Multilingual Course Requirements
Wide Language Selection
Since multilingual education of pupils must be a goal in a united Europe, a wide selection of languages in elementary and secondary schools is necessary. Thus, schools should not limit themselves only to the generally widespread languages such as English, French, Spanish, but rather also include languages from the smaller EU member-states or Russian.
Whether English needs to be the first foreign language remains questionable. Its status as a lingua franca in computer technology, music, sciences, etc., does not strengthen the motivation to learn a second foreign language. Therefore it is advisable to choose a different European language as the first and offer English as the second foreign language.
Bilingual classes are understood as the instruction of subjects (i.e. History, Government, Geography, Natural Sciences, etc.) in the respective foreign language. At the Europe School Bornheim an extended foreign language course results from the instruction of a basic subject in the foreign language. Pupils normally have 5 hours of English per week. Those, who receive bilingual instruction, have 7 hours of foreign language per week. Whether purely bilingual classes are held, thus giving rise to a bilingual group, or an elective bilingual track is created, is ultimately a decision for each school to make. In the bilingual track, pupils are instructed together in the core subjects and then divided into courses for the extended foreign language or special topics instruction. The Europe School Bornheim has chosen the bilingual track approach. As a result, the "creaming-effect" is avoided. Since it can be demonstrated that the bilingual pupils are generally stronger in academic performance, they still remain a part of the core class. This track appears to facilitate the social integration of all pupils.
Certification Courses are a part of the mandatory school curriculum and require participation in the respective class as well as oral and written examination of material learned. The certification is structured according to the relevant guidelines and curricula of governmental ministries and culminates in the final grade and graduate requirements.
Pupils should receive supplementary insight into a foreign language that are not graded or part of the mandatory curriculum. These courses seek to enhance speaking ability in order to communicate in the respective host country.
At the Europe School Bornheim discussion courses are offered according to teaching capacity in Czech, Polish, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, and Hebrew. Participation in these courses is not graded, but pupils receive a certificate. All of these courses, conversational practice, and language study experiences are registered in the language portfolio, which the pupils continue to fill out starting with their entrance into the Europe School Bornheim.
Integrating "Europe" into the Teaching Material of all Courses
It is important for pupils to experience Europe not only through its language diversity, through history and politics. Europe, with its myriad differences and similarities, should also be a part of other courses.
The Europe School Bornheim seeks to incorporate European aspects into the instruction of all courses from German, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, to Social Sciences, Education, even Athletics, etc. The individual subject departments are given the task of developing relevant course units, and have had success through comparative analysis, inclusion of foreign language texts, and usage of new materials. In addition, virtual media are integrated and play an important role.
Conveying European Culture into School Life
It is given, that the Europe School celebrates "European Day" (May 5) with special programs and events. Likewise, the "Day of Languages" is observed with lectures or discussions in various languages with participation by teachers, pupils, and parents. Although not celebrated in this country, a number of foreign holidays are celebrated at the Europe School as well. In addition, the Europe School Bornheim conducts an Italian, English, Spanish, and French Week once a year. Meals, songs, and leisure activities of the partner countries are observed.