Early binlingualism for the nursery children

May 15, 2010
Early bilingualismThe Montreal Oral School for the Deaf (MOSD) offers full day programs for children with a range of hearing losses, from mild to profound, from birth through to the end of high school.

Early bilingualismThe goal at the MOSD is for the children to develop speech and language skills and to attend regular class in their neighbourhood school. After starting at MOSD in the Garnier Kids Parent Infant Program, children will often attend the MOSD Nursery. Upon completion of the two-year nursery program, children will either transition to their neighbourhood school where they will be supported by a specialist teacher/therapist from the MOSD or, if they are not quite ready for full integration, they will attend small specialized classes taught by MOSD specialist teachers. The MOSD programs, which cover audiological, psychosocial and technical support services and also include busing, are offered to families free of charge. Government funding covers the major portion of the operating costs, and the balance is funded through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Early bilingualismThis issue of Lobe Magazine focuses on the Agnes (Nan) Phillips Preschool Program at the MOSD. Children three and four years of age who attend this program receive intensive training in speech, language and listening skills, while enjoying a rich learning experience that includes music, art, play and drama. A small number of highly verbal hearing children are accepted into the MOSD Preschool Program to enhance the learning experience of the hearing impaired children through their interaction. It is now recognized that many children with hearing loss are most capable of acquiring French as a second (or even a third!) language and in January 2010, French was introduced to the children in the MOSD Nursery. Over the past few years, there has been a gradual increase in French exposure for the older children and we are seeing positive results, with students making an easier transition to regular classes.

Early bilingualismIn the MOSD nursery, during daily small circle time and periodically throughout the day, MOSD staff members introduce the children to basic concepts and vocabulary, functional phrases and questions through animated songs and activities in French. The children are attentive and enthusiastic and have begun to grasp some of the French to which they have been exposed. This early exposure to French helps attune their ears for future acquisition. Bon début!

To support the MOSD, call 514 488-4946 or visit their website at www.montrealoralschool.com.To find out more about services for your child, please call 514 488-4946.