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Old 10.10.2018, 19:06
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Swiss schools

Hello,
I am moving to zug next year with my family and would like help with the best education options for my children. I have two children who are six and two. Neither speak any german ( although my six year old knows a few words since I am learning the language and try and involve him a bit.) We are thinking of putting the six year old into a local Swiss school (he will be seven by then)but I am worried about the transition for him and the challenge of learning both high and Swiss German.
For my youngest we thought he could go to a bilingual or german speaking kindergarten, though I understand places are booked way in advance. Any thoughts or ideas welcome!
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Old 10.10.2018, 19:10
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Re: Swiss schools

Hi Finnton

Welcome to the forum.

If you have a look here https://www.englishforum.ch/education/ you'll see several so-called "sticky" threads containing standard info about the Swiss school system, collected by many users. This is, by now, a kind of handbook or guide.

In particular, I recommend that you work your way the bumper-sticky kindly assembled by Longbyt, here: https://www.englishforum.ch/educatio...ol-system.html.
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Old 10.10.2018, 19:56
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Re: Swiss schools

Kids that age usually pick the language up quite quickly. They'll probably be fluent in 6-12 months.

Kindergarten doesn't start until age 4 so the youngest would probably go into some sort of childcare if your wife or you aren't staying at home to look after them. It's also usually only for the mornings and one afternoon a week.
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:02
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Re: Swiss schools

Thanks for the message. My youngest will be three and a half by the time we move. Are there activities we could involve him in so he picks up the language at that age?
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:03
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Re: Swiss schools

Welcome to the Forum, Finnton. Schools are discussed here ad nauseum and if you search correctly, you will be overwhelmed with information.


From personal experience through watching my much younger, English speaking, friends put their kids through school, I can reassure you that your two will be fine.


They are young and they will pick up the language in the local school and the local creche (don't know the term in Swiss German), like sponges. They will surpass you and your spouse by leaps and bounds inside of one year and by the second year you will be bringing them along as translators.


There will be a period of time, like 18 months, after they are thrown into the deep end where they will sort of stop talking and, when they do talk, they will be confused, especially for your little one. They will speak German, English and some weird combo just randomly. Then, like a miracle, their brain gets it all sorted out and they speak the correct language to the correct person.


If you just take that period of time with a grain of salt and a few laughs, you will come out of it on the other end with two bilingual kids.
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:11
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Re: Swiss schools

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Thanks for the message. My youngest will be three and a half by the time we move. Are there activities we could involve him in so he picks up the language at that age?
Sure - look for "Spielgruppe" (play group)
Sports groups such as MuVaKi-Turnen in Cham (www.tvcham.ch), bound to be swimming groups
If you want a formal nursery, look for "kita"
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:12
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Re: Swiss schools

You've made the fatal error of comparing your learning abilities to your children's' abilities.


They are far more advanced than you will ever be



Within 6 months they will be fluent and helping you with your efforts to learn German !


Local school and be happy they have the opportunity to learn a second language easily
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:35
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Re: Swiss schools

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You've made the fatal error of comparing your learning abilities to your children's' abilities.


They are far more advanced than you will ever be



Within 6 months they will be fluent and helping you with your efforts to learn German !


Local school and be happy they have the opportunity to learn a second language easily
I think 6 months is a very optimistic estimate. In 6 months they will be speaking short phrases, common everyday phrases, that they hear in class from their peers, but they will not be fluent.


It takes at least one year for the little ones to figure out how to address adults and peers correctly and to speak in the past and future tenses. More like 18 months to 2 years, actually.
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Old 10.10.2018, 20:43
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Re: Swiss schools

From my observation, I'd say one of the factors which strongly influence's some children's progress is the attitude and dedication of the parents towards learning the local language themselves.

Children of parents who, themselves, are eager to get on with doing their own language-learning homework, who memorise the vocab, practicing speaking and comprehension Out There every day, and who can laugh at their own mistakes and keep going, seem to me to embrace the local language more quickly and more securely. A parent who generally sets an example of an engaged, pro-active person who thinks "we are all so lucky to have this amazing opportunity to learn another language", sets a positive tone for the children's integration and language progress.

Last edited by doropfiz; 10.10.2018 at 23:06. Reason: typo
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Old 10.10.2018, 21:43
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Re: Swiss schools

YES, oh so YES.
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Old 10.10.2018, 23:42
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Re: Swiss schools

One of the challenges for native English speaking parents with children in local schools is being able to communicate at parents evening, and to understand the communications from the school. The kids will do fine but as a basic learner yourself you may spend long and frustrated hours trying to decipher the letters you receive in their school bag and over email. And at parents evening your children may be translating what the teachers say about them (so perhaps you might not get the full story....)

Good luck!
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Old 10.10.2018, 23:52
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Re: Swiss schools

Yes!

That's the reason to put in the requisite effort to master the local language well enough for such interactions with the school (and the neighbours, the pediatrician, the sports coach, the other children, their parents, etc.) and so that the teachers recognise one as a parent who really does make the effort.

Here's a recent thread about the kinds of support that may be offered to children new to the Swiss school system, who don't yet speak the local language, and their parents.
https://www.englishforum.ch/educatio...abk-rzung.html

Last edited by doropfiz; 11.10.2018 at 00:57.
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Old 11.10.2018, 09:48
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Re: Swiss schools

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Kindergarten doesn't start until age 4 so the youngest would probably go into some sort of childcare if your wife or you aren't staying at home to look after them. It's also usually only for the mornings and one afternoon a week.
It starts at age three here, but only mornings. At age 4 it's full days, except Wednesday.

Tom
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Old 11.10.2018, 09:58
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Re: Swiss schools

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It starts at age three here, but only mornings. At age 4 it's full days, except Wednesday.

Tom
Yes, I know Tom. I did debate anticipating your reply, but decided not to bother since the OP is looking to move to Zug so sort of irrelevant.
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Old 11.10.2018, 09:59
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Re: Swiss schools

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One of the challenges for native English speaking parents with children in local schools is being able to communicate at parents evening, and to understand the communications from the school. The kids will do fine but as a basic learner yourself you may spend long and frustrated hours trying to decipher the letters you receive in their school bag and over email. And at parents evening your children may be translating what the teachers say about them (so perhaps you might not get the full story....)

Good luck!
Actually as a shortcut, there are apps you can download which work in conjunction with your phone camera which translates the text directly for you.

Bit of a cheat but it helps if you are in a pinch, still learning the language and need to know immediately what is in the letter.
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Old 11.10.2018, 10:04
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Re: Swiss schools

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Yes, I know Tom. I did debate anticipating your reply, but decided not to bother since the OP is looking to move to Zug so sort of irrelevant.



Are you referring to Tom or Tom's post ?
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Old 11.10.2018, 10:16
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Re: Swiss schools

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Yes, I know Tom. I did debate anticipating your reply, but decided not to bother since the OP is looking to move to Zug so sort of irrelevant.
It's a bit like the USA and the Great State of Texas. Switzerland and the Great Canton of Tessin.

Back on topic - no brainer. Send them to local school. Check the educational regulations - in Baselland at least there are concessions made towards the German language ability of children if neither parent is a native German speaker.
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Old 11.10.2018, 10:50
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Re: Swiss schools

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Yes, I know Tom. I did debate anticipating your reply, but decided not to bother since the OP is looking to move to Zug so sort of irrelevant.
OP can move to Ticino and commute to Zug!

Only 1h14 from Bellinzona to Zug.

Tom
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Old 12.10.2018, 01:21
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Re: Swiss schools

Hi, if you'd like a single place for both children, you could check out Futura Montessori School, in Baar (still in Canton Zug!).
As a Montessori teacher I've been there for workshops and to observe on several occasions, and I also know the families of several graduates who were content (it goes from pre-school to the end of primary school).
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Old 12.10.2018, 17:56
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Re: Swiss schools

Thank you for that. The Montessori school does sound interesting. Presumably the education is all in german? Is the school expensive?
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