French is one of the world's languages, along with English. 300 million people in more than 40 countries around the world speak French. France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium are among our francophone neighbouring countries where we can communicate in French. French is also used as an official lingua franca and is preferred to English in international discussions, for example at the UN or UNESCO.
In order to acquire foreign language skills authentically and in the long term, the immersion concept is applied as a profitable way of teaching at the JSS. Accordingly, realistic communicative moments are created in which students and teachers can already enter into a discourse in the chosen target language in the first year of learning. In this way, the pupils face possible linguistic challenges and meet each other in a first language contact. In addition to language teaching with the help of the immersion concept, the competences are trained in a playful and multimedia way. Vocabulary and grammar games, but also realistic role-plays, are among the consistent methods of foreign language teaching.
In addition, students interested in French have the opportunity to take the DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française) language certificate. The language diploma is awarded by the French Ministry of Education and can be very useful when applying for internships, at university or in professional life. It is also internationally recognised and valid indefinitely. Interested students are prepared not only in French lessons, but also in the DELF Club for the written and oral parts of the exam, in which they can put their acquired knowledge into practice in a realistic way. For this purpose, the required skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) are trained in communicative situations close to real life. When choosing the topics, the students' interests come first, which means that contents such as family, friends, school or leisure activities come to the fore.
As part of the French lessons, excursions and student exchanges with a French partner school are planned in order to be able to apply what has been learned in authentic communicative situations. Furthermore, we offer the possibility of an exchange of letters, in which the pupils interact in writing with French pupils, which enables a deepening of the written language. In order to experience French customs and traditions with all senses, we use the possibility of our in-house kitchen, where we can prepare French dishes together with the pupils.
The focus of foreign language teaching is on intercultural communicative competence, with which students can apply the linguistic and cultural knowledge they have acquired in authentic communication situations. In this context, the pupils compare their own with the still unfamiliar world and recognise similarities and differences.
Should my child learn French from grade 6?
The earlier a pupil encounters the foreign language, the easier and more long-term it can be learned. Especially through the playful approach, learning the foreign language is fun and leads to motivation being maintained. However, this presupposes that the child is interested in and enjoys the subject itself. If your child is still uncertain, he or she can take French in grade 6, as the sixth grade is intended to serve as an orientation. It is possible to drop out at any time, as the compulsory choice is made in grade 7. It is also worth mentioning that the profile subject Spanish can only be chosen in combination with the WPF French.
Will I not overburden my child if it is already learning English?
If your child has an affinity for languages and is open to and passionate about learning English, it is possible that learning an additional foreign language can be enriching rather than overwhelming. Languages are constructs that have similar grammatical and lexical structures that can be compared with each other. This improves one's own understanding of the language and that of the foreign language and makes learning easier.
How can I support my child in learning French if I do not speak French myself?
Thanks to digitalisation, there are numerous learning apps and websites with which your child can deepen the skills independently. In addition, there is a comprehensive cultural offer of music, films and literature that can be used as a support.