Subjects in the bilingual programme at the BM

Neon Sculpture Bruce Nauman

Two Languages in Art and Cultural History (German / English) - Design and Art

Next to the analysis of paintings, talking about art, the presentation and interpretation of important works of art are areas of the focus at Art History. While describing, analyzing and interpreting, the English vocabulary of the students will outstrip the vocabulary that the students use for talking about art. They learn to express themselves convincingly in another language. While a complex content will be still taught in German, the students of the direction Art and Design will enter a world of wide-ranging information materials and sources.

Since the end of the Second World War, works of art from the States dominate international Art History – and by the fall of the Iron Curtain the expression Global Art is used. A wealth of information text and video material in English is available for using and processing. The English part of teaching will be “light” because processing and discussion of the content will be in German and English language.

Two Languages in Economy and Law (German / English)

«It’s the economy, stupid!» This famous phrase has been coined by Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign strategist. Recent incidents in the aftermath of the pandemic crisis, notably sudden supply chain disruptions (e.g., “Ever Given”) in line with aggravating material shortages have proven that this phrase is more applicable than ever (given the circumstances): Even the most ingenious TALS innovation will not prevail if prevailing market mechanisms are neglected.
At the same time, any technician or tradespeople living in the “last Cheese Hole in Europe” aka “Confoederatio Helvetica” (please pardon the pun) should better maintain a decent command of the world’s No. 1 Lingua Franca if they want to maintain their stronghold position amongst neighboring nations competing globally in commerce and science. Hence, let’s face the facts, combine business with pleasure and talk about the economy in English in Economics!

Two languages in History studies (German / English)

Through the use of a foreign language, another cultural dimension finds its way into the classroom. This allows the course content to be presented from a variety of different perspectives and enriches and enlivens the course as a whole. Much importance has been attached to this aspect of the vocational baccalaureate (VB) since 2013. For example, historical events such as the two world wars are dealt from the American and Swiss view, with material from school books from both countries. This makes it possible to see similarities and differences in content, but also in perception. History lessons become “History through English”. Since English is not taught for all themes in the History lessons for the vocational baccalaureate, the term “History through English light” has emerged.

The vocational baccalaureate (VB) at the BBZB Lucerne aims to promote the handling of complex texts and therefore the improvement of reading skills. In the course of the Academic year, students will learn to work with texts which were challenging at the beginning of the school year. The focus is on preparation for a University of Applied Sciences where texts will also be in English and which will no longer take the language skill of students in to account.

Using scientific language in bilingual physics lessons

Ski Jump physics

At the University of Applied Sciences, many students follow lectures in science and technology that are taught in English. In our physics course, we are going to use texts in English for a couple of topics. We will start with kinematics (theory of motion), which is very illustrative due to the use of many diagrams. You will learn to use the physical terms and language in a scientific way and will see that we can address some physical quantities more accurately in English language. Since we also want to take a closer look at the learning culture in English speaking countries, we will use an American textbook to cover the topic of dynamics (motion under the action of forces). Nevertheless, at least 50% of the course will be held in German. The examinations can be written bilingually (German or English). Bilingual physics is a valuable opportunity for you to develop your reading and oral skills in the use of scientific language.

Technology and Environment

In the "Technology and Environment" course, you will learn to evaluate and understand our demand for raw materials and energy, as well as approaches to sustainable development. The use of raw materials and energy is analyzed, along with their environmental impacts on water, air, and soil.

Examples of Project Work are:

  • Climate Change: Analysis of data from 1870 to today (Source: Meteo Schweiz)
  • The Planetary Health Diet: Its impact on nutrition in 2050
  • Your Personal CO2 Footprint: Calculation and strategies for reduction
  • Company Compliance with the 17 SDGs: Assessing how companies meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals through their products or services
  • Basics in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology: Their links to ressources, environment and climate change

Case studies connect theoretical models to real-life examples and provide practical answers to your questions.

Example: Copper Mining in Chile

BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine, in Chile (2018)
Sheets of copper at Minera Escondida (The Wall Street Journal, 2017)

Chile holds 30% of the world's largest copper reserves. Copper, a metal with high electrical conductivity, is used in a variety of applications. Most copper is mined or extracted as copper sulfides from large mines containing 0.4 to 1.0% copper. Using such case studies, we address questions linked to the availability of raw material and the need for recycling.

By taking this course in English, you will learn to use scientific terminology and discuss topics of high social relevance. It will enable you to engage in informed discussions about sustainable practices.

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