Language learning in Switzerland
German, French and Italian are spoken around of Switzerland; here's a guide to the many language schools in Switzerland, as well as online and computer language courses.
National language schools in Switzerland
The Academia Language School is specialised in customised language training, and located in several big cities across Switzerland. The personal objectives and wishes of students are taken into consideration so that Academia can develop a customised educational concept. The school offers language instruction for children and adults, as well as for beginners and advanced students. German courses include lessons on an individual basis or in small groups in daytime or evening courses.
Locations: Basel, Lucerne, Visp, Lausanne, Sissach, Bern, Biel and Caslano (TI)
Costs: A 14-week intensive course of 10 lessons per week and 5 supervised practice lessons costs around EUR 670 (CHF 825) per month.
The language school of Alemania has branches in Zurich, Bern and Lucerne and specialises in teaching German. All courses are of a modular construction and can be combined with each other. The Beginners course takes place every day: twice weekly as an intensive course, twice a week as an evening course and once a week as a Saturday course. This broad selection of possibilities facilitates a flexible learning process by enabling students to swap courses when the need arises. A maximum of 14 students per course affords the maximum learningprice ratio.
Locations: Bern, Lucerne and Zurich
Cost: A 4-week course of 10 hours per week costs EUR 120 per week.
Contact: Badenerstrasse 333, 8003 Zurich
Pilatusstrasse 20, 6003 Lucerne
Mühlemattstrasse 14a, 3007 Berne
In the Bénédict-Schule Zürich, French, German and Italian languages are taught. You receive a free consultation and a free trial lesson. An individual target is developed, in conjunction with the school, and tailored to each student’s needs. A placement test also makes sure that students are placed in the right group. As well as classes, a CD-ROM is provided so that students can continue their training at home. A course certificate is provided at the end of the course as proof of the qualification.
Locations: Zurich, Bern, Lucerne and St. Gallen
Cost: A 4-week Intensive Italian course costs EUR 460 per week (20 hours of lessons).
Contact: (E): firstname.lastname@example.org | www.benedict.ch
Berlitz is an international language school with more than 470 centres in over 70 countries. In Switzerland, French, German and Italian are taught. Individual and group lessons are available for both adults and children (7 to 17 year olds). Seminars are available for businesses upon request. The Berlitz language school also provided preparation courses for numerous internationally recognised language examinations.
Locations: Basel, Bern, Biel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne and Zurich
Cost: Upon request
Contact details: www.berlitz.ch
Inlingua language school has more than 300 sites worldwide and 12 schools in Switzerland including in the 5 top cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern and Luasanne. French, German and Italian language courses are available in individual session, semi private groups or larger groups. Diploma and certificate courses are also available. The timetable for individual courses is set according to your daily schedule. The emphasis in the Inlingua language school is on speaking the language and the pace of teaching is dependent on the individual’s progress. The semi private groups consist of 2 or 3 students and are an alternative to larger group courses.
Locations: Basel, Bern, Biel, Geneva, Oten, St. Gallen, Thun and Zurich
Cost: The 15 lesson per week German course in Basel costs EUR 495 per week. Lessons are 45 mins each.
Contact: (E): email@example.com | www.inlingua.ch
Flying teaching courses
The school offers flexible language courses: the client determines the location, time, content and frequency of the lessons. Flying Teachers offers you courses in your home, at your workplace, or anywhere you wish. Courses are available in French, German and Italian for individual students as well as groups.
Locations: Berne, Lausanne, Geneva and Zurich
Cost: The prices are dependent on the number of students in a class and the length of the class (45 mins or 60 mins). There is a course calculator on the website to help you work out your individual cost. As an example, a 4-week course with 15 lessons per week (45 mins each) will cost around EUR 1,065 per week.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.flyingteachers.com
Language schools in Basel
European Organisation of Languages (ELO) have a team of native speaking teachers who teach French, German and English in Basel. ELO has an overall made to measure service, which aims to have personal answers for you language needs. Priority is given to current affairs, ELO is a place where you can exchange dialogue, discover and communicate and which organises outings and activities.
Cost: Available on request
Contact: ELO Basel, Gerbergasse 16, 4001 Basel
061 55 42 150 | email@example.com | www.elo-basel.com
Language schools in Zurich
LSI – Language Studies International
The language school is around five minutes’ walk from both the historic town centre and Lake Zurich. Facilities including recently refurbished classrooms, a computer room with free Internet access and a student lounge make LSI Zurich an extremely comfortable environment in which to study German. The school offers a variety of exam courses, including the Zertifikat Deutsch, as well as more general German programmes. The school promises that whichever course you choose, you will find their fully qualified and highly experienced teachers friendly and ready to assist you.
Cost: A standard 20 lesson per week course costs around EUR 365 per week.
Contact: Kreuzstrasse 36, 8008 Zurich, Zurich
+41 (0) 44 251 58 89 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lsi.edu
Online and computer language courses
Most companies claim to have the best programme out there to learn languages quickly and retain everything. However, since everyone learns differently, explore the teaching style used by the programme before you buy. Here are a few good language software titles.
- Tell Me More French/German/Italian
- Fluenz French/German/Italian
- Rosetta Stone French/German/Italian
- Berlitz French/German/Italian Premier
- Instant Immersion French/German/Italian
- French/German/Italian Learning Suite
- Living Language Platinum
- Hello-Hello World
- Pimsleur Comprehensive
- Transparent Language
Remember: Some of these titles are pretty costly, ranging from EUR 32 all the way to EUR 150.
Almost anything you can buy can be found on the Internet for free, so don’t be afraid to look around.
The BBC actually has a very innovative product that also includes audio files, a very valuable asset when trying to learn a language. Another great resource is Radio Lingua Network (www.radiolingua.com), which offers short audio language tutorials, downloadable as podcasts. Another great resource is www.openculture.com.
You may also want to buy pocket phrasebooks that will help you get around in the day-to-day grind. They won’t be great at in-depth grammar usage and explanations but they will definitely have useful phrases. It would also be good to have an electronic translator to carry around just in case – Google Translate is quite a useful free app that will often give you an audio as well as written translation.
Want a local opinion? Ask experienced expats on Expatica's forums for advice.
For German: 'Sprachschule Schneider' in Zurich-Wollishofen