing to learn as they gain tolerance, empathy, and acceptance of differences.
Everything previously mentioned is supported by the international English qualifications which are taken by students in elementary, middle, and high school. With the contribution of our teachers team, students are trained for these exams the whole year and they get authentic materials that allow them to become familiar with the format and type of questions they will be exposed to. Thanks to this, we must say the results have been wonderful and this year we will be proclaiming our second group of bilingual graduates who took the IELTS Academic test with a score of B2/C1 according to CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). For this reason, we wish to keep on growing as we guarantee outstanding bilingual education processes.
This year 2022 we launched the international mobility plan with the first group of students having their immersion experience in Canada at Ste. Cècile International School (Windsor, Ontario). It is a 4-week adventure in which students get to experience (on their own) what is like to cope with everyday situations as they have to effectively respond to the demands and requirements of an international curriculum. This opens the door for so many students who were seeking to participate or live these experiences in the actual context in which their second language is spoken. All of that, as Colegio Biffi La Salle becomes a true world school.
On the whole, we are proud to announce that we are officially a bilingual institution supported by Resolution No. 10262 of December 19th, 2019. It has been magical and very fulfilling to see our students’ and teachers’ achievements and for the most part, because it is a symbolic representation and how hard we worked for this. That is why we call our bilingual education program a dream that has finally come true.