German Language Learners
Learning German is mandatory
All students at Berlin International School must learn German regardless of their precognition, school grade and duration of stay.
For each grade level, we offer 4 different language levels - from beginners to native German courses.
Both, the allocation into the respective language levels, and the change of courses, are made on the basis of standardized placement tests or the analysis of previous performance and in the light of the desired school leaving certificate.
Approaches and methods in the GAL area
Apart from small classes that allow instruction meeting the individual needs and skills, the courses are generally taught in German at all levels. Hence only German is spoken from the beginning.
The approach to language teaching is basically communication-oriented to motivate the students to also use the language outside of school as soon as possible. Grammar will be integrated depending on the situation. Thus the classroom teaching is enriched through a differentiated range of action- and production-oriented methods, supplemented by topic-related excursions, museum and theater visits.
A change to a higher or lower level of learning is possible at any time also during the school year. (Experience has shown that foreign language learners need to overcome the first phase of the so-called "Culture Shock", before showing significant progression.)
Moreover, this differentiation of levels allows learners who have to repeat the grade level, a progression in their learning level. It is also possible to change to the next higher grade level, but if necessary, repeat the German course at the same level.
When students start with the beginner's course, they can change to the native level after 3 - usually after 4 - years of learning.
The curriculum for the GAL grades 1-10 is based on the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" (CEFR), the Berlin Curriculum for German as a second language, as well as the school's curriculum, whereby it is focused on content , skills, and the progression of the German Programs in international schools (mainly German speaking countries).
In addition, Grades 9 and 10 also cover the curriculum of the MSA and the "International General Certificate of Secondary Education" (IGCSE) for both "Foreign Language" as well as "First Language".
In Grades 11 and 12 B.I.S. also uses the curriculum of the "International Baccalaureate" (IB) for the courses "German ab-initio", "German B" and "German A".
The annual international comparison of the results shows that the students of Berlin International School in GAL score well above the international average, while the results of students in the mother tongue courses are slightly above the international average.
Overall, it can be stated that it is mainly due to the small classes, and thus the opportunities for differentiated individual teaching, and the didactic-methodological approach that the B.I.S. students study German so successfully.