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Old 02.02.2011, 21:05
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foreign languages in Vaud public schools

Hello,

I have heard about Harmos initiative and the ised of starting foreign languages in Swiss publis schools earlier. Does anyone know what will it be implemented? When will English and German foreign languages be introduced in the new system?
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Old 03.02.2011, 09:22
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

Here is the accord of HarmoS in French. http://edudoc.ch/record/24710/files/HarmoS_f.pdf

Please be aware that it will not change a lot of things that already exist, more harmonisation among the cantons, some will have to change more, others less. In terms of languages, it appears to not change too much per the status quo in Canton VD, ie. if you read art. 4, first language not later than 5eme and second not later than 7eme. One of the foreign languages is a second national language, ie. most likely German in VD, and the second is English. Thus, likely German at 5eme, english at 7eme, although technically it states that the order of the foreign languages is coordinated at the regional level.

Vaud has already accepted the HarmoS iniative and heard some things were being gradually implemented in 2011, but the VD education site seems not to relect this or it is not updated. Technically they have 6 years to implement HarmoS, anyhow not later than 2015/16.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:13
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

My son's in 5eme, and we had a Parents' Evening some months ago where the Director explained about 5eme, 6eme, streaming, etc. At present, the children do 'play' German with singing and counting in 3eme and 4eme, then start German proper in 5eme. English begins in 7eme.

He explained there that our school district (comes under Morges, I think) will introduce English in 5eme from 2012. My impression was that the German will be slightly beefed up in primary rather than largely ignored as it is at present, then both languages will begin in earnest in 5eme.

It will be interesting to see what this does to the streaming process, which currently heavily prioritises performance in French, Maths and German.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:17
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

English is already being "beefed" up on upper levels of public schooling. Eventhough it seems like nothing is happening yet, things are moving on rather rapidly.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:20
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

My personal theory in Vaud is that at least some schools are going to quietly prioritise English over German, which is politically delicate to state out loud but (a) what all the parents want, and (b) what is required by all the multinational companies that have been enticed into the region with advantageous and personalised Vaud tax packages.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:21
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

In Fribourg, the 2nd language (DE) is started at year 3, from 2011 onwards the 3rd (EN) will start in year 5. This is to fall in line with HarmoS, previously the 3rd language only started in year 7.
Funnily enough, my daughter is sailing through the English
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:24
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

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My personal theory in Vaud is that at least some schools are going to quietly prioritise English over German, which is politically delicate to state out loud but (a) what all the parents want, and (b) what is required by all the multinational companies that have been enticed into the region with advantageous and personalised Vaud tax packages.
Well put. I just actually wrote an article about language policy and prioritizing, dif reasons for it, etc. Basically, cantons with high unempl rate will beef up languages a lot. Both of them. But, VD has also a historical reason for wanting to prioritize Eng over Ger (besides wanting to be reaaaaally cool ). And, some schools have their own lang policy, on top of that.

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Old 06.02.2011, 19:24
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

Thanks for all the answers. I was hoping the things would improve...I still think that learning foreign languages here is such a wasted opportunity. For anglophone children English is obviously not an issue, but I do think it is a shame another foreign language is not introduced earlier. Being bilingual, acquiring a third language would not be too difficult.
Speaking German brings many advantages in the workplace in Switzerland - many companies in the French-speaking part are looking for people who are fluent in French and German (and it is not easy to find them, from my experience...)
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Old 06.02.2011, 21:33
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

They make all these decisions, rightly or wrongly, and yet have never checked if they have properly qualified staff in sufficient quantity to do this. Same in near France- they haven't even thought about staffing.
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Old 06.02.2011, 21:50
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

Have you looked at Ecole Moser in Nyon?
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Old 06.02.2011, 21:59
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

No - don't get me wrong, I am NOT looking for a job! I keep being asked - and am fed up with saying no thank you, been there, done that, enjoying the freedom. Ta.
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:32
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

I mean OP, if they considered Moser, I know they have a multiple lang program...
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Old 07.02.2011, 10:58
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

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I mean OP, if they considered Moser, I know they have a multiple lang program...
Last I knew Moser only started at 5eme, i.e. they take older kids at/after the streaming, although they have announced plans for a new class at 4eme in September. Thus, not really early language immersion if that is what is sought.
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Old 07.02.2011, 13:35
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Re: foreign languages in Vaud public schools

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Last I knew Moser only started at 5eme, i.e. they take older kids at/after the streaming, although they have announced plans for a new class at 4eme in September. Thus, not really early language immersion if that is what is sought.
Well, that's what I thought. It's a bilingual program, with a foreign lang on top, starting at 4me, makes it much earlier than 2 at 5me and 3 at 7me, doesn't it? Looks like it. It's not only language teaching, since the kids learn in foreign languages, a lot more efficient. I would go for it, personally, since the school has magnifique reputation. But it is true it is not for the wee ones, I would leave them at local system and substitue the languages after school, since there are options. How efficient, is another question. If I was in the OP's shoes, I would take the public in here with two languages up to 5me, hire a private tutor now for after class help and travel/libraries/engange myself in the lang teaching at home, and then go for Moser.
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