The International Montessori School sees itself as a place of tolerance and of cultural exchange.
The balance in number between French and non-French children is kept in as much as possible, so as to preserve the linguistic and cultural richness of the school.
Bilingualism as of the age of 2 enables the child to integrate the grammatical and phonetic structures of another language, naturally and at a time when its development best allows it..
This early skill will later favour more languages and the openness to other cultures.
The bilingual child flourishes in both cultures, integrating codes, gestures and interactions that only exist among children.
He is the keeper of two cultures. To evolve with other children from different cultures and with different languages helps to define one's own difference. Two Anglo-French children do not communicate in the same way as two British or two French children. By learning to use two different repertoires, widens their perception, expression and their thought.
The unilingual child who enters this environment at two years old, is himself going through a language explosion: he absorbs without effort the new language that is offered to him. He is going through what is called his 'sensitive period' for language, which still incites him to integrate new sounds, which he/she enjoys repeating; this will not always be the case. The cultural and linguistic mix in which he evolves becomes familiar to him and day by day he picks up bilingual thought processes.
The bilingual Montessori school is a privileged environment which prepares expatriate children to the use of current French. It also prepares them to integrate the requirements of the French National Education system while respecting their own language and culture.
Children who are to continue their schooling in English, follow the Montessori English curriculum in the Big Class (3 to 6 years old) while still integrating French language from the environment.