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  #41  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:06
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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"And foreigners usually should either assimilate or get out after some time"

No, they shouldn't assimilate. They should learn language, local rules and respect the law. And of course, keep and nurture their own culture.
Amen. But that's not what the Swissies seem to want.



Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
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  #42  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:11
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Amen. But that's not what the Swissies seem to want.



Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
Indeed. I heard they're building this big fence along the frontier and armed local peasants are now patrolling the border in pick-ups.
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  #43  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:15
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Indeed. I heard they're building this big fence along the frontier and armed local peasants are now patrolling the border in pick-ups.
Ah, that's why the Swiss Air Force needs to replace their aging F-5 Tigers ... with an airplane suitable for border patrol.
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  #44  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:20
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Please please please leave the SVP out of it, we all know that they shoot regularly past the common sense with their advertising campaings,and this thread should not turn political!! SVP ( Zurich wing in particular) is NOT speaking for the common Swiss nor portraying the common Swiss thoughts and opnions on this!!!


Back to one argument of the OP that sticks in my mind, about not giving info in english here in CH.

I was once told that in the USA, in particular CA, for instance there are now more people speaking either spanish or cantonese than english, are there all vital informations ( in regards to schools or for example, when living in rented accomodation) handed out in these languages?

I just wonder that's all

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Amen. But that's not what the Swissies seem to want.



Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
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  #45  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:22
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

EastEnders - in Texas you can even take your driving test in German, not that there are too many German immigrants living there ...
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  #46  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:22
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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"And foreigners usually should either assimilate or get out after some time"

No, they shouldn't assimilate. They should learn language, local rules and respect the law. And of course, keep and nurture their own culture.
There might be a linguistic mismatch. For me assimilation is more or less what you stated, with exception:
- nurture own culture unless the culture and traditions are in contradiction with the law/human rights/etc
- usually own culture erodes with time (or generations) and the migrants meld with the environment. Some aspects take longer to 'erode' (religion), but some are much quicker (language, norms, etc).
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  #47  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:27
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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I was once told that in the USA, in particular CA, for instance there are now more people speaking either spanish or cantonese, are there all vital informations ( in regards to schools or for example when living in rented accomodation) handed out in these languages?

I just wonder that's all
Some local authorities in Britain provide information, or at least offer some translation services, in many different languages.

The argument for and against this situation is complex, and I can't be bothered to get into it now.

But there is something to be said for recognising the existence of dominant groups of foreigners - especially where they contribute significantly to the economy or cultural life of a nation - and, where appropriate, accommodating them to some extent by providing information in their own - or a commonly used - language.

Having stuff in Spanish in California makes sense, whereas having it in the dozens of languages of the Caucasus probably doesn't. Having stuff in English, Serbo-Croat and Portuguese would make sense in Switzerland, whereas having it in Urdu probably wouldn't.

If the foreigners are there, it is not enough to say 'you must integrate!', and expecting them to do all the integration. This is the 21st century, Europe is interdependent, the borders are open, and we all need each other. Getting parochial now is just plain silly.

And I feel the same about England, too, before anyone asks.
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  #48  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:30
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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EastEnders - in Texas you can even take your driving test in German, not that there are too many German immigrants living there ...
Probably not that many German-speaking practical examinators either.
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  #49  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Probably not that many German-speaking practical examinators either.


Probably indeed.
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  #50  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:42
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Probably indeed.
I think that's scandalous. No Texas laws to protect the rights of the foreigners. Tssk tssk.
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  #51  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:44
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Thanks DB ( how's your uncle by the way?)

I am far from wanting to fuel any fire and I am with you on this, I have heard of the citzien advice bureaus (I presume it's what you are referring to) and I am all in favour of having that here too! I can not put it into my posts often enough,communication is vital and to hand over informations in a language the people understand is also communication.

Alas not everyone thinks like that and whatever the country, native ppl often have a mindset of WE are speaking our mothertongue, THEY have to learn it come hell or high water,but forgetting that when someone newly arrives even if they are hellbent on integrating and learning the local lingo,they will need some time in doing so and to make the process of integration smoother the info should be handed out in,well the foreigners language. sounds completely complicated would be easier all way round............so if anyone wants to set up a citizien advice bureau ,i'd gladly help out


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Some local authorities in Britain provide information, or at least offer some translation services, in many different languages.

The argument for and against this situation is complex, and I can't be bothered to get into it now.

But there is something to be said for recognising the existence of dominant groups of foreigners - especially where they contribute significantly to the economy or cultural life of a nation - and, where appropriate, accommodating them to some extent by providing information in their own - or a commonly used - language.

Having stuff in Spanish in California makes sense, whereas having it in the dozens of languages of the Caucasus probably doesn't. Having stuff in English, Serbo-Croat and Portuguese would make sense in Switzerland, whereas having it in Urdu probably wouldn't.

If the foreigners are there, it is not enough to say 'you must integrate!', and expecting them to do all the integration. This is the 21st century, Europe is interdependent, the borders are open, and we all need each other. Getting parochial now is just plain silly.

And I feel the same about England, too, before anyone asks.
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  #52  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:47
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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...there is something to be said for recognising the existence of dominant groups of foreigners ... and, where appropriate, accommodating them to some extent by providing information in their own - or a commonly used - language...
One thing that goes a long way towards realizing this principle in practical terms is the initiative taken by linguistically gifted or trained members of said 'dominant groups of foreigners,' to step up and engage in and facilitate the process.

What I mean is that when members of any foreign group make sustained and visible efforts to open and maintain channels of communication (including with official entities), it creates a huge advantage in terms of goodwill. The extreme alternative of fostering the communication barrier by leaving the burden entirely (or mostly) on the shoulders of the host country's natives and their government is almost sure to generate more resentment and hostility than anything else.
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  #53  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:49
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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There might be a linguistic mismatch. For me assimilation is more or less what you stated, with exception:
- nurture own culture unless the culture and traditions are in contradiction with the law/human rights/etc...
Slapping an 8yr old and frequently humiliating in public shows different understanding what human rights are. Shame on that professor and anybody who is trying to justify such act. That's a twisted take on "assimilation". It is a dangerous environment and I understand the op for wanting to withdraw her child from it. If a teacher is openly bullying it gives a free pass to any kid in that witnessing class who wants to bully that poor boy plus it gives a message that violence is a normal code of behavior, at least towards a foreigner. I would hate to have a child in that class.
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  #54  
Old 16.01.2009, 18:57
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Slapping an 8yr old and frequently humiliating in public shows different understanding what human rights are. Shame on that professor and anybody who is trying to justify such act. That's a twisted take on "assimilation".
Make a distinction between individual cases and the whole system.
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  #55  
Old 16.01.2009, 19:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

We came here 7 years ago. Our eldest son was then 10. He did the test for deciding which level of secondary he would go to, and, as he'd only just started learning German, he didn't do very well. Fortunately, the principal of the secondär level recognized my son's potential, and let him go to pro-gymnasium. He's now at gymnasium doing very well.

BUT

Continually, he has had what can only be counted as harrassment from some of his teachers - because of his German language skills. Even in his last year at p.g. his biology teacher was saying he's not good enough to go to gym. It seems that some teachers, thankfully not all, have an absolute obsession that being really good at German is the only measure of intelligence and ability. Forget it if you're brilliant at French, English, Maths, Physics - occasionally using the wrong case is clear evidence that basically you're stupid. Funnily enough, Swiss kids don't get this treatment...

And we've found the same thing to a greater or lesser degree with our other two kids.

I think it's got something to do with some Swiss have a real inferiority complex when it comes to German. I know many Swiss who'd rather talk to me in English than in Hochdeutsch - because they worry about German grammar.

So, my 3rd child has been graded as Realschule, despite having clearly shown, and measured, higher than average intelligence. Again, it's her German that's apparently not up to scratch. And, again, it's interesting that a higher proportion of non-swiss are going to the lower level than you'd expect.

Now, I could get all angry about it, and shout at the teacher, register complaints and generally make myself a thorn in the side of the administration. But what's the point? The system is against us. It's slowly changing, and there are some great teachers. We have to work despite the system. All I'm going to do, is get my daughter as much help as possible to get her through the test retakes. And if she still doesn't make it, then she'll be going to private school.
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  #56  
Old 16.01.2009, 19:40
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Make a distinction between individual cases and the whole system.
And you quit barking orders german shepherd style.. Ha!

I was actually not speaking generally but of that particular case. That's the b*tch of virtual communication.

But back to your comment, that's what I have beef with. How actually efficient is the whole system when one has large online forums (the yahoo group mentioned earlier, etc) devoted to complaints about the treatment of foreign kids in Swiss schools? This case did not seem too rare, there were people even in here agreeing with the op. What I really appreciated, though, was the practical advice the op got here. This community is good!

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Old 16.01.2009, 19:53
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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...
Regarding the comments full of hate that I have received I pity this people...
On another forum, there was someone fond of saying that anyone who expressed disagreement or lack of sympathy was full of hate. She was eventually banned for linking to sites promoting to protocols of the elders of zion. Which was kind of ironic.
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  #58  
Old 16.01.2009, 20:00
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

My understanding is that the exams for entry to High school here in Canton zurich are based only on German (High German), Mathematics and Geometry...

I believe the system is similar in Australia - my experience is that children who arrive in Sydney for high school go to 'intensive language' schools for between 6-12 months, before being integrated into comprehensive high schools.

Regardless of intelligence, if the child cannot comprehend what the teacher is saying, they are not going to 'succeed' in a school where English is the language that the teacher is speaking...because it's competitive, and the kids who can listen, understand and talk fast, usually 'win'...

There are two reasons why our children are in a Montessori environment - firstly, because the children are not graded against one another, language barriers are less of an obstacle to feeling 'successful'. Secondly they learn at their own pace, so our children are able to continue with the level they are in many of their subjects, and start at 'basics' for German...
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Old 16.01.2009, 22:01
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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But back to your comment, that's what I have beef with. How actually efficient is the whole system when one has large online forums (the yahoo group mentioned earlier, etc) devoted to complaints about the treatment of foreign kids in Swiss schools? This case did not seem too rare, there were people even in here agreeing with the op. What I really appreciated, though, was the practical advice the op got here. This community is good!
Large? How large? Please entertain us with a study showing whether this "largeness" is actually large. Back in the days of marketing 101 they taught us that for one vocal discontent client there are at least seven silent happy clients.

So how actually efficient is the system?
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Old 16.01.2009, 23:35
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Hmm...Does that one discontented customer even matter, then? I think she/he does, since that one voice can contribute to any necessary improvements. I think in an issue of human rights especially. With this relativity logic - it wouldn't matter that the poor kid got hit and bullied as all his classmates did not. Largeness is a funny word .
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