Lyngby considering international line at local school

January 25th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Local politicians say teaching in English would benefit foreign families, Danish students and the town as a whole

Two local politicians in the northern suburb of Lyngby say they have received positive feedback about their proposal to add an international line at a public school.

Offering instruction in English at Trongårdsskolen would add it to the group of local schools such as Bjørns International, CIS and Rygaards that cater to the children of temporary foreign residents.

Unlike those private schools, its supporters say the international line at Trongårdsskolen would also require students to take classes in Danish-language and that their understanding of Danish history and culture be on par with Danish students.

Mette Schmidt Olsen, a teacher and member of the Konservative party, put forth the proposal as a way to support Lyngby’s efforts to “internationalise” itself.


As home to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Lyngby has a high concentration of foreign professors and students, and Olsen hoped that allowing them to send their children to school locally would make it attractive for them to live there.


Olsen expected that when the proposal to pass when it comes before the council in the next few weeks. “Many people involved have already given a positive response,” she said.


If Lyngby does set up an international line, Pia Drabowicz, an experienced international school teacher and the principal of Bjørns International, suggested that the school seek to integrate the international students as much as possible.


“To me an international class is not only a class full of students from different countries. It is a school project where the curriculum, the families and the teachers are international as well,” she said.


Isolating international students from the rest of the school might prevent them from getting a true international experience, she warned. “And the closer they come to full integration, the better off the school will be.She added that it was also important for the school to obtain the proper accreditations as an international school, including being able to offer students an international school leaving certificate.


Konservative councillor Sofia Osmani, one of the proposal's most prominent backers, explained that in addition to its proximity to DTU, one reason that Trongårdsskolen was selected was because it had the resources to offer classes in English.


Osmani pointed to the opportunity an international line created for Danish and foreign students to meet as one of the highlights of the plan. While the Danish students will be learning from their English counterparts, learning Danish culture and history will allow them to relate better to Danish students and to their host country.


And while she agreed that the proposal was first and foremost geared toward foreign residents, she added that an international line could also benefit Danish children as well by preparing them for a stay abroad of their own, or on their return home.


Despite the broad local support for the idea, Osmani warned that its approval was not certain, since it would require changing some laws in order to be able to offer classes in English.


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