On the pathway to learningOn the pathway to learning

Language immersion approach at the English Institute

Our bilingual concept at the English Institute is based on the realization of the fact, that learning a foreign language is of increasing importance in a united Europe. This is especially true for the English language. With our bilingual profile we want to place a special emphasis on language learning from the first grade onwards.

This means that while some subjects such as German and Mathematics are taught in the German language many of the other subjects take place in the target language English. These include Art, Music, Sport, Workshop and Science. Art and Music provide the ideal audio and visual environment for language immersion while Workshop and Science provide a natural tactile approach to language learning.

By using the immersion method at our school we are able to shift away from the old fashioned method of pedantic grammar instruction to a more progressive focus on understanding, communication and motivation. Through a focus on content we can enhance the learning effect and provide our students  with an opportunity to immerse themselves completely in the foreign language. We also see the teacher as the most important language model for our children and therefore, attach great importance to English being taught by native speakers at the school. This authentic environment enables us to bring the English language to life in the classroom.

Advanced English Learners

Children who come to our school do not require a previous knowledge of English, however some of the children who come to us have already learned English in Kindergarten or at home. In grades 1 and 2 these children are provided with  their own separate weekly English lessons called "advanced English". These take place in addition to the immersion classes and allow us to engage the children in more complex language themes and activities. This way we can ensure we pick up each child at their own individual language stage.

Dorothy the DormouseDorothy the Dormouse

We have lively discussions in the English language and also do some theatre and role plays. Here the children can use their advanced knowledge of the language to create and act out fun story scenes and dialogues. One of these stories is “Dorothy the Dormouse”. It is a story about a little mouse who does not want to go to sleep for the winter. Instead she sets out on a journey through the woods. On her travels she meets many animals, each animal is played out by one of the children. Suzy squirrel, Freddy fox and others help Dorothy on her way. The children delight in the role playing as it allows them to apply their advanced language ability in a playful and productive manner.

Relaxing in the reading forestRelaxing in the reading forest

Sharing the adventureSharing the adventure

Climbing the Reading Tree Grades 3 and 4

In addition to the language immersion approach, the children also have weekly English language lessons. In grades 3 and 4 we put a particular focus on reading skills. One of the motivational tools we use for this is the “Oxford Reading Tree.”

The children enjoy relaxing in the library and reading the stories which range from adventure to historical fact. There’s a book to suit each child’s interest and individual reading level. The children are always very proud and excited to reach the next level on the reading tree.