• 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
Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
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'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
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
Advertisement:
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:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully 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

3,143
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd