The language program at the elementary school at JFKS is bilingual, in English and German. All students are required to take part in the language instruction of both languages. English and German speaking students are taught together from Entrance Class to Grade 6 in all other subjects. Entrance Class-Grade 2 are instructed bilingually, the use of both languages is integrated into the daily instruction. In Grades 3-6 all subjects are instructed mainly in English, except German classes.
As the development of a secure Mother Tongue is considered an important part of the curriculum, a formal language program takes place daily in both languages. It starts with Entrance Class. As of Grade 3 the second language (Partner Tongue) is also instructed daily. At this level the formal reading and writing program in the second language is started. English for German students is taught in one level (E2). German for English speaking students is taught in 3-4 levels: Beginners, intermediate, advanced (D4, D3 A-B, D2).
Third Grade students have seven hours of Mother Tongue and five hours of Partner Tongue. Fourth Graders have six hours of Mother Tongue and five hours of Partner Tongue. By fifth Grade students should have a secure foundation in their Mother Tongues and will receive six hours of instruction in each language. Students can also be recommended for participation in both Mother Tongues (Double Mother Tongue Program).
In 5th and 6th Grade students can take part in a Language Elective or After School Activity introducing them to French or Spanish – the languages offered at the High School starting in Grade 7.
The JFKS Double Mother Tongue Program
Beginning with the 5th Grade, students have the possibility to participate in instruction on Mother Tongue (MT) level in both languages, German and English.
The following conditions need to be fulfilled: Students need to be recommended for this program by both his/her language teacher and his/her Homeroom teacher. The student’s grade in German and English must be 2 or better and the student must pass a test to determine if he/she is ready for the MT level in their Partner Tongue (PT). At the end of each semester the class conference decides about a student’s participation in the program. The first semester is a probationary period and moving back down to PT level is only possible within the first four years of participation in the Double Mother Tongue Program.
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