10 July 2020



At Haut-Lac, we’re known for our truly bilingual approach to education. Through our Learning Means the World and International Baccalaureate programmes, we are able to tailor our academic offerings so that students can learn bilingually, in English only or, as of September 2020, in French only.


Yet parents sometimes hesitate when choosing between our English and bilingual streams. Which will be best for their children?

This article is here to demystify that decision, as neither option is right or wrong. Both can suit any family. It just depends on what is best for their lifestyle and expectations of the future.


English is currently the world’s most connected language.
It’s a language used for worldwide communication, so achieving competency or mastery is an incredible asset for anyone.

English opens doors
Young students who are just starting their international school careers will find that knowing English is a boon when making friends. Older students who have a good level of English will most likely be more appealing to employers worldwide.

Improve your level of English
International students whose families are often on the move may also benefit from learning solely in English, rather than starting to learn French for a few months before moving on again. English will be the constant language in the lives of international school kids, so it is best for them to develop their skills in this language as fully as possible.

Our English stream may also benefit local and Swiss families, who wish to give their children a deep English immersion, so as to raise their level more quickly than would happen in public school. Students who arrive with neither English nor French may also find this stream better, rather than trying to learn two new languages at the same time. When they feel ready, students may always try the bilingual programme later.

A gentle introduction to bilingualism
If learning French feels like a very large task, the English stream can be an easier way to get started. Students will get a period of French a day in our primary and infant sections, and can take beginner French classes in secondary. By building their confidence slowly, they will know in time whether they’re ready and willing to transition into the bilingual stream or not.



Why bilingual?

An incredible asset
Although English is almost a necessity on resumes nowadays, bilingual skills are also a big bonus! Being able to speak more than one language says a lot about a person.

Smoother integration
Our bilingual stream is also ideal for families who wish to further their integration in Switzerland. Getting a good grasp of French will enable students to make the most of the beautiful country they’re in and really feel at home.

A truly balanced approach to bilingualism
Local, Swiss families, who would like to give their children a balanced, in-depth English and French education, would benefit greatly from our bilingual programme as it enables students to keep up their French whilst learning much more English than in public school. Studying at Haut-Lac will also allow them to keep their options open. Thanks to our Swiss Bilingual Cycle, students will still be able to sit the entrance exams for the Cantonal Maturité programme should they wish to.

Gaining new perspectives
The same topics are covered in both English and French in primary, and secondary students can tailor their timetables to choose which subjects to study in which language. Given that different cultures approach the same subjects in different ways, being able to observe how they are broached in English and French will widen a student’s understanding of what they’re studying.

Encourages tolerance through cultural understanding
Understanding different languages also means gaining a better understanding of cultural differences. The bilingual stream will increase students’ sensitivity and cultural awareness through the work they do in class and the people they interact with daily.

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All in all, there are benefits to both language streams available at Haut-Lac, and that is why we allow our students to decide which suits them best. No matter the path they choose, the integral values and education we give our students at Haut-Lac will help them become well-rounded young adults with great potential.

Katie Harwood

Tags: education, bilingualism, english stream

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