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The importance of home languages in education: This European international school has it covered

By: Giovanna Platania, GESS Language Enrichment Programme Coordinator

Want to give your child an international education in Singapore with a strong sense of European community and a level of instruction in your native tongue? Boasting a student body of 1,500 students across 50 nationalities, the German European School of Singapore (GESS) is celebrating diversity with the introduction of its new Language Enrichment Programme (LEP) at Primary School level. Participation in the LEP is optional, but totally worthwhile considering research shows that maintaining and building fluency in home languages is key to academic success!

Whether parents choose the German curriculum or English IB curriculum for their child, GESS Primary students can select a weekly 90-minute language enrichment course in any one of a number of home languages, including German and English (GESS’ core languages), as well as Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Turkish, Mandarin and Japanese. Dutch and Danish are already fully integrated into the curriculum, with all students from Pre-School to Grade 12 learning these languages at a variety of levels, from beginner to native speaker.

Students in the Japanese classroom at GESS
Students in the Japanese classroom at GESS

 

The main aim of the programme, which runs every Wednesday, is to connect students with their countries of origin and develop cultural knowledge, identity and pride, while improving oral and written skills so students are more comfortable using their native language outside of the home.

Designed to be fun and interactive, the brand-new LEP is structured around language-focused activities that engage students and stretch their fluency. German and English instruction extends beyond traditional lesson plans and includes Book Club, Drama, arts and crafts, board games, homework and learning support, while experienced mother tongue teachers and facilitators incorporate games, project work, stories and arts and crafts into lessons, alongside opportunities to experience authentic food, music and dance from the various cultures.

 

“I like the program because we do a lot of fun things like cooking or baking and I can speak Italian” - Alessandro Roviaro (6 years)
“I like the program because we do a lot of fun things like cooking or baking and I can speak Italian” – Alessandro Roviaro (6 years)

Valuing its roots founded on German and European cultures, languages and traditions, GESS is a multilingual, not-for-profit school providing an international education for students from 18 months to 18 years from two green campuses in Singapore. As an authorised IB World School, GESS offers the IB curriculum for students from 3 years old to high school across all three IB programmes (the PYP, the MYP and the IB Diploma), as well as the German curriculum. Find out more by visiting www.gess.sg.

GESS Main Campus, Kindergarten and Secondary School, 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, 289760; info@gess.sg; +65 6469 1131

GESS Junior School Campus, Parent-child groups, Toddler, Pre-Primary and Primary, 300 Jalan Jurong Kechil, 598688; info.jsc@gess.sg; +65 6461 0802

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