Gymnasium admission plan for 2022 (family move from CH to DE)

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Hi - Need some guidance on my situation. My son is a bilingual kid (mother tongue is not german), did his Kita and doing good in Grundschule  (1/maths, 1.5/deutsch from Baden-Würt state). I am planning to take my family to Zurich for 2 years (work related move) and then move back to any city near CH-DE border area in 2022. He would study in a public school in zurich. I am not sure how good his chances could be to join in Gymnasium in 2022. Is it a good idea to disturb his education with this plan. My wife thinks its not good for our child to introduce him to Zurich german language as he is still learning german language in his grundschule. any thoughts, advises and recommendations on my plan?

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My first reaction is that your wife may be right!  Two years is a short time though at a crucial point in your son’s education if gymnasium is an option for him. On the other hand, it would  be a great experience and better sooner rather than after Grundschule.   
 

I don’t know how easy it is for any child to get a place at Gymnasium and often based on Grundschule teacher recommendation.  Maybe check with a potential German gymnasium how they allocate places to children coming from Swiss Grundschule. Maybe even a Schulamt in the area you may move back to. I’m sure that these circumstances aren’t unfamiliar in the DE-CH border areas.

 

All the best.

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10 hours ago, srcbie said:

Hi - Need some guidance on my situation. My son is a bilingual kid (mother tongue is not german), did his Kita and doing good in Grundschule  (1/maths, 1.5/deutsch from Baden-Würt state). I am planning to take my family to Zurich for 2 years (work related move) and then move back to any city near CH-DE border area in 2022.

 

Don't do that to your kid. The Swiss German dialects are very different from High German and although they are supposed to use High German in school, most don't. I think it'll be confusing for a foreign child without parents who are not native German speakers not to pick up incorrect Swiss German grammar (many Swiss use incorrect declinations and some even write them too). 

 

It took a few years for me to lose the bad German habits I picked up in Switzerland and your kid won't be able to afford to make these mistakes.

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well - if bilingual is good for your brain, trilingual may be even better. I believe children are way more flexible than what we tend to give them credit for. Nobody says you have to go to Gymnasium right after 4th grade. Depending on where in Germany you'll be there may be Orientierungsstufe, or other alternatives - or your son may not even notice a difference between a German or Swiss dialect.

 

BTW, even though Hochdeutsch and Schwitzer Dütsch sound very different, the grammar and spelling rules are the same. It's the same even within Germany, when you have somebody from the North moving to the South - colleague of mine from Aachen needed translation in some meetings when people from Niederbayern were trying to explain stuff.

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Don't mess your kid about like this. For 2 years work in Zurich and come home at the weekend and then plan a move or move south to a part of Germany near the border now and stay there and work in Zurich for 2 years and back to the family full time.

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27 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

well - if bilingual is good for your brain, trilingual may be even better. I believe children are way more flexible than what we tend to give them credit for. Nobody says you have to go to Gymnasium right after 4th grade. Depending on where in Germany you'll be there may be Orientierungsstufe, or other alternatives - or your son may not even notice a difference between a German or Swiss dialect.

 

BTW, even though Hochdeutsch and Schwitzer Dütsch sound very different, the grammar and spelling rules are the same. It's the same even within Germany, when you have somebody from the North moving to the South - colleague of mine from Aachen needed translation in some meetings when people from Niederbayern were trying to explain stuff.

I believe Childrens at younger age are more flexible and pick up languages quite faster. Now in 3rd class, English is another one. Zurich schools claims the studies are in Hochdeutsch at school but yes they & kids speak Schwitzer Dütsch. So i see the same situation as you explained between Aachen and Niederbayern. 

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31 minutes ago, black1 said:

Don't mess your kid about like this. For 2 years work in Zurich and come home at the weekend and then plan a move or move south to a part of Germany near the border now and stay there and work in Zurich for 2 years and back to the family full time.

 

I had this in my mind..but somehow this corona situation shook me a bit when they blocked the borders. I am afraid this may happen in the next months. This situation added more fuel to my plan. 

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3 hours ago, engelchen said:

 

Don't do that to your kid. The Swiss German dialects are very different from High German and although they are supposed to use High German in school, most don't. I think it'll be confusing for a foreign child without parents who are not native German speakers not to pick up incorrect Swiss German grammar. 

 

Agreed, At the age of 2, his doctor advised us not to speak German language with him for the same reason "not to pick up incorrect German grammar from parents". We continued our mother tongue at home. somehow he learnt german language through his friends, Kita and school. Our contribution is 0 towards improving his language.

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8 minutes ago, srcbie said:

 

Agreed, At the age of 2, his doctor advised us not to speak German language with him for the same reason "not to pick up incorrect German grammar from parents". We continued our mother tongue at home. somehow he learnt german language through his friends, Kita and school. Our contribution is 0 towards improving his language.

 

The problem is that he'll learn incorrect German from his friends and at school in Zurich. I've actually lived in Zurich and spoke fluent High German before I moved there. Swiss German is not a language, but rather every little village has it's own dialect and you can't compare the Swiss dialects to German dialects. Once I came back to Germany it took me over a year before I lost the Swiss influences. 

 

Since on paper he will be taught in High German at school in Switzerland, he will also not be eligible for any type of bonus in the German system and it will not be easy for him to return to the German school system. 

 

I urge you not to put your career ahead of your kid's education. 

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4 hours ago, black1 said:

Don't mess your kid about like this. For 2 years work in Zurich and come home at the weekend and then plan a move or move south to a part of Germany near the border now and stay there and work in Zurich for 2 years and back to the family full time.


I agree, especially as the child is already in the 3rd class. Two years in Switzerland could mean he’d have to go back a year at a German Gymnasium *if* his Hochdeutsch has suffered.
 

I can only speak from the experience of my daughter changing from English to German aged 11 and my refusal fo teach her any of my poorly learned Hessisch German as a child.  She is about to start Uni on the Swiss/German border so we have just gotten familiar with some cross border living options...Zurich really isn’t very far and maybe even commutable? Of course, the possibility of another border closure would make things more difficult.  
 

All the best.

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6 hours ago, srcbie said:

 

I had this in my mind..but somehow this corona situation shook me a bit when they blocked the borders. I am afraid this may happen in the next months. This situation added more fuel to my plan. 

 

If I'm not wrong, even during the lockdown people with a residence permit in CH were allowed to leave and re-enter the country (for example cross-border commuters). I would also think that in case of another border closure (unlikely), your Swiss company would allow you to work remotely from Germany as long as necessary, so you could go back to Germany and stay there for weeks.

 

I would also stay in Germany if I were you, and see if you can commute weekly + do remote work.

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Stay in Germany.

 

7 hours ago, srcbie said:

I had this in my mind..but somehow this corona situation shook me a bit when they blocked the borders.

 

This is still only going to be temporary, so your original plan is still a good one. We were going to move away for two years and come back, and instead my husband went and I stayed with the kids. It was hard, but I think it was better for them to stay in one school system with one language. Like you, we can't support their language at home.

 

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Lots of negative responses - here is a positive one. I lived and worked in Basel for 4 years at the uni. Lots of people coming and going in that type of environment, that's life sometimes. Yes, Swiss German is spoken on playgrounds and in city. But school is Hoch Deutsch. They do not teach in Swiss German. And what's wrong with learning some Swiss German? It's fun and I still incorporate some of the words into my life here in Germany. Best friend moved to Germany when his son was 11 from Basel after only studying in CH. Kid had a hard month or two, but with support from teachers and parents, its fine. Now he's almost finished with his studies in Aachen and will go on to uni.

 

The hardest part for him - he never used an "s-set" in CH. The teacher would constantly correct him for making two s's in homework.

 

It's ok to sometimes do something for yourself. If you want the job/experience/whatever in CH, why not. It's a BEAUTIFUL country with a lot to offer, so much hiking, great food, nice people. I'd move back in a heartbeat. Just remember that a 6 is the best grade, not a 1 :) 

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On 21/09/2020, 10:40:45, srcbie said:

 

I had this in my mind..but somehow this corona situation shook me a bit when they blocked the borders. I am afraid this may happen in the next months. This situation added more fuel to my plan. 

Note that the Swiss borders were never closed, in either direction. If you had a reason to cross and could prove it, you could still cross in both directions. 

We crossed the border daily, albeit reducing the number of times per day during the height of the crisis and shutdown etc. 

School children and students who frequent an establishment not in their country of residence were able to cross. However most places were closed for a time so most were not trying to cross anyway. The border wasn't the issue. 

What they did try to put a stop to was cross-border shopping, day-trips and the like. 

Some buses and trains did not run as a result. 

Smaller, ordinarily unmanned crossings were closed.

 

On 21/09/2020, 10:58:14, engelchen said:

Once I came back to Germany it took me over a year before I lost the Swiss influences.

If you remain in the border region then you may never lose all of it and retaining it can be an advantage for interaction with the Swiss and employment opportunities there.

 

On 21/09/2020, 16:48:04, UpToWick said:

If I'm not wrong, even during the lockdown people with a residence permit in CH were allowed to leave and re-enter the country (for example cross-border commuters).

If you have a residence permit in Switzerland you presumably reside in Switzerland and thus would be able to leave Switzerland as this doesn't interest the Swiss. It would be the Germans who decide if you can enter Germany, - you'd need a reason. 

If you are cross border worker, you have a Swiss work permit G (Grenzgänger) (which is different from a residence permit). In this case you would reside in Germany or another EU/EFTA country. Showing the Swiss work permit would mean you could enter and exit both countries more or less without any hassle from either set of border guards. ;)

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your time and feedback. You have shown me various ways to look towards resolving my situation. Greatly appreciated :). 

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On 21.9.2020, 10:58:14, engelchen said:

 

The problem is that he'll learn incorrect German from his friends and at school in Zurich. I've actually lived in Zurich and spoke fluent High German before I moved there. Swiss German is not a language, but rather every little village has it's own dialect and you can't compare the Swiss dialects to German dialects. Once I came back to Germany it took me over a year before I lost the Swiss influences. 

 

Since on paper he will be taught in High German at school in Switzerland, he will also not be eligible for any type of bonus in the German system and it will not be easy for him to return to the German school system. 

 

I urge you not to put your career ahead of your kid's education. 

 

I don´t know if "incorrect" would be a justified description for similar dialects that are shared by the habitants of three ore even more (if you include Liechtenstein and some parts of South Tyrol) countries.

For someone from -let´s say Bregenz in Austria or some place in Upper Swabia - Vienna or Berlin are hundreds of miles away.

 

I am from a rural area, around 50 km away from the Swiss border. 

In my childhood everyone spoke our local dialect (which may also differ between villages). 

Indeed the way we speak is more similar to the dialects they speak in the Northeast of Switzerland and in the West of Austria than to any German dialect apart from Bavarian Swabian. In primary school in the late 1980s we never used to speak High German and even those who had well educated parents saw  it as something that "posh" and  "strict" or "touristy". Many whose parents were from various countries, mostly former Yugoslavia, southern Italy and Turkey did neither have any problems to grow up with their parents´ language, dialect, High German and additional languages they were taught in school. Additionally we have the advantage to understand most of Swiss and Austrian dialects. Swiss and Austrian TV and radio  are very popular where I live.  My parents are both dialect speaking locals and our dialect did not prevent me from achieving quite an acceptable score in my German literature course "Abitur" as in my second languages English and French. During college in Austria a fellow student from South Tyrol (she came from a place next to the Swiss border) only knew that I were from a place in Germany and she started talking to me in her dialect  trying to make fun of the "Germans". I answered her in my dialect and we found out that we could easily understand each other and communicate without the use of High German.

 

During my work in hospitality I always "switched" to dialect when we had some guests from Switzerland. 

 

A friend of mine has parents who speak Yoruba, English, German and the dialect of our area. Her husband is Croatian. Their children are very lucky to have this great opportunity concerning languages.

Another one, from Scotland (an engineer, so he seems to have received some solid university education) made his first "contact" with the German language during work in an international company in Bavaria. But he sees that as an advantage and likes to communicate in dialect. In English and German he has two versions of either language available and his Russian wife does also speak three languages. 

 

My son is fluent in French (his father is from France) and German and he also knows the local dialect (from my family) and some English (he is in the first year of secondary school, now).

Actually I don´t think that sending a child to school in Switzerland would be a mistake. Maybe the possibilities given there are less limited and the whole approach might be far more open-minded .  

The Swiss educational system does not have the worst reputation in the world, does it?

 

And if srcbie would intend to move back to the area next to the Swiss border after some time in the neighbouring country,  the locals on both sides of the border do have quite a lot in common.

 

One thing I also like a lot in Switzerland is, that everybody speaks dialect, no matter what their cultural or social background are.

 

 

 

 

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