Supporting non-native speakers of German in local schools
Many parents ask me how they can support their non-native speakers in German. If your child is attending primary and needs more practice with written German, grammar as well as and reading and listening comprehension you might find this useful. The advantage is that your child can do these practices independently and check her answers.
Aufsatz schreiben (essay writing) is an important skill in upper primary and one that non-native speakers of German may find particularly difficult. However, your non-native speaker can compensate for some gaps in vocabulary or grammar by learning lots of adjectives and expressions and mastering essay writing techniques. I recently came across this excellent resource (see wheel below). It is suitable for primary grades 4-6 and also secondary and kanti/gymnasium. The way this works is from the more general expressions in the middle to the more detailed ones in the outer circle. You are able to download this word-list on descriptive words and adjectives about emotions and other word-wheels with an array of expressions and synonyms here:
All you need to do is to provide an email address and you will be able to download different lists:
It is not just non-native speakers who struggle with listening comprehension! Many children find it difficult to focus during an exercise. The below links are both exercises and children’s documentaries without questions. Encourage your child to listen to one of the documentaries in the links below and ask her to take notes and sum up the programme in German for you.
Listening and comprehension questions about different animals, including answers for grades 3/4 but also suitable for grades 4/5:
Listening and comprehension questions for lower/middle primary:
Listening audios with questions and answers. Even though these exercises are labeled with ‚easy‘ I found them quite demanding for my 5th grader and more suitable for grade 6 or the end of grade 5. If your child finds them too difficult, choose one of the above exercises first.
News programme for children (from 8 years). This one has no questions but is excellent to practice listening skills: https://www.zdf.de/kinder/logo/alle-logo-sendungen-100.html
Discovery channel for younger children (ages 4-8). Documentaries, quizzes etc…
Pur childrens discovery channel about different subjects, including environment and technology, science, animals, sports, people etc… Suitable from age 8 plus
Online reading comprehension with solutions
Easier reading comprehension for non-native speakers, grades 2-5: Non-fiction texts (Sachtext) and stories including choice questions/True/false questions, gap texts, with solutions, pages 4-86
Feusisberg (canton Schwyz) is only one of many primary school with tons of brilliant online learning resources, in particular for upper primary. From grammar to spelling to tenses, there is a lot and, best of all, most exercises come with solutions, allowing your child to work independently.
Teachers in canton Uri developed another fantastic online resource for German here: https://www.ilern.ch/deutsch/
And here is another one: https://www.msutzenstorf.ch/lernseiten/deutsch/5-klasse-deutsch/
Do you need information and guidance on schooling in Switzerland? Get in touch with you local school expert! More information on: https://livingswitzerland.ch/consulting-services/