Languages of Switzerland
Switzerland has four national languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh. Information is always printed in German and French, and often in Italian as well. The German part of Switzerland has spoken regional dialects known as Swiss German. High German is the written language. English is widely spoken in Switzerland and is often used in business. Learning the local language and making an effort to understand the dialect will help with integration.
Learn more about the benefits of multilingualism in the article Multilingualism: an overlooked gift
Language courses in Solothurn
Solothurn is a Swiss German-speaking canton and German and other language courses are widely available. The Volkshochschule Solothurn (DE) is recommended by many newcomers, as well as Migros Klubschule and Interlangues. Solothurn actively promotes integration and its governmental integration department (DE) has information on state-subsidised language courses (DE) for newcomers. For language related clubs, look into Toastmasters, English Forum or Meetup.
Language courses & education
Courses vary according to structure, duration, degree of intensity, level, language, class size and cost. In general, there is an option to suit most people's needs. Most schools offer day and evening classes to accommodate students with other commitments. There are usually opportunities for study online, in small groups or in private lessons. Some schools offer language assessment exams to help determine your level before beginning a course, it may be taken online or at school. At certain locations it may also be possible to sit in and try an introductory lesson before committing to the entire course.
Things to consider when choosing a language school
Before making a final decision, visit the school in person to discuss your class options and to get a feel for the school culture and environment. Ask these questions:
- What training do the instructors undergo?
- What is the average class size?
- Is there an entrance test to ensure that you begin at the correct level?
- Is it possible to join an introductory class before enroling?
- Is the course material suitable and helpful?
- Is there a recognised certificate on completion of the course?
- Are private lessons available?
- Are other adult education courses available?