EBI’s traditional 8th grade mural: Last spring students created a mural representing the COVID-era — a brick wall of isolation, with flowers breaking through. Credit: EBI

This story is brought to you by the Escuela Bilingüe Internacional.

Escuela Bilingüe Internacional (EBI) offers a multilingual, international education in the heart of the East Bay. The Middle School program, in Emeryville on San Pablo Avenue, is rooted in service and action, providing students opportunities to make real world connections through conceptual understanding. 

Learn more about EBI:

Attend “Be a Middle Schooler for a Morning” (in-person mock classes for students), Dec. 4, 8-10:30 a.m.  

Take virtual tours on Dec. 8 and 15, Jan. 5, 12 and 19.  9-10:30 a.m. 

Diversity reception on Jan. 8 and March 12. 10-11:30 a.m.

Schedule online or email EBI.

Students with demonstrated strength in academics and curiosity for language and culture participate in EBI’s academically rigorous, international program and are inspired to engage with the changing world.

The backbone of the EBI middle school program is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become innovative, critical and reflective thinkers. It emphasizes intellectual challenge and encourages students to make connections between their studies and the real world. The IB framework focuses on developing internationally minded young people who will thrive in a diverse, changing world with character and empathy.

EBI’s Middle School offers:

  • Two language tracks:
    • Spanish-English bilingual track with Mandarin as their language of acquisition
    • Spanish-language acquisition track, designed for students with no prior Spanish
  • Inquiry-based approach to learning
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum
  • Personalized learning plans
  • Integrated socio-emotional programming 
  • Integrated executive-function programming 
  • Strategic diversity, equity and inclusion practice

EBI philosophy

The language-immersion model coupled with the IB Middle Years Programme reflects the school’s core values of educational excellence, international mindedness, character, diversity and multilingualism. All EBI middle school students take classes in Spanish and classes in English, which allows them a rich linguistic experience that is both academic and full of real-world communication. 

There are a myriad of cognitive and social benefits to learning in a second language. Becoming proficient in another language is a wonderful way to have a foot in multiple worlds and experience cultures firsthand. The richness of language and curriculum is further enhanced at EBI by the teachers, who come from 15 different countries with different linguistic and cultural roots.

The Language Acquisition Track is structured for students to study subjects in Spanish as a cohort for 25% of their time and then join the balance of students in the regular Middle Years Programme for subjects taught in English. Students in this track attend six accelerated Spanish language classes a week. Additionally, they participate in physical education and art as an immersion experience in Spanish. As their language skills progress, they may be eligible to take additional courses in Spanish. 

EBI 7th graders focus on team work (pre-pandemic, of course) during their Catalina Island class trip. Credit: EBI

The most-spoken non-English language in the U.S.

Across the world, Mandarin, English, and Spanish are the most widely spoken languages. In the United States, amongst people ages 5 and older, Spanish is the most-spoken non-English language with more than 40 million speakers. In California, where about 30% of people speak Spanish, having a deep understanding of the language and culture of Spanish-speaking people just makes sense.

“We are living in unprecedented times; empathy and preparation are more important now than ever. Our diverse community, together with the high academic standards and multilingualism curriculum of our International Baccalaureate, develops students who are knowledgeable, inquiring, and caring, ready to make the world a better place,” says Raquel Vizcaino, the Head of Middle School.

Spanish is a language for today and a language for tomorrow!

This story is written and paid for by Escuela Bilingüe Internacional. EBI provides a Spanish-English bilingual education based on the highest international academic standards in an environment that thrives on diversity, fosters global citizenship, and develops the character necessary to recognize cultural uniqueness as the touchstone of our common humanity.

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