Language of schooling

The cantons specify the language of schooling, generally based on the official language of the area where the schooling takes place. Depending on the canton, the language of schooling is German, French, Italian or Romansh. In multilingual cantons (Fribourg, Bern, Valais: German and French; Grisons: German, Italian, Romansh) one or the other national language is used as the language of schooling, depending on the region or municipality. In the German-speaking cantons, Swiss German dialects are spoken, while written correspondence occurs in standard German (diglossia). The use of dialect or standard German as the language of schooling, particularly in pre-school, is repeatedly the subject of public interest. For primary school, lower-secondary and upper-secondary education, almost all of the cantons have rules which state that the language of schooling is generally or exclusively standard German.

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Last update of this page: 08.08.2017

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