Starting in a new school is an anxious event. Choosing the right bi-lingual school for kids is a big decision for parents. You want to be sure your child is taught by the best teachers and will be able to communicate effectively in the two languages they will be studying.
Quality and qualifications of teachers
Parents want their child to be taught by professional, highly qualified highly skilled, bi-lingual teachers. Unfortunately some schools cut corners by employing sub-standard staff or unqualified teachers. When you visit the bi-lingual school ask the principal about this. They should be able to address all of your concerns. They might even be able to introduce you to the staff members who will teach your child.
Find out what kind of staff turnover is in the school. If a lot of teachers come and go from a particular school it's not a very good sign. High staff turnover normally occurs because staff are poorly treated, the school conditions are bad or the school has poor hiring practices. Kids prefer to be taught by a familiar face and teachers who teach in the same place for many years. This stability is not present when there is a high turnover of teachers in a bi-lingual school. If staff are poorly treated, there's a good chance students will be neglected as well.
The schools administrators
The quality of a school will normally be a reflection of the people who run the school. When you visit the school for the first time, approach it like you're carrying out an interview. Make a list of key questions you want the school's principal or administrators to answer. If they are hesitate, abrasive, give negative answers or seem to be unorganised, it may be time to look elsewhere for a bi-lingual school for your child.
What are the conditions in the school? Before agreeing to send your child to a particular school it's important to visit the school and make sure it is in good condition. Find out more about the state of the rooms, security in the school, how often the school is cleaned, how it's heated, is there air conditioning and is there enough light entering the building. You don't want your child to begin school and then start complaining about problems in the school when it's too late.
The size of each class in a bi-lingual school is extremely important. If the class sizes are too big, your child may not be getting the attention from their teacher that they need to learn in this type of school.
Location of the school
The location of these schools is another important factor to consider. It should be close to where you live and easy to enter. Your child's safety should be your main concern so it's also vital that the school is situated in a safe area.
If you live in France, schools like the Bilingual International School of Paris are located in the centre of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As well as being in a great location this bilingual school in France also has small class sizes and uses the most up to date technologies to teach its students.
The school's reputation
Some bi-lingual schools have excellent reputations, while others do not. There are many reasons why this can happen. Poor teaching facilities, poor teachers, a lack of discipline and poor management are just some of the reasons a school gets a bad reputation. Once again, if you visit a number of schools you will quickly be able to identify well organised schools with good reputations and schools that deserve to have a poor reputation.
All bi-lingual schools are not created equal. Some are run efficiently by extremely professional staff, while others leave a lot to be desired. When you visit a school for the first time, this is your chance to find out how suitable the school will be for your child in the years to come. Choosing the right bi-lingual school will play a big role in how your child progresses through life.