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Old 10.01.2007, 08:31
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[German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

Hi All,

I've tried the Benedicte Schule and Berlitz when I was in Zurich two summers ago.

Since I may be moving to Zurich at the end of the year, I wanted to get an idea if others have tried different German schools in Zurich and what they thought of them! Which school do you think is the best and why?
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Old 10.01.2007, 08:57
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

Hi - Benedicte is supposed to be the worst of the bunch in Zurich, mainly becuase they pay their teachers the least of all the schools and there are big classes. I went for an 'assesment' there last september and after the test was given the hard sell by this slimy used-car salesman type (with big watch and cheap expensive suit and all).

Now Im in Migro and in addition to it being the cheapest (and includes books), I have found it very good. A few years ago I was at EB and it was very good, though I got a bad teacher in one of the classes.

Alpha is also supposed to be good, but expensive. In general Migro seems to be the best, especially when you consider the price and transparency of their classes and what exactly you get, I have been really happy at the Oelikon school, but the Kalkbreite one is supposed to be similar...

EDIT - I have just heard today that a girl in my class called alpha and apparently it is about the same price as Migro...

andrew

Last edited by andrew1306; 10.01.2007 at 20:09.
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Old 10.01.2007, 09:50
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I'm lucky enough to have a teacher who comes to my work for 1.5 hours/week (class of 3 people) but some colleagues of mine supplement the in-house teaching with 2x/week at Alpha and they have told me it's very good. Also handy to get to, being close to Stadelhofen.
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Old 12.01.2007, 07:59
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

Quote:
Hi - Benedicte is supposed to be the worst of the bunch in Zurich, mainly becuase they pay their teachers the least of all the schools and there are big classes. I went for an 'assesment' there last september and after the test was given the hard sell by this slimy used-car salesman type (with big watch and cheap expensive suit and all).


andrew
I think I must have met with that same slimy used car salesman type! Great to hear that Migros has a good school. Is there are Goethe Institut in Zurich? I'm going to one here in San Francisco now and I find it to be a great school.
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Old 12.01.2007, 11:07
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I really like the people at Sprachwelten (www.sprachwelten.ch). They have small classes and the staff are very friendly and helpful. It's a very informal atmosphere and I would make my tea in their kitchen before class starts.

And the teachers are also quite good. I've been going for a while now and have had no complaints.

Most schools like Sprachwelten let you have one if not two classes free to gauge for yourself which suits you. Most offer Goethe Institute classes. I dont know if there's a Goethe school in zurich but most schools carry out the Goethe curriculum.

~ Nanda.
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Old 24.01.2007, 12:29
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

What about inlingua? I went there at the recommendation from a colleague and they seemed very professional and nice (but expensive). But then they always are until you join. Anyone with any experience here?
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Old 24.01.2007, 12:41
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?


MegSF - There is unfortunately no Goethe in Switzerland at all , there may be certain partners but I'm not sure who they are. I heard that the University of Basel is somehow an accredited partner, not sure though.

They (Goethe) are really good, I studied with them in South Africa and my girlfriend worked for them too.

Cheers
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Old 25.01.2007, 10:15
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

Have you tried LSI Zurich???
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Old 31.01.2007, 13:55
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I had my first lesson at Bellingua (that's on Lowenstrasse).
We are a group of 9, of diverse nationalities, the teacher is nice but the book looks childish - may be that's because we are all complete beginners.

The price is about 1/2 of Inlingua courses.
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Old 31.01.2007, 14:42
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I have tried the following schools: Benedict, LSI and Bellingua. Bellingua is definitive the best after my opinion. It cost more than the others though, but if you want to get up to speed quickly it's worth it. At LSI I didn't like the teacher and didn't learn as much as I wanted, but it might be that others are luckier. It is at least better than Benedict.
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Old 31.01.2007, 15:17
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I treid LSI, didnt learn any German, kissed the teacher though
female - Before you ask .. . .

( not the most helpful input, but couldn't resist )
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Old 31.01.2007, 15:27
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

I find this quite curious. There must certainly be differences between schools, particularly with regards to pricing. But on what grounds do you (all in thread) find one school 'better' than another?

Is the courseware? Is the price? Is it the size of the groups (surely they all range from large to individual)? Is it location? Flexibility of course times? Or is it the teacher that you get and your own willingness to learn?

No school out there has a magic wand. Does it not depend on your own personal methods for learning? I know people who have picked up more German through osmosis than others who attend lessons. What about TV, there's a box that will babble High German to you all day long, for the cost of a TV licence.

I'm not knocking schools, I attended one (Swissing, teacher; Anna, brilliant) - I guess I'm trying to find the criteria that make one better than another. I abandoned my books early on, they're all childish, but on the oter hand watching childrens TV will teach a beginner more German than trying to thrash it out over Faust. My teacher was smart enough to realise that I understood the books, but I'm not shy and what I needed was to get as much conversation in in the given time period. So we put the books aside, we would talk, and she would pick out the patterns of my mistakes and strengths.

I think learning a language is functional, I'm going shopping, so... 'how much does this cost?' 'do you have it in another size?' 'I would like...' and so on.
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Old 31.01.2007, 17:11
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

Heya all

I have been to the Migros and did a one month crash course in german there at the beginning of my stay here in Switzerland. Good for what I paid for it.

I have now been at SKK on Löwenstr, Zürich ( www.skkonline.ch) since April. I would highly reccommend this place. The staff are great (teachers and admin alike and all speak at least 3 languages) , classes are small ( my class has 5 regulars and a few who turn up when they want to, but maximum 8), classes are for the most part focused on speaking - leaving the bookwork for homework, it is however more expensive than Migros - I think I pay about CHF2,500 per 6 months for classes twice a week including online access, books are about CHF100 extra, Inhouse publications but the accreditation is I believe internationally recognised.

Hope this helps

Enjoy
kt
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Old 31.01.2007, 18:04
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Re: [German] Which is the best German school in Zurich?

Quote:
MegSF - There is unfortunately no Goethe in Switzerland at all , there may be certain partners but I'm not sure who they are. I heard that the University of Basel is somehow an accredited partner, not sure though.

They (Goethe) are really good, I studied with them in South Africa and my girlfriend worked for them too.

Cheers
Goethe's test center is Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur. I just completed a ZMP prep course that lasted over three months and took the test there. I would say a few things: experience is dependent upon the instructor, my class had a strange (and not always comfortable or intelligent) mix of people, and classes can be up to 18 in size. However, the curriculum was great. One of my two instructors was clearly extremely experienced, knew English / Spanish / French at the very least, and did an amazing job conveying the material. One person in the class attended both ZHW and Benedicte -- he said ZHW was far, far better and moved much faster.

However, they have a limited time frame for sign ups, as they do not operate like normal language schools. You might want to check out their website, but I have the feeling that it just ended. I decided against returning there because I want to find work and want something that has smaller class sizes and encourages much more independent work. We would often sit in the classroom and do exercises alone, then go over them. It was a massive waste of time. It would have been much more intelligent if they had divided us into smaller sessions and made us do the work at home. But, then again, some of the people there were not that bright. As it is a Hochschule (state college), there are a number of refugees there subsidized entirely by Zürich, and they most definitely drag down the pace and reduce one's ability to learn.

Quote:
No school out there has a magic wand. Does it not depend on your own personal methods for learning? I know people who have picked up more German through osmosis than others who attend lessons. What about TV, there's a box that will babble High German to you all day long, for the cost of a TV licence.
I personally find it essential to take a German course to at least the B2 level before trying to teach yourself. It is not easy for English speakers to learn dativ, akkusativ or genativ -- or at least it was not for me. There are a lot of extremely strict rules, all of which need to be memorized and taught systematically, which is what I loved about ZHW. I had German prior to my arrival in Switzerland back at college in the States, during which time I felt as if I had learnt practically nothing. As grammar is not typically taught systemically in the States, it is (practically) impossible to learn German without being forced to go through this process while learning it. The rules are everything.

However, I have found it essential to a.) watch TV regularly and b.) read a newspaper regularly. I really enjoy bringing my laptop in front of the TV and then typing words that I do not know into an online dictionary (Leo). Also, by reading a newspaper daily, you learn to recognize more complex sentence structure, pick up on vocabulary that would not normally appear on television and learn more about Switzerland. I read the NZZ because I want both in-depth international and Swiss news, but most say that is too difficult to start with. My two cents.
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Old 16.02.2007, 04:59
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

Well, I recommend Bellingua (on Löwenplatz) very highly and anytime. I managed to get my German proficiency till Mittelstufe 2 and stopped there short from doing Oberstufe (didn't think I needed it).

Like any other school, the teachers, the lessons and also the group plays a very big role. During my course, we've had a variety of teachers according to the levels. But I and like my other classmates were lucky enough to have the best, IMHO teacher at Bellingua. We managed to get him for Grund- and Mittelstufe 2. So that helped.

In regards to the materials, I don't personally know what the other schools are using (never tried any other), they can come out looking childish or simple and perhaps even silly. But at the end of the day, at Bellingua and with Alex (the teacher), we had extra materials from more interesting books as resource materials. This of course made it much more interesting even tough they came out being harder lessons at times. But I rarely shy away from a challenge so I suppose that's good, no?

If you're ever up for it, visit Bellingua and find out more. If you're willing to take the chance, sign up for a guarantee test round and request for Alex as your teacher. If they ask why, say he came highly recommended.
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Old 17.02.2007, 17:49
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

For those living in Zurich Oberland, the WBK in Dübendorf is great. Small classes, motivated teachers and special certificate courses for mothers with lesser time for learning German.

www.wbk.ch


Prices are definitively reasonable, free parking available and childcare nearby (though you would have to arrange it yourself...it is at the community centre)
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Old 18.02.2007, 22:04
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

Quote:
If you're ever up for it, visit Bellingua and find out more. If you're willing to take the chance, sign up for a guarantee test round and request for Alex as your teacher. If they ask why, say he came highly recommended.
I think my teacher at Bellingua was also called Alex, and I can highly recommend him. He made us do more than what was in the regular school books. More work, but you'll also learn faster that way.
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Old 19.03.2007, 12:32
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

Has anyone got the URL for Migros langauge school, the website is all in German... just if you have it to hand like...

Sorry for being dumb.
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Old 19.03.2007, 12:43
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

http://www.klubschule.ch

Click on sprachen in the top left hand corner of the web page.

Unfortunately their website is all in German, but if you give them a ring then someone there should speak English.
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Old 20.03.2007, 09:27
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Re: [German] Which is the best school in Zurich?

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http://www.klubschule.ch

Click on sprachen in the top left hand corner of the web page.

Unfortunately their website is all in German, but if you give them a ring then someone there should speak English.
Thansk Pacman, you de man
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