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Old 09.04.2011, 21:34
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High German Kindergarten

Are there kindergartens in Switzerland that teach only in High German, not Swiss German? We live in Bern. Our son has been attending a bilingual (High German and English) preschool and picked up a lot of High German, as well as conversational Swiss German. His schoolmates are from all over the world, so he also has picked up some Spanish, Italian, and Greek words. We don't plan on living in Switzerland for more than a year more, so would like to continue him in High German, since he gets both English and High German at home. Thanks.
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Old 09.04.2011, 21:36
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Re: High German Kindergarten

Swiss German is exactly as you said - conversational. In Zurich, and I would imagine in Bern, too, the kids are taught mainly in High German. Swiss German is used in the playground and probably in sports classes.

All reading and writing is done in High German.
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Old 10.04.2011, 10:23
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Re: High German Kindergarten

As far as we've seen, High German is not used in the public kindergartens in Bern, so we were wondering if there are any private kindergartens near Bern (or anywhere really in Switzerland) that teach in High German. High German is taught in later grades.
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Old 10.04.2011, 10:41
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Re: High German Kindergarten

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As far as we've seen, High German is not used in the public kindergartens in Bern, so we were wondering if there are any private kindergartens near Bern (or anywhere really in Switzerland) that teach in High German. High German is taught in later grades.
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Swiss German is exactly as you said - conversational. In Zurich, and I would imagine in Bern, too, the kids are taught mainly in High German. Swiss German is used in the playground and probably in sports classes.

All reading and writing is done in High German.
Zurich.

The one down the road from us teaches mainly in high German (my son will be going there in Aug). Also, the kids of colleagues at work go to normal state Kindergartens all over the city which teach in high German.
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Old 10.04.2011, 10:41
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Re: High German Kindergarten

How long will you be in Switzerland ? You could try the Montessori Kindergartens - there are a few of them... but I'd specifically ask if the lead teacher is a native high German speaker. From what I've seen of the Montessori schools in Zurich, many have native (German) speakers, because a lot of teachers are 'imported' from Germany with the right training...
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:24
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Re: High German Kindergarten

All, out of suriosity...what is the policy regarding Kindergarten teaching in Basel-Land. I am about to relocate with a youing family, my son will be attending the local Kindergarten as we hope it will help him/us all intergrate better but it has just doawned on me that he might be learning Swiss German whilst his mother and I are learning High German. Comments please
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:31
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Re: High German Kindergarten

There was a vote a few weeks ago both in Zurich and Basel on the language in Kindergarten. In both cases the pro Swiss German side won.

In Zurich, Swiss German will be the only language in Kindergarten as of 2012. Up to then it is/was 1/3 High German, 1/3 Swiss German and the rest free choice.

In Basel the teaching language will be 1/2 High German and 1/2 Swiss German, but I don't know when this will be introduced.
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:32
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Re: High German Kindergarten

what about this bilingual one? Maybe the German is HD?

http://www.feusi.ch/angebot/english-...sion-english/#
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:43
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Re: High German Kindergarten

I actually read that the vote went the other way in Basel...but thanks so much for the clarification
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Old 02.06.2011, 01:22
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Re: High German Kindergarten

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All, out of suriosity...what is the policy regarding Kindergarten teaching in Basel-Land. I am about to relocate with a youing family, my son will be attending the local Kindergarten as we hope it will help him/us all intergrate better but it has just doawned on me that he might be learning Swiss German whilst his mother and I are learning High German. Comments please
Just a thought - as your child will have a language uptake capacity which is much greater than yours - might it be wiser to go for the full local-immersion option? Swiss-German. As integration is your objective - and a child has that language gift open to them, it might be a shame to keep them different to youngsters of their own age.
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Old 02.06.2011, 01:52
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Re: High German Kindergarten

My view on it as a high school teacher:
High German or Swiss German in early childhood (Kindergarten) doesn't matter at all for language development. What will matter is the primary and secondary school stage where children learn to navigate between oral dialect and formal language (High German being not only written language even in CH, the colloquial expression Schriftdeutsch is misleading as it means that one also has to speak Schriftdeutsch when appropriate).
Coloquial/formal in language is the same in every language, and frankly, English is also a language with big differences there. There is nothing abnormal to use both forms of language at any age, as long as the one is not mistaken for the other one. By that, I mean that language acquisition only looks different in CH compared to English speaking countries but it is not really. The principals underlining the language skill development are the same everywhere: there are several norms within the language, in German speaking CH, it's mainly a dialect/formal spectrum, in English speaking countries, it's more sociolect/formal dichotomy. It's a normal situation in early age language acquisition. What counts is intellectual honnesty: it only goes wrong when somebody starts pretending that dialect/sociolect/coloquialism is a equal norm to formal language (High German, Oxford English, Official american English, rigsdansk for danish or Québec French from the office de la langue française...)

Short version: Don't worry about Kindergarten.
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Old 02.06.2011, 19:57
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Re: High German Kindergarten

Thanks....and thankfully I am educated
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