A City’s good practice towards the elimination of discrimination
The City of Zurich offers different language programmes such as ‘Quality in Multicultural Schools’ ‘Parents learn German in School’ and ‘German as a second language.’ Providing language skills and increasing the literacy of newcomer populations is essential in promoting and supporting their integration into city and community life. By targeting schools, this project assists to get in touch with children in need of language training.
The Quality in Multicultural Schools’ programme is introduced by the canton of Zurich and directed at elementary and secondary schools with more than 40% of foreign language speaking students. The project provides schools with know-how and financial support for development of language support project. Around half of Zurich’s schools are part of this programme.
The ‘Parents learn German in School’ programme enables schools to offer German classes for parents of schoolchildren. In addition to teaching language skills, classes also provide knowledge on specific school subjects. Intercultural translators intervene when needed and requested for discussions with parents.
The German as a Second Language project is designed for foreign speaking children and adolescents who have necessity of extra German hours and support, tailored for the learning of German as a second language.
Simultaneously building the language capacities of both children and parents is reinforcing and creates a culture of learning that benefits the entire family. Sharing critical information about the school and its procedures also addresses potential gaps in information that can result from language barriers.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. While the municipality itself has approximately 380,500 inhabitants, the Zurich metropolitan area is an urbanised area of international importance constituted by a population of nearly 2 million inhabitants. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Also, most of the research and development centres are concentrated in Zurich and the low rate of tax attracts overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.
Zurich has been a member of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism since November 2006.
For more information about Zurich’s best practice, please visit: www.stadt-zuerich.ch