Meet Five Students from Escuela Bilingüe Internacional's Middle School - 510 Families

Meet Five Students from Escuela Bilingüe Internacional’s Middle School

Escuela Bilingüe Internacional’s Middle School students have a lot to share about their school. Read on to hear what they have to say in this interview sponsored by EBI.

EBI offers two tracks to thrive at the Middle School level: a Bilingual Track for students who have grade-level fluency in Spanish and a Language Acquisition Track for students with limited to no prior Spanish exposure.

As an IB World School that offers a PK-grade 8 program, many of the Middle School students, like JR (grade 6), Hugo (grade 7), and Paloma (grade 8), have continued from the Lower School into the Middle School. Elle (grade 8) joined the EBI community in grade 6 for the Bilingual Track, while Henry (grade 7) joined EBI in grade 6 in the Language Acquisition Track.

Why did you choose EBI for your middle school?
Henry: The whole idea of a bilingual education is and was very interesting to me. On the shadow day, I liked all the teachers and what we were learning about.
Hugo: I wanted to continue at EBI because all of my friends were going to be at EBI for Middle School and I wanted to stay with them because I have strong bonds with them, since many of us have been together since PK. I also chose EBI because I was very close to the Middle School teachers even before starting Middle School due to me chatting with them during recess and lunch. They were all very friendly and caring and took the time to get to know me even though I wasn’t yet their student. Also, EBI is fun, we have lots of different celebrations of cultures and holidays thanks to the student council, of which I am part. LOL.

Escuela Bilingue Internacional Middle School
Henry presenting in Spanish class | Photo courtesy EBI

What part of the curriculum do you find the most interesting and why?
Elle: I enjoy the Spanish Language and Literature class’s Café Literario and the yearly class trips centered around nature and science. We went to Astro Camp in grade 6 and Catalina Island last year. I look forward to our Costa Rica trip this year.
Paloma: Math, because we do something different each year and it’s related to something in the real world. The last unit was on slopes and we had to figure out how many houses we could build in a forest and still have the same level of CO2 absorption. For geometry, we got to design our own Boba cup and figure out the surface area of a Boba with all the toppings.

EBI Middle School students
Paloma (right) working on a project | Photo courtesy EBI

What extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
Elle: Everyone loves the sports teams at EBI, like volleyball, track, cross country, basketball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. I enjoy participating in volleyball and soccer.
Hugo: I’m on the volleyball team and I’m always looking forward to it. I get opportunities to establish relationships with other students not in my grade, have fun, and get exercise at the same time. Our coach is amazing, he is always pushing us to do better and try our best on and off the field.

EBI students
Hugo (right) in science class | Photo courtesy EBI

What have you worked on recently that you’re proud of?
Henry: Right now, what we are working on is a large interdisciplinary unit involving Design, English, Individuals and Societies ( INS: IB Social Studies), and Math, where we make a medieval-themed board game with mathematical elements. It is really fun, and I will be very proud of it when I finish.
Paloma: Café Literario, which is a play in Spanish written and acted out by students. We even do the props! This is made fun by our teacher who is very passionate about Café Literario.

EBI middle school in Emeryville
Elle (center) in her class’ Café Literario run-through | Photo courtesy EBI

What would you tell a student who is thinking about EBI as their middle school? 
Henry: I would tell them that if they were scared of having to learn a new language, it would be fine, since everyone is really nice and helps you pick up a lot quickly. A bilingual activity I love is Individuals and Societies (INS: IB social studies). Recently, a classmate and I have been going into the Spanish INS class, with our teacher, who is there to support us in English as well.
Hugo: EBI is fun, and welcoming and has a caring community with helpful, thoughtful teachers and staff, with many opportunities to speak and practice your Spanish outside of Spanish class thanks to most of the staff speaking both Spanish and English and encouraging it and having all native Spanish speaking teachers.

JR (right) contemplating his design project | Photo courtesy EBI

Describe how the middle school students are involved with mentoring the students in the lower grades.
Elle: Students in the upper school present their Grade 8 Community Projects to lower school students. This is our capstone project and it is cool to share with the younger students.
JR: One way that I can contribute to the lower school is by making school-wide decisions in the student council that not only affect the Middle School but also affect the Lower School.

What do you think are the benefits of a bilingual education?
Paloma: It helps you think in more creative ways. And it will help you meet more people when you’re traveling because you speak the language.
Henry: You can connect with so many more people in so many more places, and you also learn a lot about the culture of different places around the world. It also exercises your brain in a way that not many things do, and makes memorizing other things easier, since you learn and remember many more words than you would have.

Thanks to these students for sharing their thoughts with us today. We love having EBI as a sponsor of {510} Families.

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