In Montessori Subirats students learn Catalan, English and Spanish. When they finish elementary they have full competition in the three languages.
Catalan and English are vehicular languages of the school. Therefore, both are learning languages in the classroom and are used in school’s internal and external communication.
The Montessori Guide in each classroom speaks catalan and spanish while the Montessori Assistant speaks english. The incorporation of students who do not have a minimum oral competence in either of the three languages at the time of access to the school will be done in a natural, progressive and easy way to adapt.
It is essential that the students percieve the languages as a useful communication tool, and not as isolated curricular content. Because of this, each language, and especially english, is introduced throught oral communication in dayly activities. From Infant Community group the Assistant speaks always in english with the children (washing hands, cleaning up, asking for help, setting the table, etc.). This allows them to develop naturally an initial oral proficiency before written and read content begins.
Students learn to read and write in their mother tongue (as long as it's catalan, spanish or english) and after in the other two. Learning activities of reading and writing will be done using the Montessori method for each of the two languages as well as in Spanish at the time the student is prepared. That is, has mastered the previous activities of preparation of the mind and hand. That usually occurs along Children's House stage. The language area materials are available in the three languages.
In Elementary, the contents that do not have direct relation to languages, such as science or maths, are taught in catalan, spanish or english depending on the need of improvement of each language both in oral communication and specific vocabulary. Thanks to our individualized learning method, the ratio of each language is personalized, allowing each student to be more exposed to the languages he/she needs more.
In order to ensure that the lack of english knowledge of a student does not affect learning in other areas, and taking advantage of the fact that the pedagogical organization allows for individualized teaching, the use of English as a learning language will begin when the student has acquired a minimum competence.
There are books and learning material in the three languages.
In order to carry out the goal of bilingual school we are establishing collaboration with the Center for Brain and Cognition (CBC), a research center in Universitat Pompeu Fabra.