School Voices: The Importance of Being Bilingual

Is it possible that you do not see the advantages of being bilingual? Well, speaking two languages has literally changed my life.

When I was 5 years old, I lived in Ontario and I only spoke English. I was taken on a tour of a fully French school along with my mother. I realized it would be quite difficult to adapt because almost everybody else was practically fluent in French. In September of that year, I started kindergarten at that school. I went there for two years, coming out almost perfectly bilingual. That summer, I moved to Montreal.

It was astonishing, how much more I was able to do because I was bilingual. I could have a conversation with just about anybody, no matter which language. It will help me to succeed in life. Many jobs have bilingual requirements. To me, and probably to anyone, being bilingual is a huge privilege.

We are fortunate at Akiva School because we now have a French Language lab that is going to help anglophone children become even stronger French speakers and maybe encourage them to stay in Quebec where they belong!

Sophie Iny, Grade 6 Akiva Student

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