At International School Campus, we place a strong emphasis on developing our students’ abilities to use both English and German as fluently as possible. As such, we dedicate equal hours of instruction to both languages. This reflects our own student body, which is composed of nearly equal proportions of local students from the Hamburg Metropolitan Area and expatriate families from around the world.
While English is the official language of instruction for many of our classes, it does not hold cultural primacy to the exclusion of other languages present in our school. Students are invited to speak with their classmates and teachers in their native tongue, even during our English language lessons. This creates a vibrant, diverse culture of language in our school and helps to expose our students to the many, beautiful tongues spoken around the world.
This approach is also supports our emphasis on the social and emotional development of our students: one of the most central elements of a student’s identity is their mother tongue, and its acceptance in their environment affirms their membership and inclusion in our community.
Our German language programme follows the curriculum of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. This means that our students receive the same number of instructional hours of German and are held to the same academic standards as their local German counterparts. Our English programme follows international standards and ensures that students are learning at the appropriate grade levels. For families who may transition to another international school at some point during their child’s education, they will be fully prepared to enter into their next environment and succeed.
Many of our students arrive to International School Campus without any previous education in German and/or English. For these students, we have a strong Language Learner programmes that supports both German as an Additional Language (GAL) and English as and Additional Language (EAL).
The goal of both the GAL and EAL programmes is to provide an accelerated learning process that will prepare students to enter the mainstream German or English courses in time. Students receive “pull-out” instruction, working in a separate classroom in smaller groups during the normal German or English lessons.
In addition to the pedagogical benefits, this environment lowers the social pressure that often accompanies learning to speak a new language by providing a small, supportive group of language learners who share in the sometimes comical, sometimes awkward moments of mis-pronunciation, misspelled words, and other such moments.
During class time, students work on Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS), linguistic skills needed in everyday, social face-to-face interactions; as well as strategies needed for language acquisition. From an early stage reading and writing are an integrative part of lessons. As students are progressing more focus is given to building proficiency in the language through reviewing grammar and completing tasks similar to the mainstream classroom.