Want to become bilingual or educate your child in multiple languages? There are many wonderful programs available in Toronto for bilingual education. Though most offer French/English bilingual programs, we have rounded up some of the best Toronto programs for learning other languages. Check out these programs to provide your little scholar or yourself with highly desirable language skills.
The Giles School
Tuition: $11,567 to 19,278 per year
Main Language: French
Avg. Class Size: 10 to 16
Unlike many bilingual schools in Toronto, the Giles School is a non-denominational, private and independent, co-educational and not-for-profit school. Many of Toronto’s bilingual schools are Catholic schools, which can be a deal breaker for some secular parents.
Outdoor fun. Photo by The Giles School
One of the best things about the Giles School is their early education approach. You may have heard that the later in life you attempt to learn a foreign language, the less likely you will be to master that new language. By offering their bilingual program to pre-k youth, The Giles School asserts that they will have your child writing and reading in French by the end of grade one. If that’s not impressive enough, they even introduce Mandarin to their students by grade one. Their forward thinking multi-lingual approach makes this school a great choice for your child. The school boasts small classes (16 students max), a built-in early morning and after school childcare program, and a nurturing environment. This ia an outstanding educational option for your little scholar.
German International School
Tuition: $8,755 to $15,450 per year
Main Language: German
Avg. Class Size: 5 to 15
The German International School is Ontario’s only German full time day school and is part of an exclusive network of 140 German Schools Abroad. This school is private and co-educational. The curriculum is a combination of the best of both the Canadian and German curricula. The German International School is a stand out, offering small classes and internationally recognized education in a non-denominational setting. The school has grown quickly from offering only kindergarten to offering kindergarten through grade 10 in the German stream. Bilingualism is encouraged from kindergarten with equal time divided between English and German. Even though German is given more attention than the second languages at some other bilingual schools, English is far from neglected at GIST.
Sewing sock monkeys in Mondays Sewing Club
Photo by German International School
“We know our English program is of the highest quality because our third party results are an indicator of our success. With a +2 grade level in the Canadian Achievement Test 4 and a 100% EQAO rating from the province of Ontario in English and Mathematics, your child would in fact be ahead of their peers if you choose to reintegrate them back into an Ontario school, whether it be private, Catholic, or public. These results are not just from Canadian students, but from students who are directly from Germany and have only been in our program for one year!”
says Manfred J. von Vulte, Vice Principal. The school plans to expand its reach to eventually offer an internationally recognized diploma which will help graduates enter colleges and universities all over the world. The GIST school offers more than just a bilingual foundation.
“Our students know how to execute a project, work independently and collaboratively with others, be self-motivated, know how to study, and operate on higher levels of competency driven curricula using synthesis and analysis, going beyond rote memory and mere content knowledge. It is this enrichment and synthesis of competency and content that sets us apart from the Ontario public curricula”,
says Manfred J. von Vulte.
Annual speech competition
Photo by German International School
If you hope your child will attend university abroad it is important to note that if a student graduates from Grade 12 from a German International School, they have earned the right to attend a university in Germany free of tuition! The future for GIST students is bright. The school plans to purchase or build its own building and ultimately increase the course offerings, extending as far as Grade 12, offering either a German Diploma or International Baccalaureate. If you plan to enroll your little one at GIST it is best to do so as early as possible (kindergarten up to grade two) if they have no German language skills. Students can enter at a later stage but will require private tutoring to catch up to their peers.
For students in need of financial aid, a kindergarten scholarship is available and financial assistance can be attained through an application and board of trustees ruling. If you are hoping to open international doors for your child through their education, this is the school for you.
Toronto Mandarin School
Languages: English, Chinese
Avg. Class Size: up to 16 students
Unlike the other bilingual schools on this list, the Toronto Mandarin School offers classes for students from pre-k age all the way to adulthood. However, the only full time program available is preschool education.
Toronto Mandarin School held workshop “Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture”
Photo by Toronto Mandarin School
As the name suggests, Mandarin is taught as a second language to students of all ages. Preschool is available for children from ages two to five-and-a-half in a full or part time setting at four GTA locations. Class sizes are kept small with less than 16 students per class to ensure all students are attended to well. The school also offers a variety of programs and workshops tailored to you or your child’s existing Mandarin skill level and age. Business training is available on site at the business’ location or at one of the school’s four locations. If a classroom setting is too intimidating for you, the school also offers one-on-one and small group sessions to make you feel at ease as you learn.
New Year celebration at Mandarin school
Photo by Toronto Mandarin School
If you are interested Mandarin as a second language for your child but not interested in immersion, this school is a great option as it offers after-school and weekend programs for children and teens. Whether you are hoping to educate your child or yourself in Mandarin, Toronto Mandarin School is an excellent and flexible option.
Canada College of Education
Tuition: $30 to $35 + HST per hour
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Korean
Avg. Class Size: 4 to 12
It is far harder to learn a language later in life than to pick it up as a child. If you’re trying to learn a new language as an adult, you’ll need a great school. The Canada College of Education is a certified institution registered under Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This means that depending on your reason for enrollment, you may be eligible to apply for tax relief.
Morning French class. Photo by CCET
Classes are very reasonably priced and a variety of languages are offered in an intensive format to immerse students and offer valuable new skills in a brief time period. Many languages are taught at CCE including French, English, Arabic, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Persian, Russian and Spanish. Lessons are sold in bulk hour bundles, with price breaks for larger hour bundles. Both private and group lessons are available.
CCE is fully accredited by Languages Canada which regulates the quality of teaching and educational services offered by the school. CCEducation is a designated learning institute recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and authorized by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC), which facilitates the process of obtaining a study permit. As such, international students are eligible for programs at this school but will be obligated to pay a $125 admission fee (if not currently living in Canada).
Students earned their certificates. Photo by CCET
If you want to study at CCE but have a job, you’re in luck as part time morning, afternoon and evening classes are available. If you’re looking for an incredibly flexible part time intensive bilingual education for yourself or your child, CCE is the school for you.
The Dalton School
Tuition: $15,000 per year
Main Language: Spanish & Mandarin
Avg. Class Size: 15 to 20
At The Dalton School your child’s education starts with a big decision—English and Mandarin or English and Spanish? The Dalton School offers two language streams from JK to grade six, helping to equip your child with the language skills they’ll need to thrive in a multicultural and multilingual world.
“By offering the three most widely spoken languages in the world (based on population) The Dalton School students are given the foundation to a global education,”
says Principal Donna Booth.
Rehearsal celebration of Spanish and Chinese culture
Photo by The Dalton School
The Dalton School is the only dual language program for Spanish or Mandarin in Toronto, making it a stand out on this list. But there is more to a great education than just language. If you also value a technological education you’ll be glad to hear that The Dalton School prioritizes the use of modern technology. The school is equipped with new Mac computers, interactive white board technology and digital media. Programs such as Mathletics, Reading Eggs, BrainPOP, and more are woven into all aspects of the curriculum.
Bilingual Field Trip to TIFF
Photo by The Dalton School
The school also offers creative after school programs, summer camp and March Break camp programs and immersion days. All programs have a special focus—everything from robotics to chess. Programs are available in the early morning and after school, and for the full day in March Break and during summer camp. These extra programs are also fairly affordable. Students at the school can expect some exciting new programs in the future. Booth informed us,
“We are working on offering a wide range of After School Activities which incorporate S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, Mathematics). The philosophy integrates these five disciplines and it is our aim to encompass STEAM skills in The Dalton School After School Programs.”
Mandarin is considered one of the most complex languages to learn so parents may be apprehensive of supporting their child during their time at The Dalton School. But there is no need to worry—bilingualism is fully supported in the classroom. Parents don’t have to speak a word of Mandarin or Spanish for their child to be successful at Dalton. If funding your child’s education is an issue The Dalton School is also a good option for your little scholar as prices are kept as low as possible. This forward thinking school is an excellent option for your little scholar.
Painting at school. Photo by The Giles School.
There are many outstanding bilingual programs in Toronto that offer languages other than French. In our multicultural world this kind of bilingual education is very valuable and will set you or your child up for success in the future. Mastering a new language takes focus, skill and an open mind—it’s always worth the effort.