• 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
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd