Brazilian International School (BIS), is an international bilingual school in Sao Paulo in Brazil. According to the institution, students who join the school for bilingual studies get to learn Portuguese or English, depending on their countries of origins and the languages that they speak. Since the institution is based on bilingual education, most of the teachers there are either good in both languages or are well-versed in one particular language – English or Portuguese.
Those students that come from abroad and who are good in English then get the opportunity to learn Portuguese. Brazilian students who do not know the English language get the opportunity to learn English at the institution. Not only Brazilian students who do not understand English get to learn the language at the institution but also international students who are good in other languages but cannot speak or write good essays to read in the English language well.
BIS maintains a variety of courses which include Early Childhood Education, Elementary School, and Middle School. The BIS invests a lot of resources in its bilingual course programs so that students can have a deep understanding of concepts in the two languages at the end of the middle school. There are other courses which are offered along with the bilingual education, and the institution does this in a bid to equip the students in the best possible way even as they seek admission in the top-notch high schools of international caliber in Brazil and beyond.
Throughout their studies, students at BIS get to learn a variety of subjects, and these subjects are taught in English or Portuguese, depending on the preferences of the student, or the requirements of the course. Students who pursue a variety of courses get to learn broadly, which places them in better positions when it comes to applying for high schools and taking up courses as they progress with their academic life.
The Expectations I Harbored
Since BIS is an international school, I knew that it was going to be a place worth teaching the English Language. This is mainly because of the sheer number of students who know how to speak Portuguese but are not well-versed in speaking the English Language. In most parts of the world, international schools are of higher standards compared to other national schools, since they conform to international standards that govern other international schools as well.
My expectations were a bit high for such an institution since students there come from different countries in the South American continent and beyond, but some aspects do not correspond to what I expected of the institution.
Well, this happens in many cases, and not only in institutions of learning. It is perhaps the reasons why people prefer physical meetings and discussions to online or virtual ones since they tend to offer a comprehensive and broad view of what is happening.
Reality at BIS
There is quite a vast number of students at BIS who are not well-versed when it comes to writing and speaking the English language. Most of the students there, both those from Brazil and those from neighboring countries – do not have a deep understanding of the English language in terms of speaking the language and writing the language as well. What’s more, those who speak the language do not know it fluently, and most of them are at BIS primarily to sharpen their speaking and writing capabilities in English as well.
The experience at BIS does not disappoint regarding exposure. Since the school is of international status, there is a lot of mingling, interaction, and coordination with folks from different regions, parts of the world who have different experiences. The students are also from different parts of the Americas, and the broader globe as well. The experience at BIS is good since there is a lot to learn and explore in the institution of learning.
In closing, the reality and expectations at BIS are not that detached from one another. Though, there are some expectations that I did not have a chance of fulfilling at the institution. All in all, BIS is a good environment regarding the work environment, since there are more challenging roles to play compared to a similar position in any public institution of learning of equal caliber out there.
On the part of students, those who can afford to study at the institution get the opportunity to set themselves up for a fantastic experience as well as a learning environment that harnesses their innate potential to the maximum.