Last Saturday, 17th January our first Open day at the Lewisham Polish Centre in Forest Hill took place. All participants had the opportunity to listen to a 40 minutes lecture by professor Fred Genesee, from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, one of the most respected and widely published experts in bilingual education in the world, the co-author of Educating English language learners: A synthesis of research evidence, Dual Language Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning and also Trends in Bilingual Acquisition and Bilingual Education and also the author of numerous publications on second language immersion and bilingual education. Professor Genesee told us about bilingual education programs available in Canada and USA which are well established and successful. We learned that e.g. there are programs in primary schools where children receive 100% curriculum in French up until year 3 and from year 4 they switch to English. This does not affect their language skills in either language as they are able to transfer the skills gained in one language to the other without any loss. During discussion prof. Genesee answered parents’ questions and also showed support for our project and mentioned many important points which will be a great base for strengthening our rationale to support our application to the DfE in May.
The parents present registered their interest to show support for our project and to express their willingness to choose our school for their children.
Thank you all those who found time to come and meet us and we are looking forward to more Open Days in the future and to welcoming all of you.