DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of students are already back in class at one area school and for the first time, every student in the incoming senior class calls a different country home.
At first glance the school cafeteria at the Dallas International School looks typical. But when you stop and listen you’ll hear students speaking English, French, Spanish and maybe even a little German.
The situation wasn’t typical for students like Sophia Karsunky who said, “It was a shock. I didn’t like it at the beginning.”
Now Karsunky and her classmates see the benefit of being multilingual.
Cody Gelbrich is a member of the senior class at Dallas International. “Being around all these international people and you get to have all these cultures just suddenly come together everyday,” he said. “You get to learn about different people.”
Classes resumed at the private academy this week. School administrators believe learning different languages are an essential part of development for the 600 enrolled students.
“Creativity, open mindedness, these kinds skills you maybe don’t see in a regular school,” explained Pierre Vittoz, the Head of Primary at Dallas International.
That push toward diversity means that for the first time in the schools 20-year history, the senior class is made up of students who each represent a different country.
There’s Cody from Germany, Ana from Mexico, Sophia from Switzerland and five others from across the globe — including Pakistan, China and France.
A recent study on the science news website Science found that, “bilingual children outperform children who speak only one language in problem-solving skills and creative thinking.”
In the classrooms at Dallas International School it’s an everyday occurrence to hear an American teenager conversing in French with a student from China.
While some students attending Dallas International have only been there a year, others have walked the same halls since first grade.
“With 13 years I think I might have been through the whole world with all the people I’ve met from this school. And I think that’s really cool!” senior Nakai Banks said optimistically.
While students may think it’s “cool”, administrators view it as ‘cultural currency’ for undergraduates with a future that can truly take them anywhere.
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