German as a second/foreign language in our secondary school (from grade 5)

Learn German with us!

Dear parents,

By choosing iDSB, you are making an important decision for your child’s education: With us, your child will benefit from the wonderful opportunity of getting to know the German language and culture in an intuitive way that will help them enjoy speaking.

iDSB is not just a place of learning for students with a German-language background. We see ourselves as an international school. That is why we also accept students with no or little prior knowledge of the German language.


How do students learn German with us?
Our German-language teaching is based on three pillars:
•    German language lessons
•    Interaction with our German-speaking students
•    Our outstanding language development concept for German as a second language (DaZ) and German as a foreign language (DaF)

Is prior knowledge of German required for enrolment at iDSB?
In principle, no. However, the older the students are, the more difficult it becomes for them to reach the level they will need in time to attend specialized classes taught in German. From 9th grade onwards, it is therefore only possible for students to enrol in exceptional cases.

In general, we differentiate between two groups of students:
1. Students with German as a second language (DaZ)
These children have at least one German-speaking parent. The students understand and speak German, but often only colloquially. They haven’t been educated in German and frequently struggle with written and literary language.
2. Students with German as a foreign language (DaF)
These are children with different German-language levels, who usually don’t speak German at home. They learn German as a foreign language with us.

How do DaF/DaZ lessons work?

DaF/DaZ students are taught in 2 phases:

First phase (up to level B1): Students receive intensive German language lessons (grammar, spelling, vocabulary, phonetics, expression, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension) in small, homogenous groups until they reach at least language level B1 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). These language lessons form part of their regular school curriculum.

Students spend the rest of their time at school in their classes, where they interact with their fellow students. They participate in foreign language classes and less language-intensive subjects. This combination enables our students to join regular specialised classes as quickly as possible.

Second phase (from level B1):
In the second phase, the number of language lessons is reduced. Parallel to these lessons, we support students in text comprehension and creation. This is essential for German classes as well as all other subjects. We take an individual and targeted approach to meeting the requirements of every student: The need for support depends on the students’ skills and knowledge!
Additionally, our DaF/DaZ students, along with all other students, receive support through DfU (Deutsch für den Unterricht, “German for class instruction”) for science and social science subjects. DfU’s goal is to simplify difficult texts (e.g. through vocabulary aids or illustrations), enabling all students to keep up in specialised classes.

Furthermore, our advanced DaF/DaZ students in years 7 to 10 can attend a remedial literature course that offers support in understanding literary language and composing texts.
Additional information
As a German school abroad, we only have a limited influence on the language spoken in student’s everyday environment and therefore try to give your child particularly intensive German-language input. It is therefore essential for your child to regularly attend DaF/DaZ lessons, as the topics covered continually build on one another.
Currently, this development concept is jointly financed by the iDSB and the parents of our DaZ/DaF students.


Get in touch!

For any furhter questions please don`t hesitate to contact our dedicated DaZ/DaF-team:

Dr. Patrizia Maury (Head of DaF/DaZ in the secondary school)


For questions about admission to the iDSB, please contact 

Sarah Zada (Welcome office)

+32 (2) 785 01 35

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