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Old 09.05.2010, 09:42
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foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Hi, I'm reading conflicting information and the forum archives do not seem to have answered this question. According to this 2004 article english classes start when kids are in 2nd grade. It was just a proposal in 2004. So what's the latest on foreign language classes in zurich public schools?

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Zurich_w...ml?cid=3817172

Which foreign language is taught in what grades in the public schools? And I'm wondering if we have a choice in which language class the kids take.

We already speak english at home. And when we move to zurich I would prefer that the kids learning german (obviously) and french rather than english.

thanks,
DavidSJC
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Old 09.05.2010, 10:05
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Can't say for Zürich, but in BL, German is taught from day one (obviously). French begins at age 10/11. English at 13.

When my son began English lessons, he did not have to take part - just do the tests. However, now he's older, and the English is more advance, he does participate - mainly because the teachers find it really useful to have a native English speaker in the class.

Be aware that many English teachers in CH insist on British English.
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Old 09.05.2010, 11:11
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

With the Harmos project, studying 2 foreign languages from primary level is going to be compulsory in the next couple of years.. In Zurich, all kids will start learning French from their 3rd year of primary and then they will start learning English from their 5th year of primary. the kids must learn one of the national languages and English, this is why in the German speaking part of Swizterland it is French .. they will continue learning both languages until the end of their compulsory schooling.

There are quite a few info on the Swiss conference of cantonal Ministers of education but it's all in German and English.
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Old 09.05.2010, 23:04
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foreign language classes in zurich public schools

In Kanton Zurich schools, English is taught from 2nd grade (started two years ago) and French from 4th grade.

Lisa
www.myBlueSky.ch
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Old 09.05.2010, 23:13
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foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Whoops, French from 5th grade... Not 4th. The English is only an hour a week initially. My 4th grader now has 2 hours English each week. Although it is dead easy, won't miss a class as does not want to be different. It is great for their self confidence too .... something to be really good at. Clearly German is the main language spoken at school. I am very pleased in general with the local school system, can't hurt - give it a burl.

Lisa
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Old 09.05.2010, 23:23
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Ok, so we have this for Zurich

olympe: french from 3rd grade; english from 5th grade

aussie lisa: english from 2nd grade; french from 5th grade

I think both of you are right and that the curriculum depends on the school district itself. :-) I'm surprised at the variation within Zurich canton. I would think that at the canton level every school district would have identical curriculum.

Thank you both. I will have to pick a school that offers french from 2nd or 3rd grade.

DavidSJC
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Old 09.05.2010, 23:29
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

If you can afford to go private, there's a multilingual (English/French/German) primary school opening up in Zurich, here.
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Old 09.05.2010, 23:48
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

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Ok, so we have this for Zurich

olympe: french from 3rd grade; english from 5th grade

aussie lisa: english from 2nd grade; french from 5th grade

I think both of you are right and that the curriculum depends on the school district itself. :-) I'm surprised at the variation within Zurich canton. I would think that at the canton level every school district would have identical curriculum.
Public schools in the Canton of Zürich teach English from 2nd grade and French from 5th grade according to the following PDF (page 4):

http://www.vsa.zh.ch/internet/bi/vsa...=1273416145665

Private schools often have a different curriculum.

Martin
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Old 10.05.2010, 22:26
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foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Harmos is in the future ( not sure when, or if all Kantons are signing up to it) but it will bring the whole country into line. Olympe is correct.

Throughout KtZurich, currently, English is in 2 class and French in 5th. Martin is also correct.

There is a French school, I believe, near or in Gockhausen. I believe it is bi or tri lingual.

Alternatively, you could choose local school and take French tutoring separately, if it is so important?

Regards

Lisa
www.myBlueSky.ch
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Old 01.09.2010, 20:43
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

I work with kids on a part time basis, who do their pocket money jobs with me as part of their Jugendhaus programme at an indoor Skating Hall. Today I got a scanned page of their English vocab book used in their public school curriculum ( this was off a 16 year old who always insists I speak to him in English ).
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Old 01.09.2010, 21:48
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

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Public schools in the Canton of Zürich teach English from 2nd grade and French from 5th grade according to the following PDF (page 4):

http://www.vsa.zh.ch/internet/bi/vsa...=1273416145665

Private schools often have a different curriculum.

Martin
Yep, Zurich (and a couple of other cantons, I think) swapped the 'first foreign language' introduced in primary from French to English in 2008 - caused no end of fuss in the French-speaking media over here, as it torpedoes the gentlemen's agreement to learn each other's Swiss national languages and all be one happy family.

I can see it going the same way here in Canton Vaud, as presently we have the bizarre situation of the canton inviting US multinationals to set up home here through enormous tax breaks, but not educating the locals to take up their jobs in their English-speaking offices; here we have 'play' German from 3rd grade, proper German from 5th grade then English from 7th grade. The parents would mostly LOVE it to be English first.

kodokan

PS: for the OP: assuming your kids will be new to German, then it will be terrific for them to have ONE lesson a week where they can be the clever ones who know what's going on and get good grades with no effort.

My son has been in French-speaking school now for just over two years and has had to make considerably more effort at French study than his peers - homework that takes his friends 15 mins can be up to an hour for him, as he doesn't automatically know the genders of the words he's supposed to be making the adjectives agree with. He could have done without the pressure of also learning ANOTHER foreign language via the medium of the first one that he didn't yet know... Fortunately the German for 3rd and 4th is not at all serious, and he is now proficient enough in French that it doesn't matter.

Edit: Whoops, old thread, I guess the OP is sorted now. But still, the advice is the same - give your poor kids a break!
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  #12  
Old 05.12.2015, 21:16
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Sorry for bringing up an old thread but can anyone confirm if in Kanton Zurich students start learning English in 2nd grade and French in 5th grade? Also how intensive are these classes?
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Old 05.12.2015, 21:21
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Yes, English from Grade 2, French from Grade 5.

We haven't experienced the English, but the older primary kids can communicate with English-only natives in (at least) broken English.

The French, four months in, involves one afternoon a week. Greetings and lots of basic vocab - animals, colours, items in the classroom, etc.
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Old 06.12.2015, 13:11
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Are they supposed to memorise vocabulary? I was somehow hoping that the pedagogical practices would be a bit more advanced in Switzerland.

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I work with kids on a part time basis, who do their pocket money jobs with me as part of their Jugendhaus programme at an indoor Skating Hall. Today I got a scanned page of their English vocab book used in their public school curriculum ( this was off a 16 year old who always insists I speak to him in English ).
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Old 06.12.2015, 14:03
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Re: foreign language classes in zurich public schools

Nothing wrong as such with memorising vocab- as long as it is included in a meaningful appropriate communicative framework. Sadly, it is not always the case, at least not where I live and all the testing is done in writing and not oral/aural either.
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