Mother Tongue Language Programme
Many children today are growing up in a multilingual environment: they may speak one or two languages
with their parents at home, and English or another language at school. Multilingualism and intercultural
competencies are increasingly important in our globalised world as well as in our private and professional lives.
ISBerne has forged a partnership with the educational department of the canton of Berne. Through and in conjunction with the HSK (Heimatsprachliche Sprache und Kultur) ‘Mother Tongue’ classes are offered throughout the canton, enabling multilingual students to expand their skills, knowledge and understanding in their first language. This supplements the teaching of languages in their regular classes and positively affects respective learning processes.
The classes are offered 2-4 times per week at various locations in the Berne area, some of which are held at the ISBerne Campus.
In total, 400 courses are offered in more than 20 languages per week.
These are often conducted by embassies or parent organisations for the canton.
They provide an established curriculum which is controlled through the governmental agency AKVB (Amt für Kindergarten, Volksschule und Beratung) to ensure a comparable course quality across languages.
Please click on this link to see curriculum documentation (available in 21 languages): www.vsa.zh.ch
These languages are currently available: Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Macedonian, Portuguese (Brazil/ Portugal), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish (Latin America/ Spain), Tamil (TEF, TESS, Valluvan), Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
Please note that these offerings are subject to change and languages may be added or dropped.
Registration is for one academic year. Course fees vary, some are free, some incur course fees. (Please note that these decisions are made by each non-profit organisation offering the courses and that ISBerne is not involved in setting course fees.)
Usually, sessions start around 4 p.m., but this can differ depending on language and location. Most courses are open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 10, although some may only accept students starting in Grade 1, 2, or older. Parents will receive a formal report once a year (Grades 1-6) or twice a year (Grades 7-10) from course teachers. The assessment report contains information on the working, learning and social behaviour as well as any progress made in the subject matter.