From: Shakespeare Comms
Published: Fri Jun 25 2021

· Top Dubai school delivers bilingual teaching to all students aged 3-18

· Non bilingual students can opt for four German classes a week; only school in the UAE to offer this level of language acquisition to all students from the age of 3

Swiss International School Dubai, Dubai's first bilingual International Baccalaureate School, is seeing an explosive growth in German classes offered to its early years and primary pupils, driven by an increasing number of German nationals moving to the emirate.

The bilingual school offers dual language teaching in a number of different languages, but German is growing in popularity.

Incoming Principal Ruth Burke explains: "We are witnessing a large influx of European families to Dubai. They understand the International Baccalaureate system, which was founded in Switzerland, and it holds more appeal than the British educational system. We coach our pupils to become truly global citizens. Parents also see value in the fact that our school already has a multi-national demographic - there's a large cohort of German, Swiss, French and Italian students here already."

The new Head also underlined that more German families are moving to the Emirate thanks to several factors, including escaping the rigours of European pandemic lockdown, the better quality of life, the new free zones offering exciting new work and business set up opportunities, and the new remote working visa which allows foreign nationals to continue their normal role while working remotely from Dubai.

"The UAE's response to COVID-19 is highly regarded, and the speed of the vaccination programme too. A lot of our new German pupils already have family and friends here. Parents are now less likely to send their children away to boarding school in Germany or other places, as we can increase their knowledge of their mother tongue, while they remain close to their families and enjoy all that Dubai has to offer," adds Ruth.

The importance of German teaching is underlined by the fact that there are some 230 million German speakers in the world. Figures suggest those who are bilingual in German can increase their earning potential by some EUR125,000 simply by virtue of having command of the language. Germany is also Europe's largest US trading partner, and German is the second most popular language on the internet!

Al Jaddaf-based Swiss International School Dubai offers pupils a choice of two options for languages - a full English / German bilingual programme for native speakers and a English / German language acquisition programme for non-native speakers This is an educational offering not delivered anywhere else in Dubai's educational sphere - at least in any other language than Arabic.

Ruth concludes: "Our reputation grows from strength to strength as we welcome more students from all over the world, including Germany, as both boarding and day students. Leading such a truly international school is thrilling, challenging and highly rewarding. The whole school community is working together to create a bright new future driven by the collective aim of providing the very best start in life for our curious, happy students.

Who knows, we may be nurturing a 21st Century Mozart or Nietzsche!"
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