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German school vs. international school
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 12:35
Jan 23, 2009

We will probably move to Shanghai in the near futur. Now I am looking for a suitable school for my children, aged 12 and 8. My elder daughter is in the 7th class of a German Gymnasium(middle school), the younger one in the 3rd class of a German primary school.

They can visit either the German school in Shanghai or an international school with English as the teaching language.

The German school in Shanghai is similiar to the schools they are visiting now. It will probably make them feel at home, the same language, the same curriculum, same after-school activities ... just another German society in a foreign country. The internatinal school, on the contrary, would be totally different: different language, different cultur, students from all over the world. It will be difficult to start with, but probably more profiting in a long run. In the first place English is the teaching language, secondly the enviroment would be more international.

The biggest problem with the internatinal school will be the language. I think they need one year or so to keep up with their classmates, who are fluent in English. If they are back to German schools in a few years, they have to repeat one class at least due to bad German.

Has any of you changed to a school of a different language in your early years? How was it like?
Which school would be a better choice?

A bit more information: We plan to stay for 2 years for a start. My kids can communicate in basic Chinese, but not able to write. They have been in China several times for short visits.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:35
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
International school Jan 23, 2009

Don't worry - kids adapt faster than you expect. When my step-daughters changed schools/countries/languages ages ago, they were at the top of their class in the new environment within months, and my daughter had the same experience going the other way. I've seen the same fast adaptation with Cuban refugees and others who were not from backgrounds where academics were given particular emphasis.

I doubt that they would have to repeat classes in Germany either. This was certainly not the case for my step-daughters when they returned from the US and got back into German schools. Encourage them to keep reading in German and promote their language skills in other ways, and everything will be fine.


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Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
Member
English to French
+ ...
SPECIAL CLASSES Jan 23, 2009

Hello,

International schools usually have special classes for children who just arrived and do not speak the main language. One of my (french) friends lived in Shanghai and her children who at that time did not speak english went to international school as she was not satisfied with the french school. They usually catch up in one year. Have a look at the schools' websites and if you can pay a visit to the school or contact parents there to get first hand informations. Good luck!


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:35
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same here Jan 23, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:


Don't worry - kids adapt faster than you expect. When my step-daughters changed schools/countries/languages ages ago, they were at the top of their class in the new environment within months, and my daughter had the same experience going the other way.


My daughters started off in Afrikaans schools in South Africa (simply because the Afrikaans public schools in our area were far better than the English ones), had one year in a private English school before coming to Portugal and then got thrown in the deep end here, straight into the Portuguese public system with absolutely no prior knowledge of the language (even though their father is Portuguese).

My eldest daughter is now in 11th year and is currently top of her year. Maybe it's because the municipal council sends the first two in each year on trips to places like the Azores, Barcelona, Paris, etc, so she's always keen to win her summer trip. I only ever remember getting measly certificates and book prizes when I went to school

My younger daughter is in 9th year and, even though she's not quite as dedicated (which drives me up the wall), she still manages a very respectable average. Friends of ours from Ireland have had a similar experience with their children here.

Provided they have the necessary support at home, and don't have any learning disabilities to start with, you'll probably find that because they'll have to work so much harder in the beginning to overcome the language obstacles, they'll end up performing well.

Importantly, ask them what they'd prefer. Twelve year olds, especially, normally have very strong opinions.
Good luck
Debs


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 12:35
TOPIC STARTER
International schools in Shanghai Jan 23, 2009

Elisabetta M. wrote:

International schools usually have special classes for children who just arrived and do not speak the main language. One of my (french) friends lived in Shanghai and her children who at that time did not speak english went to international school as she was not satisfied with the french school. They usually catch up in one year. Have a look at the schools' websites and if you can pay a visit to the school or contact parents there to get first hand informations. Good luck!


There are one German school, one French school, and several international schools in Shanghai, so is the case in many big cities in Asia. I am sure there is one which offers special classes for children with inadaquate English knowledge. I've contacted the German school there; it makes good impression, all my questions are answered promptly and professionally, just as I expect from the Germans.

I will contact the international schools if we decide to send the children there.

[Edited at 2009-01-23 17:35 GMT]


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cdh  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
German to French
+ ...
German school Jan 23, 2009

Hallo,
mein Englisch ist schriftlich nicht so, dass ich sicher sein kann, dass Du mich verstehst
Wenn ich in Deiner Situation wäre, würde ich die deutsch Schule bevorzugen, es scheint mir die beste Möglichkeit zu sein, damit Deine Kinder Ihr Deutsch nicht verlernen... wenn Sie plötzlich Englisch als Schulsprache haben, werden sie es bestimmt sehr schnell hinkriegen, werden aber wahrscheinlich sehr schnell die deutsche Sprache vergessen...
Liebe Grüsse
Céline


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 12:35
TOPIC STARTER
Deutsche Schule hat folgende Vorteile: Jan 23, 2009

cdh wrote:

Hallo,
mein Englisch ist schriftlich nicht so, dass ich sicher sein kann, dass Du mich verstehst
Wenn ich in Deiner Situation wäre, würde ich die deutsch Schule bevorzugen, es scheint mir die beste Möglichkeit zu sein, damit Deine Kinder Ihr Deutsch nicht verlernen... wenn Sie plötzlich Englisch als Schulsprache haben, werden sie es bestimmt sehr schnell hinkriegen, werden aber wahrscheinlich sehr schnell die deutsche Sprache vergessen...
Liebe Grüsse
Céline


1. Deutsch als Unterrichtssprache. Nüchtern betrachtet ist Deutsch viel schwieriger als Englisch, die die Kinder später ohne großes Problem erlernen können.

2. Ein Stück Heimat. Die Kinder sind glücklich in Deutschland. Die deutsche Schule könnte ihnen ein Stück Heimat bieten, von wo aus sie sich schneller in Shanghai einleben.

3. Reibungsloser Schulwechsel, wie du schon aufgewiesen hast.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 12:35
TOPIC STARTER
2 different schools? Jan 23, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Importantly, ask them what they'd prefer. Twelve year olds, especially, normally have very strong opinions.
Good luck
Debs



My elder one is excited about Shanghai, she can't wait to go. She enjoys learning languages, and takes all chances to talk English or Chinese. Despite of the earthquake which prevented our plane from landing, she had a great time in China last year, particularly when she could talk with my family and friends. I am sure she would be happy in the international school.

The younger one is a bit problematic. If asked, she would definitely choose the German school, anything she knows from home.

[Edited at 2009-01-23 17:18 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:35
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It is not just the language that defines a school Jan 23, 2009

Bin,
It seems to me that you may be overly concerned with the language of teaching in the prospective schools, but that may not be so important.
I would look into a whole bunch of other things: for example the content of the curriculum, the way they treat children and families. If your kids have any special interest (in sports, arts, science etc.), would the school offer something extra for them in that area? What is the relationship between parents and the school? Is it in line with your expectations?
How is safety around the school? What about transportation?
Also, have you considered Chinese schools? Or are they out of question? I am just thinking that if you are considering the international school with English as the teaching language, you may as well consider the Chinese schools, as your kids speak some Chinese already. (The reading/writing is of course an issue, and only you can tell whether your kids could pick it up quickly enough.)


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Ponziana

Local time: 16:35
Italian to German
+ ...
Ganz genau! Jan 23, 2009

Bin Tiede wrote:

cdh wrote:

Hallo,
mein Englisch ist schriftlich nicht so, dass ich sicher sein kann, dass Du mich verstehst
Wenn ich in Deiner Situation wäre, würde ich die deutsch Schule bevorzugen, es scheint mir die beste Möglichkeit zu sein, damit Deine Kinder Ihr Deutsch nicht verlernen... wenn Sie plötzlich Englisch als Schulsprache haben, werden sie es bestimmt sehr schnell hinkriegen, werden aber wahrscheinlich sehr schnell die deutsche Sprache vergessen...
Liebe Grüsse
Céline


1. Deutsch als Unterrichtssprache. Nüchtern betrachtet ist Deutsch viel schwieriger als Englisch, die die Kinder später ohne großes Problem erlernen können.

2. Ein Stück Heimat. Die Kinder sind glücklich in Deutschland. Die deutsche Schule könnte ihnen ein Stück Heimat bieten, von wo aus sie sich schneller in Shanghai einleben.

3. Reibungsloser Schulwechsel, wie du schon aufgewiesen hast.


Auch ich entschuldige mich, dass ich lieber auf Deutsch antworte... Meine Erfahrung ist diese:

Vor 2 Jahren sind wir mit unseren 4 Kindern von Deutschland nach Italien gezogen. Mein Mann ist Italiener, und die Kinder verstanden einfaches Italienisch, hatten es aber nie gesprochen. Auch für uns war die Entscheidung schwer. Wir haben dann die beiden älteren Kinder (die damals 13 und 15 waren) auf die deutsche Schule hier in Rom geschickt, die beiden jüngeren (damals 7 und 10) auf die italienische Grundschule, die 5 Jahre dauert. So haben wir gute Vergleichsmöglichkeiten. Ergebnis:

Die "Großen" haben sich sofort wohlgefühlt in der deutschen Schule, die nochmal ein Stück besser ist als die öffentliche Schule IN Deutschland - kleinere Klassen, engagierte Lehrer, bessere Ausstattung usw. Beide sind heute bessere Schüler als vorher. Auch ihr Italienisch hat sich sehr verbessert, allerdings wird es für die Beiden gewiß nie zur 2. Muttersprache werden, und als Freunde haben sie sich vor allem deutsche Kinder gesucht (über die Hälfte der Schüler sind Italiener).

Die "Kleinen" haben rasend schnell Italienisch gelernt und sind auf bestem Weg, Muttersprachler zu werden. Auch sie fühlen sich wohl und haben bessere Zeugnisse als früher in Deutschland. Sie sprechen weiterhin mit mir und untereinander Deutsch, allerdings können sie es nicht mehr fehlerlos schreiben und lesen leider zu wenig. Doch ich bin zufrieden mit dieser Lösung, denn wir werden ziemlich sicher in Italien bleiben. Der Ältere hat inzwischen ohne Probleme an die Mittelschule hier gewechselt. Ein weiterer Vorteil ist, dass die italienische Schule bis nachmittags dauert und ich so etwas Luft habe .

Mit anderen Worten: Beides hat Vor- und Nachteile, aber letztlich sind alle zufrieden. Wenn ich allerdings wüsste, dass wir später zurück nach Deutschland gehen, hätte ich wohl alle 4 Kinder an die deutsche Schule geschickt (eine Schulgeldermäßigung vorausgesetzt...). Denn: Jüngere Kinder lernen Sprachen unglaublich schnell, vergessen sie aber auch wieder, wenn sie sie nicht benutzen. Und falls bei euch zuhause kein Deutsch gesprochen wird, wäre diese "Gefahr" noch größer.

Liebe Grüsse und viel Erfolg - so ein Umzug ist immer ein Abenteuer...

Saskia


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Ponziana

Local time: 16:35
Italian to German
+ ...
Verschiedene Schulen. Jan 23, 2009

Bin Tiede wrote:

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Importantly, ask them what they'd prefer. Twelve year olds, especially, normally have very strong opinions.
Good luck
Debs



My elder one is excited about Shanghai, she can't wait to go. She enjoys learning languages, and takes all chances to talk English or Chinese. Despite of the earthquake which prevented our plane from landing, she had a great time in China last year, particularly when she could talk with my family and friends. I am sure she would be happy in the international school.

The younger one is a bit problematic. If asked, she would definitely choose the German school, anything she knows from home.

[Edited at 2009-01-23 17:18 GMT]


Wenn es so ist, höre auf deine Kinder! Sie sind verschieden, und für jeden ist etwas anderes richtig.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 12:35
TOPIC STARTER
A local Chinese school does not come into question Jan 23, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Also, have you considered Chinese schools? Or are they out of question? I am just thinking that if you are considering the international school with English as the teaching language, you may as well consider the Chinese schools, as your kids speak some Chinese already. (The reading/writing is of course an issue, and only you can tell whether your kids could pick it up quickly enough.)


The Chinese schools have a different value system, which I do not approve.

Chinese school children work too hard to get good notes, which count more than anything else. In some classes the whole curriculum revolves the final exam. When I was still at primary school in china, I had to visit even evening courses before important exams. Nowadays school children are sent to other classes to learn after school. Music classes, Olympic Math, drawing classes... just to name a few. It is normal that a child finishes his homework at 11PM, only after that he can go to bed.

Besides, some communistic ethic is conveyed at school. Each school children is eager to join the so_called "Young Pioneers". Some personal behaviors are open for discussion in those occasions. When I was at a Chinese school, I heard so often such remarks about me: selfish, without collective spirit ect.

In the Chinese view, my kids are badly disciplined, lack of respect for the more authorized people(Even my parents think so). All in all they would be outsiders in a Chinese school.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
They'll be fine if they're happy Jan 23, 2009

I'd say your elder child ran the bigger risk in moving to an international school, as she will soon be studying for exams and cannot really afford to 'lose' a year. An 8-year-old has plenty of time to adapt to a new language and curriculum before studying for exams.

As you say that the 12-year-old is happy to make the change, I'm sure you'd be safe sending them both to the international school. It'll be a great experience for them, and I'm sure it won't put them at a disadvantage when they return to Germany. On the contrary, they will have an enormous advantage in terms of cultural awareness, language skills, etc, etc.

My son was 100% English until 7, when he went to the French school in Holland - he had an uncomfortable few months adjusting to both his new environments before coming top of his French school class and his Dutch swimming team.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:35
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
German School Jan 24, 2009

I know that the German schools abroad are excellent. I could have sent my children to the German kindergarten and school in Helsinki, but I wanted them to grow up as much Finnish as possible, so they went through the Finnish system, which is of course the best in the world, as everybody knows or believes.
But if you think the children will someday return to Germany I would put them into the German school in Shanghai. They will have English as foreign language, and every child nowadays learns English anyway.
Regards
Heinrich


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Eleftheria Dekavalla  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 19:35
German to Greek
+ ...
German School Jan 24, 2009

Hallo,

die Entscheidung ist echt schwierig. Ich kann dir zwar nicht sagen, was du machen sollst, aber vielleicht ein paar Tipps geben.

Informiere dich zuerst, ob die Deutsche Auslandsschule in Shangai auch eine internationale Schule ist. Das bedeutet, dass der Schulabschluss international anerkannt ist. Nicht alle deutsche Auslandsschulen sind international.

Dann musst du wissen, ob alle Stufen angeboten werden. Vielleicht gibts die Klasser deiner großen Tochter gar nicht in der deutschen Schule und du musst für sie eine andere Schule aussuchen.

Wenn aber die Schule international ist, würde ich an deiner Stelle meine Kinder in die Deutsche Schule schicken. English werden sie sowieso lernen. Meine Kinder haben innerhalb von zwei Monaten englisch gelernt, ohne Schule und ohne Unterricht, nur von der Umgebung (und von den Cartoons).

Aus eigener Erfahrung (wir leben in Abu Dhabi) kann ich die Deutsche Schule nur empfehlen. Meistens sind diese Schulen kleiner und übersichtlicher als die internationalen und auch multikulturell.

Hier in Abu Dhabi sind die internationalen Schulen (amerikanisch, englisch usw.) meistens gut aber überfüllt, super teuer und unpersöhnlich.

Tja, noch ein Aspekt zum Thema.

Viel Glück uns alles Gute wünsche ich euch

Ritsa


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