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  #21  
Old 21.11.2009, 16:58
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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Good point. Actually my son was born in Venice so he's pretty much Italian. I would be thrilled if my son was held back a year or two. It would give him a better chance to learn the language. My husband, who is from Milan thinks otherwise. He believes the sooner you finish school ( University) the better your chances to get a job. The younger you are the better. I'm not so sure I agree. Thank you!!
Just a remark here, in Switzerland the sooner you finish University the better certainly isn't true. If you're too young and without work experience you'll find it very difficult to be taken serious. After all, you're just an overeducated boy without any knowledge about the real life. Employers usually favour people with a bit more life and work experience where nevertheless a red line can be seen.
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Old 21.11.2009, 17:09
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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I agree, if they are not allowed to go to high school that is crazy. But my understanding is that gymmi is only one high school option. So I would guess that the child you are talking about was allowed to go to the other options. And there are ways back into gymmi once you are in the other choices, so you can still go to uni.
Yes there are options other then gymnasium, but none of them are equivalent to what you would call a high school diploma in North America. If you don't go to gymnasium, you cannot go to University. Once you are out of gymnasium stream it will be an uphill battle.

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I am not a huge supporter of the swiss system which is a whole 'nother story, but in this instance I would think if you don't speak the language you can't really expect to get into a system that has an entrance exam in that language...
Entrance exam to get into grade 9 or 10? How silly is that?
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  #23  
Old 21.11.2009, 17:33
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

My husband came here at 9years old was put into Italian schools, so never made any friends in his home town as in the italian school kids came from all over.
His parents did this thinking they were only staying a few years.
My hubby is now 58 but had to over the years do night school for german Plus its never like a language youve learnt as a kid
In Bulach (good choice, its a lovely place) you will find about a 3rd of the kids will be Italian even in the public school, and theyll take care of him
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  #24  
Old 21.11.2009, 17:43
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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Thank you so much. I think at this point I'll stick with the Italian school. I'm American but the kids speak much better Italian than English. My fault. My son gets bullied over here because he's one year younger than his classmates and at this age it does make a difference. I can't bare the thought of him getting bullied over there. Thank you!!!
If your husband is Italian, and you've been living in Venice, you do not need to apologize that your children are more fluent in Italian rather than English. As they get exposed to more English as they get older (possibly through message boards like this one) their English will improve---but now their first priority has to be to learn German.

I think you should talk to your teacher about this, whether it is directly with an Italiophone teacher at an international school or with a Germanophone teacher (possibly through an interpreter) at a public school. Ask about German lessons at the international school and working together with the other kids who will be in the same boat. At the public school, check to see if there is a Swiss equivalent to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in the U.S. and what support your kids can expect as they make this transition.

After they pick up some German and the language barrier is not quite so formidable, THEN you might want to go back to working on their English. But if they can go from speaking Italian to German, I don't think it will be as difficult for them to re-learn English again.

Then again, I'm just a (mostly) monolingual American with no kids of my own who has never set foot outside my home country before. The other parents who have gone through this sort of thing will have much better advice.

Edward J. Cunningham
Derwood, MD
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Old 21.11.2009, 17:57
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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Then again, I'm just a (mostly) monolingual American with no kids of my own who has never set foot outside my home country before.
So when can we expect you to be landing on the shores of Switzerland to start your voyage into the world of a second language..?
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Old 21.11.2009, 18:01
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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So when can we expect you to be landing on the shores of Switzerland to start your voyage into the world of a second language..?
Possibly, but it costs money to travel and I don't have wings. I'd love to visit Switzerland one day, but in the meantime I can get a little taste for Swiss life in forums like this one.

Edward J. Cunningham
Derwood, MD
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  #27  
Old 21.11.2009, 18:10
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

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but in the meantime I can get a little taste for Swiss life in forums like this one.
I doubt that because the percentage of "real" Swiss in here is very low. What you're mostly getting a taste of is English speaking expats who live in Switzerland.

anyway.. my apologies to everyone else, I'm off topic.
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  #28  
Old 23.11.2009, 00:10
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Re: Has anyone put older children 11 and up, who don't speak German in public schools

Hi Paola,
Why not try ? .... but it will be very tough.
If you are worried about his feelings then certainly, keep him in Italian school. As Italian is a national language, your kids have every right to complete the Swiss Matura exams in Italian.
Hope it works out for you
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