Bilingual Immersion Education Network

Conference in Wandsworth where BIEN was launched in March 2012

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. 

BIEN was set up as part of a research project (funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation) at Wix Primary School which runs an English-French stream.

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)

For further information please go to the BIEN website www.bien.org.uk or contact Dr Gabriela Meier, Lecturer of Language Education, University of Exeter (g.s.meier@exeter.ac.uk).

One Response to Bilingual Immersion Education Network

  1. “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.”

    I think it is fantastic that bilingual immersion programs are growing steadily here in America. I have heard of one elementary school here in Southwest Florida that partakes in this. Great blog!!! (http://blog.dinolingo.com)

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