• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Bilingual education: Germany’s new school of thought

Bilingual education: Germany’s new school of thought

The Local · 27 Aug 2013, 15:42

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

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:

Today's headlines
German public sector workers dispute settled
President of the Verdi union, Frank Bsirske (2nd from left) and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (2nd from right) shake hands after the breakthrough. Photo: DPA

Threat of national disruptions lifted.

German women battle for 'no means no' in rape law
A woman carries a sign reading "no means no" at a demonstration in 2011. File photo: DPA

Germany has long lagged behind other advanced nations when it comes to laws on rape. As parliament discusses a new law, women are using increased public attention to the problem to demand real change.

Cologne mayor tells court of being stabbed in neck
Henriette Reker. Photo: DPA

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker, described in court on Friday how she was attacked during campaigning last autumn and almost lost her life.

'I am truly sorry' says 96-year old Auschwitz SS guard
The accused being brought into court in a wheelchair on Friday. Photo: DPA

A 94-year-old former SS guard on trial for complicity in 170,000 murders at Auschwitz broke his silence Friday for the first time since the war, telling victims: "I am truly sorry".

Woman dies after weeks-long hostage ordeal
Police tape off an area of the farm house. Photo: DPA

A woman has died after being held against her will since March in a farmhouse in Lower Saxony and subjected to "brutal violence".

Boys, 8, go on two-day robbery spree at toy store
Photo: DPA

Two young children in Bavaria plundered a shop for toys worth hundreds of Euros. When police found out they coolly tried to give them the runaround.

Jet-setters rejoice: roaming price caps start Saturday
EU mobile users will soon be calling from Alicante to Zagreb at lower prices. Photo: DPA

Phoning and surfing while abroad is about to get a lot cheaper in the EU as new rules limiting how much mobile operators can charge come into force on Saturday.

Merkel party calls for state to spy on mosques
Photo: DPA

Authorities should be keeping an eye on the content of sermons in Germany's mosques, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has said.

Dieselgate scandal
VW targets return to profit despite year of scandal
A car on an elevator in one of the "Auto towers" at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg HQ. Photo: DPA

Embattled German carmaker Volkswagen vowed Thursday to overcome its current crisis triggered by the engine-rigging scandal, insisting it would not allow itself to be slowed down by the affair and would return to profit this year.

Drug deaths surged by 20 percent in 2015
Photo: DPA

More drug dealing, more drug taking, more drug deaths. After years of decreases in drug figures, the use of banned highs is once again rising in Germany - and fast.

Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
International
6 ways Mexico and Germany are secretly the best of friends
Munich
Drunk man falls onto tracks, 3 trains pass before anyone notices
Culture
The 7 most German things that happened at the 'German Grammys'
National
Could Germany ban diesel cars from city centres?
Travel
Eight things you never knew about the German Autobahn
Society
Police force naked driver to trek to brothel on foot
National
Bavarian town finally strips Hitler of honorary citizenship
Society
Brandenburg faces wrath of Flying Spaghetti Monster
International
German retiree 'fed to dog' by Russian wife in Mallorca
National
Ordinary Germans toast love online in face of Brussels bombings
National
Germany calls for "strength in unity" after Brussels bombings
7,888
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd