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The Power and Joy of Bilingual Education

Weekly Update from the Director: Guest Edition with Dirk Vogel, Director of Marketing
Dear GISC Community,
Today we interrupt our weekly programming for some business that’s not as usual. With our school’s Director, Ben Hebebrand, accompanying an educational field trip to Milwaukee today, I was asked to write the greetings section for this newsletter. And since today I’m celebrating my birthday, I take sending these words to you as a special gift. Because you know what else is a special gift? Bilingual education!
According to current research studies, the benefits of early bilingual education include a heightened capacity for empathy, increased reading comprehension skills, and better overall test scores across all subjects. What’s more, early training in two languages is now believed to effect changes in brain structure that support creative problem solving and independent, self-directed learning. For life!
Now, it’s one thing to read scientific studies about these findings. But working in a school facility full of bright young students roaming the halls really brings the message home. Since joining GISC this week, I can see the effects of bilingual education in action every day. And yes, they really do extend beyond ‘just’ dual language education.

It was only on Wednesday that I was asked to capture photos of the award ceremony for the Math Kangaroo Awards, in which our Math Circle Students Grade 3-8 achieved outstanding results and counted among the top performers. And that means top performers out of more than 11,000 international schools across the globe. Just one example of young bilingual brains doing some extra heavy lifting!
With that said, you can also look forward to the artistic side of bilingualism in the upcoming Spring Concert Series next Friday. And you will get to taste a range of flavors from around the world in our International Potluck to close out the school year.
Because ultimately, bilingual brains need some tasty treats to run at their highest potential. Ben and our delegation in Milwaukee are working on supporting research at German eateries in the area and we expect a full report upon their return.
With that said, thanks for reading and have a delicious weekend,
The German International School Chicago (GISC) is an IB World School that prepares students to become well-rounded, creative, and responsible global citizens. We provide students with a rigorous German-English bilingual education in a supportive and individualized learning environment. GISC graduates will be prepared academically and socially to succeed in an increasingly global world.

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