Dealing with multiple languages is an unavoidable fact of life for any expat family. Fortunately, mastering new languages is often much easier for children than it is for their parents – provided they're put in the right environment.
And for families living in or moving to Paris, summertime can be the perfect time to help your child toward becoming truly bilingual with the summer language immersion programme offered through the International School of Paris (ISP).
It's no surprise that parents from around the world flock to ISP Plus in Paris to give their children one of the best language-learning activities available in the French capital.
“For us ISP was the obvious choice,” says Maiju Tapaninen, who currently sends her youngest son to summer camp at ISP Plus.
ISP Plus offers activities and language classes in French and English weekly on Saturdays as well as five-day workshops during traditional breaks from school - February, April, July, and October.
“The location is great - and it's safe, the facilities are great, the atmosphere is positive,” Maiju continues. “All this makes the kids enjoy the classes, and I feel happy leaving them there!”
ISP Plus classes feature a range of educational activities that help students to develop critical thinking, communication skills, creativity, collaborative work, and an openness to various cultures. Personal holistic development is always in focus – preparing each child for their unique future.
Avijit Sen, who has travelled back to Paris during the summer with his family for the past three years, attended the school himself as a child.
“My wife and I were reflecting on how to offer our children the same rich experiences we had had as children,” he says.
“We realised the most enriching points in our lives centered around educational institutions, so we decided it was important to offer the same kind of multicultural educational experience to our children.”
ISP is truly a diverse school – so kids who are used to moving around can settle in quickly.
“There are kids from all over the world there, which makes it easier for my kids to make friends and to adapt – it's like a soft landing of sorts,” says Maiju.
“The ISP community attracts a diverse, interesting, cultured crowd,” agrees Avijit.“Everyone speaks some language other than English or French and has lived in several countries.”
Students who attend ISP Plus aren't given any homework, but they are constantly learning – all while having fun in a supportive environment.
“The kids learn without feeling like they're working,” says Avijit . “They learn through fun activities, field trips, and interactions with the other children.”
"My son loves all the innovation in his classes and always looks forward to the next one,” Maiju says. “You don't have to push them through the door – they go willingly, and that's important.”
Above all, both parents agree the classes have had a tremendous effect on their children's language abilities.
“I love the fact that my daughter understands French even better as a result of the immersion,” Avijit says.
“I choose ISP over other summer schools especially because of the language; whichever language it is, English or French, the teachers at ISP help in strengthening it,” says Maiju.
Both French and English speakers are made to feel comfortable, as staff interact with them in both languages.
“The environment is motivating and encouraging. The kids are never made to feel uncomfortable,” Maiju adds. “The classes have had a massive positive effect on their self-esteem.”
Avijit's family returns year after year to continue their daughter's rich learning experiences – and plans on enrolling their son as well.
It's not just about having an educational summer – it's about life experience.
“Classes at ISP Plus have aided my kids in transitioning from school to school, and it's made them curious about the sorts of schools they can attend later in life. The interest in higher education all begins at this age,” Avijit says.
“We would recommend ISP Plus to parents who want their children to have a rich, multi-cultural upbringing to prepare them for the future!”
Find out more about ISP Plus - see the open house event on Facebook here.
This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by ISP Plus.