• Germany edition
 
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education: Germany’s new school of thought

Bilingual education: Germany’s new school of thought

Published: 27 Aug 2013 15:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Aug 2013 15:42 GMT+02:00

Not a trend and more than a tendency, bilingual education is fast-becoming a necessity in Germany today, according to Holger Beckmann, head of Phorms’ Berlin Mitte secondary school.

Phorms offers bilingual teaching in German and English with an emphasis on educational excellence in all subjects and a philosophy that embraces cultural diversity within the classroom.

“A lot of parents are under the impression that enrolling their children in a bilingual school will open all the doors for them, since they will be proficient in English,” Beckmann says.

“But you have to make sure that all subjects – whether they are taught in English or in German - are significant and important. The curriculum is the core along with the teachers who are in charge of it."

The Phorms concept

This is the vision and mission that has been built on since the first Phorms school was founded in Berlin in 2006. The concept has spread around the country and now over 2,600 students are currently enrolled across six locations.

There are two campuses in the German capital, Berlin Mitte and Berlin Süd, alongside further schools in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. Phorms has developed its bilingual educational concept from nursery to secondary school age and students are accepted from the age of one, through reception, primary and up to 12th grade.

The Berlin Mitte campus encompasses 150 students ranging from grades 7-12 and has seen its first students graduate over the last two academic years. Whilst bilingual education is becoming a popular choice for parents and students alike, Beckmann points out that continuous development is key.

“Bilingual courses at German universities are a recent phenomenon,” he says. “It’s comparatively new and has to be built upon and we are part of that.”

The bilingual Arbitur

There are several advantages to the Phorms concept, exemplified by its Berlin Mitte campus. Half of the teachers are native English speakers and the secondary school has been awarded a bilingual Arbitur permit. That means students are free to continue their studies in Germany or take advantage of their linguistic ability and study further afield.

Highly-motivated students can also participate in the Advanced Placement International Diploma, which makes direct admission to international universities easier.

“I believe parents want their children both to study according to the German Arbitur and be fluent in English,” Beckmann adds. “So our bilingual Arbitur is definitely something we can call an achievement.”

The rise of private education

Beckmann has 20 years experience of teaching in Germany and various parts of the world, both in the state system and the private sector. “In recent years Germany has seen an increase in the acceptance of private schools,” he says.

“Private schools that are fully accepted and authorized receive subsidies from the senate which tells us that the state are not able to cope with the workload any more.”

“But private schools have to survive and they can only do this through good teaching and marketing,” he adds.

Aside from academia, there are many added extras that make Phorms stand out among peers, from its arts and sports clubs to small class sizes.

The after-class activities

Pupils receive extra attention thanks to manageable class sizes with a limit of 22 students. In addition, each class is conducted by a teacher with a teaching assistant on hand to provide further student support.

“We are a full day school,” says Juliane Mann, Phorms' marketing manager. “That means the school is open from 8.30am until 4pm and offers various after-class activities.

Indeed, at Berlin Mitte, students can join the rock band or join training sessions with top Berlin basketball team ALBA. “Our activities help to promote a community feel and students experience how to engage with different cultures.”

And in the globalized world in which we live today, that is fast-becoming an important life skill for young people that can’t be taught from a textbook.

Article sponsored by Phorms

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.fr)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,070
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd