Bilingualism is part of The European School philosophy. In an ever-shrinking world, students must have an easy command not only of their native tongue, but at least one other language as well. All European School classes are taught in English from Kindergarten on. Because Costa Rican culture provides a strong base of conversational Spanish, one daily period of Spanish language and literature ensures that all students become proficient in the language and culture of Latin America. Indeed most students take the bilingual IB where the two languages are considered as mother tongues. Additionally, French is introduced as of grade VII allowing students to further their studies in French-speaking universities.
For younger, native Spanish-speaking students, full immersion in English is a rewarding experience. From Kindergarten through Third grade, nursery rhymes, songs and poetry are woven into the teaching; students also participate in drama and story-telling activities. For children whose native language is not Spanish, additional tutoring supplements regular course work. By the Third grade, children reach the first level of bilingual fluency which allows them to express ideas clearly in both English and Spanish.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND PERSONAL GROWTH
Not to be dismissed from any discussion of The European School’s curriculum is the very important education that takes place outside the classroom.
The school maintains an atmosphere of community and proudly encourages bonds of friendship and helpfulness in every grade level. Empathy and respect for one another are now intrinsic parts of school life. The unity of the school extends beyond grade level and even erases divisions between students, teachers, and staff. In this spirit of mutual respect and appreciation, older students help the younger on the playing field and in the classroom; teachers lend a sympathetic ear to anyone who might need one, and all recognize the important work done by those who maintain the school grounds.