The bilingual education at SIS Swiss International School Berlin takes place in all sections. Compared to public schools, SIS in general and SIS Berlin in specific offer a true bilingual experience. Students study all kind of subjects in German and/or English, while maintaining an even balance between both languages of instructions. By that students develop their vocabulary in a lot of different subject areas and also train their communication skills in both languages.
Until this school year students only had the chance to receive a Bilingual Diploma when doing the IB Diploma Programme and therefore, only received a document proving their bilingual achievement when graduating. However, from this year on, students of SIS Berlin can already be proud of their achievements in the bilingual language acquisition after finishing Year 10, since they are awarded with a Bilingual Certificate which is provided by the Berlin Senate. The document is proof that they have put in a lot of effort in their bilingual development in many different subject areas throughout the years. In addition, the document does not only confirm that the students attend a bilingual programme at SIS Berlin, but also lists the individual subjects and the number of hours in which the students have been learning in English from Year 7 to Year 10. This is putting even more emphasis on the scope of bilingual learning at the school.
Mr. Hohnjec, Head of Secondary School, has been in contact with the Berlin Senate to organize and to ensure the implementation of the Bilingual Certificates at SIS Berlin. This year, the certificates could be issued for Grade 10, but also for Grade 11 students who got their certificates retroactively.
In addition, options for a Bilingual Abitur are investigated and also offered for the students in the coming years. Therefore, students at SIS Berlin can achieve the Bilingual Certificate (Year 7 to 10), the Bilingual Abitur and also the Bilingual Diploma when pursuing the IB Diploma programme, while meeting certain criteria.
It is great to see that students not only develop in both languages to achieve a near-native or native level in German and English, but are also receiving a document of proof which will be very helpful when pursuing further career steps after graduation from school.