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Old 23.03.2011, 10:04
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International schools in CH

A question on another thread made me wonder. What happens in an International/bi-lingual private school? Is the Curriculum delivered in the local language (in CH German, French or Italian) and English, or in English, with other languages taught separately? Particularly at Kindergarten/primary school level.

I am not trying to get a job btw- just to understand better. I've taught in the UK all my life and when I was a kid in CH, International schools did not exist!

Last edited by Odile; 23.03.2011 at 14:36.
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Old 23.03.2011, 10:42
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Re: International schools in CH

At the SIS Basel, the language changes on alternate days, I believe.
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Old 23.03.2011, 14:53
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Re: International schools in CH

= 1 day in German, 1 day in English? Fascinating.
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Old 23.03.2011, 14:57
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Re: International schools in CH

The international schools here in the area are only in English. They follow the International curriculum which makes it easy for kids whose parents get relocoted every couple of years to attent any International school that follows the same curriculum. When they graduate they have the so-called IB (International Baccalaureat (that's probaly not the correct spelling ))
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Old 23.03.2011, 15:15
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Re: International schools in CH

The Lycée Français in Gockhausen (ZH) is part of the French National Education System- core classes are in French until a certain age and then some are in English. School starts at 3 years of age and the first "foreign language" they learn is German, then English, Latin and Spanish.

Miss L-P did go to a bi-lingual school when she was 3-5 with half the day being in French and the other being in German, alternating each day which would be the starting language.
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Old 23.03.2011, 15:39
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Re: International schools in CH

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= 1 day in German, 1 day in English? Fascinating.
Goodness knows what they do on Friday.
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Old 23.03.2011, 15:44
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Re: International schools in CH

It depends on how you define International School. If it is defined as an IBO (International Baccalureate Organization) accredited school, then it could be monolingual (and it does not have to be in English) or it could be bilingual. What defines an IBO school is that it implements a curriculum that leads to the IB. By the way, the International School of Geneva existed since 1924. I don't think you are that old!

A bilingual school can be an IBO school or independent. How bilingualism is implemented varies. Certain courses could be taught in different languages (e.g., humanities in French, science in English). Another way is for some years could be taught in one language and then changed in other years. Or even changing languages between semesters.

As an added note, the IBO does not prescribe a specific method to implement bilingualism.
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Old 23.03.2011, 16:32
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Re: International schools in CH

As said before, as a teacher I find the whole thing fascinating. 1924 - well Geneva was always a bit different- I grew up in the Jura mountains, where such things were unknown to say the least. I am surprised as my cousins, born in Geneva of a Swiss mum and a English dad- were both sent to Public School in the UK at the age of 5 - in the late 40s as the father wanted them to be educated in English.
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Old 24.03.2011, 11:09
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Re: International schools in CH

Not quite true - my 13 year old daughter is there and this is what we thought would be the case! Apparently it is how it is done in the younger years but for the older children the tutor groups are split into two halves in each year - one half then has certain subjects in German and others in English for that year and vice-versa. Sorry not very well explained - but my daughter currently has History, Geography, Maths, German (of course!), Art & sports in German and all other subjects in English. From August she will swap and these subjects will be in English and all the subjects currentlty being taught in English will be in German.

This is not an ideal situation when she speaks no German at all as it means that, particularly in History and Geography, she is not learning anything whilst she is struggling to learn German!! Having said that she is really happy at the school, is in a class of only 9, has made some really good friends and likes going to school which with a teenager is half the battle. As we are intending to stay here reasonably long term we have decided to persevere with SIS (younger children are in local schools) so that she does get the language skills - if we were only going to be here for a short period I would have sent her to ISB which teaches in English (or American).

Hope this helps.

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At the SIS Basel, the language changes on alternate days, I believe.
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Old 24.03.2011, 12:47
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Re: International schools in CH

Quote:
A question on another thread made me wonder. What happens in an International/bi-lingual private school? Is the Curriculum delivered in the local language (in CH German, French or Italian) and English, or in English, with other languages taught separately?
Around these parts, GE/VD, there is just about every imaginable possibility. A school for each type of language(s)/learning style, final type of degree, etc. I think I've seen most every type possible.

I think a lot would depend on the word "bi-lingual" as well. Just because a school offers two languages as part of its curriculum, does this make it bilingual?, does getting a final degree in two languages/two different diplomas mean bi-lingual?, is learning a second language through another language bi-lingual or only learning the language by itself through no other language bi-lingual?

On a more practical level though, I see a lot of schools advertise 'bi-lingual' when in acutual fact they teach one primary language and the second either is added later or is taught through the first. I personally would not call this bi-lingual but some do. Most reputed schools teaching bi-lingual education start at the earliest grade teaching both languages by native speakers and not using another language teaching it. And ps, there are private schools here teaching two or more swiss languages (bi-lingual), not English.
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