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Old 15.03.2012, 15:27
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Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi,

I'am an immigrant from UK.

My family will be joining me this September.

I have checked the various regions within Basel Land and concluded that
Reinach and Allschwill are the two regions with good English speaking community.

As my daughter will be going to a German school and has no knowledge of German, what would be the recommendation of experts.

Also the term in Switz starts in the mid of August, but my daughter will be arriving only around middle of September. Would the local Swiss schools still enrol her.

Please help.

Thanks

KR
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Old 15.03.2012, 15:51
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi Bookfan,

I used to live in Allschwil, no kids though.

Allschwil = edge of Basel (12 mins on tram to Heuwaage) but on the flight path so very bad noise pollution in general, at weekends from 6am onwards it's pretty constant to 11pm. Enough shops etc. Practical.
Reinach, I have a friend living there, Indian, who has kids in school there, he likes it a lot, plenty of expats. Downside is it's a bit further on the tram.

To be honest, all of Basel and the surroundings have many expats. Don't limit yourself to Allschwil and Reinach.
Getting good neighbours is all important.
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Old 15.03.2012, 16:16
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi Clarence,

Thanks for your post.

The reason I have zeroed in on Reinach and Allschwil is because only these 2 regions have website in English

Allschwil - I understand that secondary schools here start teaching French. So I'am worried that my daughter might become too stressed, as already she has to learn German from scratch now and then another new language means more stress.

Please share your thoughts on this.

Thanks

KR
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Old 15.03.2012, 16:18
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

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Hi Clarence,

Thanks for your post.

The reason I have zeroed in on Reinach and Allschwil is because only these 2 regions have website in English

Allschwil - I understand that secondary schools here start teaching French. So I'am worried that my daughter might become too stressed, as already she has to learn German from scratch now and then another new language means more stress.

Please share your thoughts on this.

Thanks

KR

I found Rheinfelden to be pretty good for english speakers, the Gemeinde has english speaking staff and it is about 10 mins by overland to Basel SBB
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Old 15.03.2012, 16:21
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

I would recommend you to look into Binningen and behind. It is beautiful, lots of kids and green and lower taxes.

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Old 15.03.2012, 17:24
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi

How old is your daughter? It's true that Rheinach has a large English speaking community however many of these children go to the nearby international school.

I have a daughter in a local "primary" school in Baselland. French is learnt from aged 8/9. They are presently changing the school system so that all of the Northwest Kantons will have similar systems. It is called Harmos. The Kantons are Baselland, Baselstadt and Aargau. Here is a link for baselland www.bl.ch/bildungsharmoniserung

Rheinfelden is in Aargau the other two mentioned Baselland. Note here they learn English from 8/9 then French later. However Aargau is considered by many to be slower to move with the times. for example in primary school they finish at different times each day (eg 11.30 one day 12 the next). Whereas in the other Kantons I mentioned the finish time for lunch is the same every day. PM me if you need more specific answers.
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Old 15.03.2012, 17:27
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Sorry I didnt mention that she would find a place if she arrived in September. In Baselland your child is entitled to up to 4 years of extra tuition in German.
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Old 15.03.2012, 18:26
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi Annie,

Thanks a lot for your posts.

My daughter is 6.5 years old. she will be 7 years old when she arrives here in September.

She was born on the first week of September 2005.

Actually even if the local kids go to the International school, I was just looking to move in this area where kids her age can speak english, As I plan to put my daughter in a German school.

I'am worried that she might not be able to pick up friends during class hours, So my idea was she can pick up friends in the neighbourhood who are english speaking.

Also since my daughter will already be learing a new language (German) I'am trying to avoid learning French also.

These 4 years of extra tution in German - is this free?

Hi Bexie / Nil,

Thanks for your posts. I'am looking for area where kids speak english in the neighbourhood.

Binnigen is not having english link in their website. So I guess there might not be a lot of english speaking community there.

Also my workplace is in Dreirosen Brucke (Basel stadt). So Rheinfelden is too far away without any public transport.

Your thoughts on this are much appreciated.

Thanks

KR
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Old 15.03.2012, 18:57
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

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These 4 years of extra tution in German - is this free?

Binnigen is not having english link in their website. So I guess there might not be a lot of english speaking community there.

Also my workplace is in Dreirosen Brucke (Basel stadt). So Rheinfelden is too far away without any public transport.
The Deutsch als Zweitersprache lessons are free of charge.

The French classes are very very light weight (and actually start in school year 4 which is currently aged 9, rising 10 - Annie above said 8 rising 9, which is the 3rd class - in the BL schools here, it is definitely 4th class as my son is in 4th class and has only started French this year) - although I am not sure if Harmos changes that (and indeed if your daughter will be caught up by the Harmos changes - I sort of had it in my head that these changes were affecting the kids in the first year kindergarten now, which if your daughter was here now, she would be in second year kinski). Anyway, back to the French classes - very light weight. Fun really. One hour a week. Really nothing to stress about with regards to your daughter's foreign language acquisition.

Just because there is no website in English means nothing more than the Gemeinde is not so advanced in providing info on its website in other languages! I wouldn't use it as a criteria of where to live!

Public transport is brilliant and many people work in the "Dreinrosenbrucke area" (Novartis?) and commute from villages around Rheinfelden/Rheinfelden itself/further afield. Of course it is your choice as to the length of commute - but bear in mind that the trams are not so quick so a journey on a tram could, in time, equate to a much longer (in km) journey on a train - the train goes quicker!

Have you looked at Therwil and Oberwil? Lots of English speaking families in those areas, plus in Therwil a great little afternoon school for children in Swiss school system to keep up with their English - just 2 hours on a Wednesday afternoon (Ahead with English).
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  #10  
Old 15.03.2012, 19:29
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

I am actually finding it difficult to find English speaking people in Allschwil. Perhaps its just the area I'm in but I am definitely finding extra incentive to learn Swiss German sticky e.
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Old 15.03.2012, 20:00
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi

For English contacts then you can also join Open door. It is an organisation that teaches English to English speaking children so she would make lots of friends. For younger children they have playgroups and parent and toddler. When you arrive I can show you as my daughter is in this group. I am also one of the organisers for their social events, so lots of opportunities for your daughter to socialise.
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Old 16.03.2012, 09:05
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

I live in Reinach and it's true that there are a lot of 'foreigners' living in the gemeinde, some of whom send their kids to the international school.
Given her date of birth your daughter will go into the 1st class of primary school where she will get given extra German lessons. If necessary she can do the first year in two years or go into the integration class for intensive german to get her up to speed.

Our experience here has been that our daughter has made friends very easily and it doesn't seem to matter what language they speak together, even with very little German, playing together in the park is easy. We have been given class lists so it's easy to contact parents to arrange play dates.
Honestly, I would really try to encourage her to develop friendships with the German speaking kids, no matter how hard that might be in the short term. She will need to rapidly learn German and then master it to a good level to get on well in school - the more contact she has with German speakers and environments, the quicker this process will be. Bear in mind that only 4 full hours a day plus two afternoons are spent in school so German learning opportunities need to be supplemented.
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Old 16.03.2012, 21:15
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

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Also since my daughter will already be learing a new language (German) I'am trying to avoid learning French also.
Kids learn languages much easier than adults, in a few months your daughter will be chatting away with her friends in German, as for French she will be in the same situation as all the other kids. As adults we see all sorts for problems with learning a language that kids don't - they just get on with it. In fact I would do the opposite, try and avoid English speaking kids, your daughter will progress much better in German that way.
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Old 19.03.2012, 16:46
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

As already mentioned, your daughter will start in 1st Klass when she moves here in September. She is entitled to German lessons through the school (DaZ - Deutsch als Zweitersprache) for 4 years. Also remember that the other children will be learning German too as they speak Swiss German in the Kindergartens so they'll all have some learning/adjusting to do. And I presume your daughter can already read and write in English whereas the children here aren't taught to read, write and do Maths until they start school at 6/7 so she'll be able to spend more time concentrating on learning the language rather than the actually alphabet/numbers etc.
You will be amazed at how quickly she picks up the language. And as somebody else mentioned - the more Swiss kids/fewer English kids she spends time with the faster that will happen. My older two (9 and 5 when we moved here) were both in a class with another English speaking child which certainly made them feel more at ease at school but it REALLY slowed down their language learning. Once these 2 boys moved to different schools and my 2 had no choice but to mix with the Swiss kids their German came on in leaps and bounds. Wish they'd done it sooner!
As for French, the kids in Baselland currently start French in 4th Klass (as someone mentioned before). With the HARMOS change coming in (which will affect children currently in 2nd Klass and all younger children (therefore your daughter)), they will learn French in 3rd Klass and then English in 5th Klass. But seriously - don't worry about her dealing with it. SHe'll have been at school for 2 years by then and her German will be great. My eldest son started here in 4th Klass and had to learn French as soon as he'd started learning German. He coped. Apparently his French is great according to his teachers. Clearly once they've picked up one language they can do it again with another one!
As for which area to live in - don't base your decision on whether a website is in English. The best way to choose somewhere is based on your commute to work. Find out which trams go from where you'll be working and pick somewhere along that tram route. If any of your family have particular hobbies then you could then look into which of the villages along that route have suitable places to do these hobbies. I know you want to help your daughter as much as possible but she will honestly settle in with the locals much quicker than you think she will. Hard to believe but kids are amazing like that. Their brains are like sponges!
We live in Therwil - 5 minute walk from a tram stop for my husband to get into Basel every day. The kids have been at local schools for about 1.5 years and are loving it. There are lots of sports clubs here so them to use (all very sporty kids) and plenty of doctors (that speak perfect English), dentists, shops, restaurants etc. And of course the Ahead With English school and a music school.
Good luck with your decisions and try not to worry too much about your daughter. She'll be fine!
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Old 19.03.2012, 17:43
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Thanks all.

Special thanks to Mellie for the useful post and encouraging reply.

My stress has now come down a lot

KR
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Old 19.03.2012, 18:20
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Dear Bookfans,

We live in Reinach and moved out here to be with my husband over 7 months ago now. We have a 10 year old daughter whom is in the local swiss school system. She started in August of 2011 into an Integration Programme at our local school. She has done so well with her swiss german that she now attends a second school and is learning French alongside German and is in a 'normal' classroom rather than in the integration class. Such an amazing opportunity and she has taken to it like a duck to water.
We have found her progress amazing and she has come on far far better than we could have ever imagined.
We decided to put her through the local system as we wanted her to pick up the language and culture, as we are planning on staying here in Switzerland for good. We felt the International School could not offer us this. We have friends who's children attend the ISB and are very happy.

Our daughter has made many friends along our street and in both schools. I can honestly say that both schools have been amazing and very very helpful and supportive to us through our time here. We are so pleased we chose this option. Our daughter plays with and has English friends at both schools and also through local Girl Scouts group that she attends once a week too.
We chose Reinach because the schools for the integration programe were the best that we had been told and read about. Plus my husband works in Basel so the travel to and from his work is short. There is a large ex-pat network here too, which helps also. Although the local community are so friendly and helpful that you feel welcome and settled very quickly.

If you need any further help i am really happy to chat to you. I did so much reading before we moved from the UK to Switzerland and I had a lot of help through the English Forum too - very very grateful to everyone who helped.

Wish you and your family all the very best in your move here. Im sure you will all love it and be very happy.

Sarah
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Old 29.03.2012, 10:27
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your post. Very encouraging. I'am also looking for houses around Reinach. I will ask my wife to PM you once I'am settled.

Thanks a lot

KR
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Old 29.03.2012, 19:51
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Hi Bookfans

Checking and found you asked a specific question about extra german lessons being free. Yes they are, my daughter is in her 3rd year of these. Sorry if this has already been answered. havent had time to check but wanted to respond to your specific question to me

Annie
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Old 29.03.2012, 19:59
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

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then another new language means more stress.
That's your stress, not necessarily hers.
Just don't communicate your stress to her. No problem.
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Old 30.03.2012, 12:39
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Re: Best english speaking around Basel Land for UK immigrants

Thanks Annie

Thanks Faltrad. Guess I will act tough

KR
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