Does my child need to be bilingual?

Students must be bilingual (English/French or German/French) either due to their family background or from having lived in an English-speaking or German-speaking country. However, there are a few exceptions which accounts for the diversity of our student body. 

Students who don’t speak French very well

Children in Preschool, Primary and Middle School (Collège) who are not fluent in French may apply to our Wednesday programmes. Classes are held on Wednesday afternoons in Sèvres. If your child is bilingual in both French and English, then he or she may apply for our Primary or Middle School Integrated Programmes located within French public host schools in Boulogne, Chaville, Saint-Cloud and Sèvres. Spaces are limited. 

Please note we do not have adaptation classes for non-French speakers: 80% of the programme is in French and 20% is in English. We cannot therefore accept applications if your child isn't already bilingual in both French and English.

Students who wish to transfer from a European Section

Being in a European Section is a good method for acquiring a decent level of English or German because they offer reinforced foreign language courses. Starting in the Lycée/High School, and sometimes even as early as Collège/ Middle School, European Section students also have a DNL (Discipline non liguistique). This is a non-language course taught in the foreign language. Most of the time this will be a history/geography course.

All of our Middle and High School courses are DNL because the 6 hours of classes per week are devoted to teaching literature and history/geography at a native speaking level. These two subjects are taught by native English or German speaking teachers using the pedagogical methods of their country of origin. In contrast to European Sections, there is no notion of teaching a foreign language.

In short, students in a European Section in Collège who are very motivated and have spent some time in a foreign country can take the entrance exam for Seconde (the first year of High School). Most of the time, these students enter the Cambridge or DSD group. 


French speakers with little or no foreign language knowledge can apply to the German Section B group in Middle School.

My child is not bilingual in either German or English because we are a French speaking family and we have never lived abroad. However I am well aware of the evolution of society and would like him to experience the benefits of an international education. What are my options?

In English the programme is geared towards children who speak English well, at all levels from primary through the end of secondary. To give an idea of the level expected, a child entering 6ème (first year of secondary) should have no trouble reading a book like Harry Potter.

In German, however, there is the B group. This group was created to allow French-speaking pupils to begin learning German in Middle School, starting in 6ème/ Year 7. Teachers employed by SIS Paris Ouest teach the group’s "inter" classes. They are mother-tongue German speakers, trained in their country of origin. Our teachers teach German using German methods with a programme for teaching beginners that was put in place several years ago. At the same time, students start learning English in 6ème according to the national programme taught by the teachers from the French education system. At the end of troisième / Year 10, B group students take the brevet (certificate) with an international option like all of our internatinal students. In Lycée/High School, some B group students have attained a high enough level in German to join the OIB group, otherwise they join the DSD group. 


Par : Webmaster le 13/01/2022


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