The language program at JFKS is bilingual, English and German. All students are required to take part in the instruction of both languages.
For admission, German students are required to speak German at a mother tongue level according to their age/grade level. They also are expected to speak English as a partner tongue, at the same level as JFKS students in the same grade.
German students without English skills are only admitted through the lottery of the Entrance Class.
American students must speak English at a mother tongue level. They are not required to have German skills at the time of admission. Students will be placed in German language classes according to their ability.
American and German students are taught together from the Entrance Class through grade 6 in all subjects other than German and English. The Entrance Class through grade 2 are instructed bilingually, the use of both languages is integrated into daily instruction. All subjects are instructed mainly in English in grades 3 through 6 (except German class).
As the development of a secure Mother Tongue is considered an important part of the curriculum, formal German and English Mother Tongue instruction takes place daily. This begins in the Entrance Class. Starting in grade 3, the second language (Partner Tongue) is also instructed daily and the formal reading and writing program in the second language begins. English for German students is taught at one level (E2). German for American students is taught at levels ranging from beginners, intermediate and advanced (D4, D3 A-B, D2).
You can find more information about the number of instruction hours and the Double Mother Tongue Program under the JFKS Elementary Language Program.
Students in 5th and 6th grades can take part in a language elective or after school activity introducing them to French or Spanish. These are the languages offered in high school, starting in grade 7. Latin is offered starting in grade 8.
English and German speaking students are taught together in all subjects in grades 7 through 12. Three homeroom classes per grade level are instructed mainly in English, while the other three homeroom classes are instructed mainly in German (except language classes). Due to the unique setup of the Abitur and Diploma tracks, and the fact that JFKS reconfigures homeroom classes every two years, students are exposed to both languages equally by the end of their high school career.
Spanish, French and Latin are taught as electives. More information can be found under the Departments pages on our website.