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  #161  
Old 04.03.2012, 12:56
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

We have lived at the other end of the world, in a place where there are also very many immigrants with non-English-speaking children. Unfortunately, your husband's father is not alone when complaining that the structure of his teaching is "messed up" when trying to accommodate other language groups. My only reason basically for answering your message is to say that he is not alone and that it goes on everywhere where they are large immigrant groups.
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  #162  
Old 04.03.2012, 21:44
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I've also heard random comments from Swiss people about foreign children from "certain" countries not assimilating or learning the languages.

As far as I can tell, this is a Swiss/European problem, not a problem of the immigrants. I was born in a Muslim country during a war. My family immigrated to Canada where everyone in my family learned French and English and are now probably more Canadian and tolerant than most uneducated rednecks. I've done the "learning-a-new-language-thing" three times now and as a child, fluency came within 4 months or so, as an adult, it takes a bit longer.
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  #163  
Old 04.03.2012, 22:00
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I was actually suprised when I went to the orientation for my son's kindergarten last year, that they had translators for the orientation for Tamoul, Portuguese, and Albanaise. In Lausanne they also offer free French classes for parents who do not speak French to help them with basics, in case the child is sick and the school calls to pick them up, basic vocabulary associated with the school. How many parents use it I don't know...we just moved in January and I was looking for the exact entrance for my son's new class, and the 1st 2 parents that I asked wouldn't answer me, just said "no French"
But inside the class, intensive French was available for the children, my son was enrolled (against my wishes because he had a speech problem, not a language problem) and he enjoyed it for the short time he was involved in it. There was a separate teacher that taught 7-8 children intensive French, but it was still in the same classroom, the children weren't separated.
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Old 16.03.2012, 20:56
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Wow, leave it to adults to mentally masturbate all over an issue that can be rectified with a simple mantra of "on your feet or on your knees". Decide and quit whining Judith, move.Make room for people who can make a change and realize most do not enjoy commiseration, but are laughing at your self created hell-wallowing! Wow! Kids are so much more intuitive and, often, wise than their parents who should have a licence to think.
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  #165  
Old 16.03.2012, 21:57
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

What an unpleasant and uncalled for comment

However, children are often much more adaptable than their parents, that is true. And they are very clever and as you say intuitive and 'feel the vibes'. If their hear parents making negative comments about the new environment, the school, the teacher(s) - then it can quickly percolate through to the children. A positive attitude by the parents can really pay dividends.

A child who has come through the experience of joining a local school, learning a new language and new skills, etc, may have to repeat a year if returning home at a later stage- but the numerous skills they will have learned along the way will more than 100x make up for this temporary and perceived 'loss'.
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  #166  
Old 16.03.2012, 22:28
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Wow, leave it to adults to mentally masturbate all over an issue that can be rectified with a simple mantra of "on your feet or on your knees". Decide and quit whining Judith, move.Make room for people who can make a change and realize most do not enjoy commiseration, but are laughing at your self created hell-wallowing! Wow! Kids are so much more intuitive and, often, wise than their parents who should have a licence to think.
fyi, 99% of the people I meet who give this kind of "nut up, Young Jedi, it's a jungle out there" advice are merely trying to convince themselves to do the same.
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Old 16.03.2012, 22:48
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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Calling him stupid chinese sure is an insult!
Sad but we have seen similar, we have also had one teacher grab our kids and others by the scruff of the neck..
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  #168  
Old 17.03.2012, 11:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Wow, leave it to adults
I agree, this is a nasty comment, not worthy of an intelligent discussion.

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teaching is "messed up" when trying to accommodate other language groups
Sure, teaching is a difficult job, and not all teachers are flexible and patient at all times. They also have to handle various levels of abilities and learning styles.

Traditional methods are changing (I work with content immersion methods, CLIL) and the students are more flexible than their parents. But on average I have found parents and teachers and authorities sympathetic and helpful.
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  #169  
Old 25.04.2012, 23:45
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I have had the same experience as Judith. When my oldest son started in Kindergarten he was a happy boy and eager to start school. He is now 11 years old and after years of bullying (unchecked by the school....they basically treated him as the problem. They even wanted to send him to a closed mental hospital because he started to act out because of the constant bullying.) and now is "a special school" even though no doctor has found anything wrong with him. They constantly sent him home to the point he had to repeat a whole year of school instead to looking at the bigger picture, the bully culture on the playground. If it doesn't happen inside the classroom, they don't care. If your child doesn't fit into their tight little box, they are pushed into the "kleine Klasse". They cry ADHD and want the kid on medication if they have problems fitting in. We made the decision this year to leave Switzerland. The schools are outdated and change comes slow. If you child doesn't have a problem with their system, the schools are fine. But as soon as there is a problem, it's a HUGE problem. I have also found the more involved you are, the bigger the problem is for your child. They also want the parents to nod their heads to everything they feel is "right" for your child. If you disagree, it is a total disaster for your child.
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  #170  
Old 26.04.2012, 02:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

The lack of perspective on what is turning into yet another jingoistic thread ...UK have approximately 7% of their population made up of immigrants...US, right around 12%

Switzerland, has more than 22% - more than triple the UK and nearly double the US...If there are issues with immigration certainly the Suisse are entitled to be cut some slack

It may only be anecdotal but, personally, I've observed that the Suisse Romande region has seen a continual rise in English speakers over each of the last 5-7 years...If I were Suisse, I could imagine feeling a bit overrun

Adapt/integrate, that's the solution...Building and attending English only schools reinforces to the Suisse majority that you have no intention of integrating - yet play the victim card
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  #171  
Old 26.04.2012, 03:16
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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The lack of perspective on what is turning into yet another jingoistic thread ...UK have approximately 7% of their population made up of immigrants...US, right around 12%

Switzerland, has more than 22% - more than triple the UK and nearly double the US...If there are issues with immigration certainly the Suisse are entitled to be cut some slack

Adapt/integrate, that's the solution...Building and attending English only schools reinforces to the Suisse majority that you have no intention of integrating - yet play the victim card
On the other hand, International schools do NOT only have students who come in speaking English, yet we cope.

In fact we teachers tend to more than cope. I thrive, absolutely love, teaching in schools where the children come in with their various different languages, clothing, food, songs and games.

It gives more to share and makes it easier to encourage a wider view and understanding of the different cultures and languages in the world. I have no objection at all when I get a new child during the year, who does not have a single word of English.
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  #172  
Old 26.04.2012, 07:13
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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On the other hand, International schools do NOT only have students who come in speaking English, yet we cope.

In fact we teachers tend to more than cope. I thrive, absolutely love, teaching in schools where the children come in with their various different languages, clothing, food, songs and games.

It gives more to share and makes it easier to encourage a wider view and understanding of the different cultures and languages in the world. I have no objection at all when I get a new child during the year, who does not have a single word of English.
I truly wonder where you live. The schools in my town turned into international schools within the last 10 years. The avarage of foreign children ist now at about 65 %. They come from 22 different countries, among them two Americans and one Brit. They get additional German lessons over and over and teachers desperately try to get them into the next level, that they sometimes neglect the local children.
I agree with you that schools should encourage to understand different cultures but I think that children and even more the parents should understand the culture of the country they live in.
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  #173  
Old 26.04.2012, 07:42
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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I truly wonder where you live. The schools in my town turned into international schools within the last 10 years. The avarage of foreign children ist now at about 65 %. They come from 22 different countries, among them two Americans and one Brit. They get additional German lessons over and over and teachers desperately try to get them into the next level, that they sometimes neglect the local children.
I agree with you that schools should encourage to understand different cultures but I think that children and even more the parents should understand the culture of the country they live in.
I am in Basel. The stats you mention would be pretty normal for most of the International schools I have taught in.

Learning about other cultures and languages , and the local one(s) is not exclusive in a classroom. In fact, quite the reverse really, with it opening exra opportunities for discussion and sharing. In turn, I feel this provides more effective learning than having a just a teacher trying to impart knowledge of the local conditions to the students.

Understanding this factor has certainly made me a far more effective facilitator of learning.
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Old 26.04.2012, 07:48
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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The lack of perspective on what is turning into yet another jingoistic thread ...UK have approximately 7% of their population made up of immigrants...US, right around 12%

Switzerland, has more than 22% - more than triple the UK and nearly double the US...If there are issues with immigration certainly the Suisse are entitled to be cut some slack

It may only be anecdotal but, personally, I've observed that the Suisse Romande region has seen a continual rise in English speakers over each of the last 5-7 years...If I were Suisse, I could imagine feeling a bit overrun

Adapt/integrate, that's the solution...Building and attending English only schools reinforces to the Suisse majority that you have no intention of integrating - yet play the victim card
as a point of parliamentary procedure - 100% of the US population are immigrants, myself included. oh, and I hate to keep harping on the same point, but the Swiss figures include large numbers of families who have lived in Switzerland for 2 and 3 generations but simply kept their "native" citizenship.

I have no problem at all with the integration issue, in fact "integration" is the reason my grandparents did not permit Swedish or German to be spoken in their homes. but you should at least have your facts straight and ensure you're talking apples to apples, especially if you're going to launch into platitudes and assumptions.
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  #175  
Old 26.04.2012, 09:01
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I work now for over ten years in this business and deal on a daily basis with parents living here for years but seemingly ignore that they don't live in their native country. A high percentage of them doesn't make any effort to speak the language. We tried it with parent-children language courses, with language courses for adults, with weekly meeting points and so on. Nothing. It drives me nuts to bend over and over and to try to fullfill their expectations just to have to cope with their resistance year after year.
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Old 26.04.2012, 10:58
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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I work now for over ten years in this business and deal on a daily basis with parents living here for years but seemingly ignore that they don't live in their native country. A high percentage of them doesn't make any effort to speak the language. We tried it with parent-children language courses, with language courses for adults, with weekly meeting points and so on. Nothing. It drives me nuts to bend over and over and to try to fullfill their expectations just to have to cope with their resistance year after year.
which language are you expecting them to speak?
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  #177  
Old 26.04.2012, 11:57
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

It's a shame what happened to sarahdaw's kid, but it is quite different from what happened with mine - and I believe Pratteln (where we spent our first five years here) is worse than Birsfelden on the scale of places to live.

There were attempts at bullying, but with the schools' cooperation it was clamped down on hard. Bullies have been thrown out of schools. If they get thrown out of all the schools, then _they_ go to a special unit. And their parents have to pay for it (or toward it, if they're poor).

If your child is assaulted, and the school doesn't do anything about it, go to the police. The 11 y.o. son of a friend of mine picked on a younger girl at the pool last year, with two of his other friends. The mother went to the police. I can guarantee that kid won't dare do anything again.

There is an attitude of "Let the kids sort it out themselves. If adults intervene it'll just get worse". This is absolute garbage and only perpetuates the problem. The vast majority of the time, if adults intervene, the bullying stops.

Bullying in schools is not just a Swiss thing - it goes on in the UK, with some schools showing a similar lack of interest. Our experience here though, in two different communites -Pratteln and Binningen - is that bullying, when brought to the attention of the authorities, is effectively dealt with.

Part of the problem is that many foreign parents don't know what their rights are, and how to deal with the system to get what they want - which is why this forum can be invaluable. Sometimes you have to force the system to do what they should be doing anyway.
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  #178  
Old 26.04.2012, 12:06
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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which language are you expecting them to speak?
The language of the place they live for the last couple of years? I don't expect them to be perfect, but after ten years one should be able to understand the basics.
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  #179  
Old 26.04.2012, 13:25
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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I work now for over ten years in this business and deal on a daily basis with parents living here for years but seemingly ignore that they don't live in their native country. A high percentage of them doesn't make any effort to speak the language. We tried it with parent-children language courses, with language courses for adults, with weekly meeting points and so on. Nothing. It drives me nuts to bend over and over and to try to fullfill their expectations just to have to cope with their resistance year after year.
To be fair, the resistance might be just being busy with being parents. Throwing a foreign language into the game might not work for everyone, and, the courses might not have been good, for what we know. Just to see things differently..

Being in a foreign country won't be easy and natural for everyone, parents are usually swamped with gazillions of other things, and, might have hard time imagine that there will be, absolutely will be times when knowing this country languages will save their ass, or their kids ass, and that does not have to have anything to do with Swiss schooling, simply with what life brings for them..

It is true that there are a bunch of newcomers who do not realize that no matter how foreign friendly this place is (a parallel universe possible, at least where I live), not knowing the language makes them always codependent.

People complain that the culture is cold and unwelcoming, locals complain that foreigners make zero effort, the best is ignore all and think survival, soak up all you can as fast as you can. Kids will imitate and become independent, also to protect themselves when bullied. They won't have many buddies if they don't learn the lingo.

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..If they get thrown out of all the schools, then _they_ go to a special unit...
Since "special unit" is my daily bread, I can safely say there is zero tolerance for bullying even there. Cops, detentions, rules. Discipline is a simple thing, it is always about prevention.

If school does not seem to respond, teachers don't nor admins, you don't feel like bothering cops, then contact the local organization for parents of schooled kids. Every commune has one. The address of yours will be given to you by the secretary of your school.
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  #180  
Old 26.04.2012, 13:32
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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The language of the place they live for the last couple of years? I don't expect them to be perfect, but after ten years one should be able to understand the basics.
perhaps I should have asked, do you expect them to speak Berndeutsch oder Deutsch?
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