Bilingualism ENG

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: one is roots, the other is wings. — Hodding Carter, Jr.
Kiddywinks values languages and cultures and recognises the essential need for education to provide children with an appreciation and understanding of other languages in our lives.

Several studies by leading researchers in the field of bilingual education (J. Cummins, C. Baker and F. Genesee) confirm the incredible number of advantages of children educated in bilingual programmes where they maintain and develop their mother-tongue.
Moreover there are incredible psychological benefits of learning another language. Longitudinal studies by Harvard University confirm that learning additional languages increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children. The younger the learner, the better they are at mimicking new sounds and adopting pronunciation.
At Kiddywinks young children have time to learn narturally within authentic contexts and through play-like activities. Before children become self- conscious they can try out their newly acquired languages without fear of embarrassment.
Children who grow up learning about languages develop empathy for others and a curiosity for different cultures and ideas. They prepare themeselves to take their place in a global society. Furthermore, in later years, career opportunities increase for those with additional languages to offer.

At Kiddywinks we choose a bilingual education model which reflects the values of Additive Bilingualism where the child's mother-tongue is nurtured, and Italian and English are valued equally. Language development happens through a number of aspects we take into consideration while interacting with children:

- Creating as far as possible a balanced 50:50 context
- Creating an additive context by supporting home languages
- Creating a literary rich environment (signs, charts, boards, Montessori materials)
- Improving literacy practices during the school day (reading, rhymes and songs, storytelling, circle time, drama)
- Privileging individual talks following the interests of children and organizing small groups activities
- Fostering free interaction amongst children
- Stimulating families to cover an active role in children education and within school community (inviting parents to read to children, bookcrossing, etc.)
- Informing parents about daily activities and materilas to help them improving children learning at home (rhymes and songs, books read during the day)
- Support children understanding through translanguing practices (strategic and planned use of two languages within the same experience or activity)
- Planning activities that develop metalinguistic awareness in children ( talking in verses, reflecting upon a mistake made, playing on words)
- Making use of many rhymes, songs and poems during the school day
- Planning activities which cover different linguistic areas like colours, family, animals or staging small situation during which children learn for example how to ask questions or apologize.
- Learning with fun. The more fun it is to learn a language, the more a child will want to stay with it. Learning while playing is the best way to learn because it creates emotional attachments, and emotion is the door to learning 
At Kiddywinks we turn every outing into a learning experience. Children can learn a new language while counting oranges, comparing leaves, classifying different birds, food, or anything that interests them.