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Mother Tongue Language Programme

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Many children today are growing up in a multilingual environment: they may speak one or two languages
with their parents at home, and another language at school. Multilingualism and intercultural
competencies are increasingly important in our globalised world as well as in our private and professional lives.

Mother Tongue Classes at ISBerne

Starting in January 2020, in addition to its after-school English classes, ISBerne will add Mother Tongue German and French classes to its after school language course offerings. These classes will be open to both ISBerne students as well as students enrolled in local swiss schools. Classes will be held once a week, day and time to be determined. Please check back soon for more details. If you are interested in these new classes, please contact our office at:


Beyond English, German and French

ISBerne also partners with the educational department of the canton of Berne. Through the HSK (Heimatsprachliche Sprache und Kultur), ‘Mother Tongue’ classes in more than 20 world languages are offered throughout the canton, including on campus at ISBerne.

The classes are offered 2-4 times per week and are often conducted by embassies or parent organisations for the canton. They provide an established curriculum which is controlled through the governmental agency AKVB (Amt für Kindergarten, Volksschule und Beratung) to ensure a comparable course quality across languages.

Please click on this link to see curriculum documentation (available in 21 languages): Language offerings are based on availability and demand and are subject to change.

Registration is for one academic year. Course fees vary, some are free, some incur course fees. (Please note that these decisions are made by each non-profit organisation offering the courses and that ISBerne is not involved in setting course fees.)

Usually, sessions start around 4 p.m., but this can differ depending on language and location. Most courses are open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 10, although some may only accept students starting in Grade 1, 2, or older. Parents will receive a formal report once a year (Grades 1-6) or twice a year (Grades 7-10) from course teachers. The assessment report contains information on the working, learning and social behaviour as well as any progress made in the subject matter.

How To Register for HSK Classes

Please follow these steps to register your child:

Step 1 – Go to this website:

Step 2 – Select a language, your preferred day, grade level, your preferred area in the canton of Berne and then choose “Anzeigen”.

If the displayed course times, location, etc do not suit you, you can widen the search by looking within the canton rather than a specific location.

There are four age groups available:

  • Kindergarten (KG1, KG2),
  • Primary School (G1-G6),
  • Secondary I (G7-9), and
  • Secondary II (G10).

Step 3 – Please see the list of coordinators on the following page and contact the person responsible for your selected language and course location to register your child by telephone or email.

In case you would like to look at a translated version of the HSK information flyer, please click on this link:

German, French and English classes are offered by ISBerne. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Languages Coordinator, Eric Müller, should you have any further questions.

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