We were interested to discover the recently founded Bilingual Immersion Education Network (BIEN) and got in touch with its organiser Gabriela Meier to tell us a bit about what the network aims to achieve.
Bilingual immersion education means teaching some subjects in one language (e.g. in English) and other subjects in another language (e.g. in French) in a state or private school at primary and/or secondary level. Teaching school subjects through two languages can be a very successful method to teach language and content. There are different types of bilingual immersion education. These are described on the BIEN website.
BIEN has the following aims:
– BIEN joins people: It connects teachers, parents and policy makers, who are interested in bilingual immersion education in the UK.
– BIEN informs: It is the first port of call for any questions regarding bilingual immersion education in the UK. It offers information, resources, FAQs, discussions, research findings, etc.
– BIEN charts the trend: There is an increasing number of interesting bilingual immersion education projects around the country and BIEN keeps a directory of such programmes. If you know of a bilingual immersion programme, please let us know.
The website is publicly available, but some information is reserved for members. Additionally, through membership numbers we can assess the level of interest in this educational model around the country. So if you are interested, please join the network and keep up to date with developments. Go to www.bien.org.uk, click on the network tab and register. You will have to enter a registration code, which is: 2lingual.
Comments from BIEN members:
“timely and needed” (researcher)
“I feel I’m part of a movement now” (teacher)