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Adults Archives - Bell Switzerland
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Adults

General

  • How long does it take to learn a foreign language?

    The correct answer is: “it depends,” but you probably already knew that. The next and most accurate answer is that it can take anywhere between three months to two years to learn how to speak, write, and read in a new language fluently.

    There are five types of languages based on difficulty and study time required, as categorized by the Foreign Service Institute. The makeup of each language – its alphabet, grammar, pronunciation, and rhythm – ultimately determines the simplicity or complexity of learning it.

    • Category I  – includes languages closely related to English, such as French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. These will take a solid 600 hours to learn, or 6 months, to attain a level of General Professional Proficiency.
    • Category II  – like German, is slightly more complex and takes an additional 2 months – for a total of 750 hours to attain that same level of proficiency.
    • Category III  – These languages are slightly more difficult, and this group includes Indonesian and Swahili. It possesses a moderate level of complexity and require usually around 36 weeks or 900 hours, or 9 months, to attain proficiency.
    • Category IV  – This is the largest group and contains a wide variety of languages, including Russian, Hindi, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Finnish and many more. They are described as “hard languages”. Students will usually requires 1100 hours (nearly an entire year) to attain proficiency.
    • Category V  – This small group of “super-hard languages” includes Chinese (Mandarin), Cantonese, Japanese, Korean  and  Arabic. These require English speakers to invest 2200 hours, or almost 2 years. That’s twice as long as any category 4 language to attain proficiency!

    In the end, there are so many variables that affect how easy or difficult a language is, including your previous learning experience, the languages you already speak, your motivation, your learning style, the support of your teacher.

    However, what these rankings do reveal is the relative difficulty of these languages for the majority of English speakers, and, along with other factors like the availability of resources, this can be important information when deciding which language you want to learn.

  • When is payment due on an adult course?

    You will receive an invoice, and payment is due within 30 days of the first lesson.

    Payments can be made either by payment slips (BVR), credit card (Visa or Mastercard), or bank transfer.

  • Am I able to get financing for my course?

    Yes! Depending on which course you are booking, our selection of courses for adults and professionals may be eligible for financing.

    Our Evening Courses and the test fide Preparation Course is eligible for the Chèque Annuel de Formation (CAF). All information on the options can be found on their website.

    Our courses – if taken to professional career development – are also eligible for finance through ‘Temptraining’. They support people with training that enables trainees to progress in their current or future role. All information on the options can be found on Temptraining website.

  • Do I need to take a placement test before starting my course?

    We want to make sure students get the best out of their learning experience. Which is why we test all of our students ahead of them starting their course, and allocate them to classes based on their ability.

    All students starting a course with us should take a placement test to ensure their correct placement in their group. Your contact will set up the written placement test, to be taken online, and it will be followed by an oral examination with one of our teachers. Once both parts have been completed, you will receive a feedback on the the best class for your level.

  • How much study is expected outside of class?

    Bell students are encouraged to learn everywhere, so your learning never stops when you are immersed in the language!

    We do expect commitment from you to achieve your goals – every week, every lesson and in every activity – to ensure you get the best from your course and your time with us. There is daily homework and your personal digital learning environment offering a wide range of resources to help you.

  • What is our approach to learning?

    For over 60 years Bell has provided learning experiences to students from around the world, helping to change the lives of over one million people. This has led us to develop ‘The Bell Way’.

    Our unique teaching approach has been influenced by six decades of experience and shaped by an Emeritus Professor from the University of Cambridge. The six principles below are our commitment to your success; they will make you a better learner, build your confidence and ensure you achieve your learning goals.

    • High expectations, we support you to do the very best you can
    • Clarity of learning, we have clear learning goals and teaching methods
    • Unique individual, we treat every student as an individual
    • Learning everywhere, you will learn in and out of the classroom
    • Assessment as learning, we assess and provide feedback about your progress every step of the way
    • Organisational learning, we continue to learn as an organisation to provide you with the very best learning experiences
  • What’s the average age of our adult students?

    Students on our language courses for adults range from 18 to 80, with an average age of 28. We will always make students feel welcome and will find a course that’s right for you.

  • How many students are there in a class?

    The maximum class size is 12 students, and the average is around 7 students.

Test fide

  • Model Test Fide (mock test)

  • How to obtain a COVID certificate to attend the test fide?

    As a reminder, the COVID certificate can be obtained :

    • after vaccination (certificate valid for 365 days)
    • after cure (certificate valid 180 days after infection)
    • after a negative PCR test (certificate valid 72 hours)
    • after a negative rapid antigen test (certificate valid 48 hours)

    If there is no certificate or an invalid certificate, you will not be able to take the test.

  • What are the required levels for each permit requests?

    Family reunification: for the issuance and
    renewal of a residence permit (B)
    A1 oral
    Family reunification: for the issuance
    of a settlement permit (C)
    A2 oral and A1 written
    For the issuance of a
    settlement permit (C)
    A2 oral and A1 written
    For the early issuance of a
    settlement permit (C)
    B1 oral and A1 written
    For naturalisation B1 oral and A2 written
  • Who can take the fide test?

    Anyone over the age of 16.
    People with a disability can also take the fide test. Special rules apply to them, which are agreed upon with the examination institution and the Secretariat fide.
    It is necessary to specify the nature of the handicap during registration, a field at the end of the form is provided for this purpose.

  • When will I receive the results / the language passport?

    You will receive the Language Passport and the test results directly by post approximately 4 weeks after the test. Bell and the fide office cannot give any information about the results over the phone.

  • How long does the fide test take?

    The oral part lasts 40 minutes, the written part 60 minutes.

  • What does the test fide cost?

    The whole test costs CHF 250.–. Only the oral part costs CHF 170.–, only the written part CHF 120.–.

  • Test fide prices and cancellation policy

    • Complete test: Oral + Written: CHF 250
    • Oral: “Speaking and understanding” part only: CHF 170
    • Written: “Reading and writing” part only: CHF 120

    Terms of cancellation

    1. Any cancellation request must be sent via email to fide@bell-school.ch
    2. Any cancellation made in writing to the school administration no later than the day of the registration deadline will result in the reimbursement of registration fees with a deduction of CHF 20 for administrative costs.
    3. In the event of a cancellation received after this deadline and until the day before the first date of the assessment, the centre will refund the registration fee but will retain the sum of CHF 88 corresponding to the late cancellation fees.
    4. In the event of cancellation or absence on the day of the assessment, no refund can be made.
    5. If Bell does not receive payment of the exam fee by the date of your first exam, Bell reserves the right not to accept you for the exam.
  • How to register for the test fide and conditions of registration

    • All registrations can be made online  only  using the available forms.
    • No registration can be made on our premises.

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    In accordance with article 14 of the COVID-19 Ordinance, a COVID certificate with QR code, valid for each part of the test, is MANDATORY to participate in the test. Your QR code will be scanned during each part of the test.

    As a reminder, the COVID certificate can be obtained :

    • after vaccination (certificate valid for 365 days)
    • after cure (certificate valid 180 days after infection
    • after a negative PCR test (certificate valid 72 hours)
    • after a negative rapid antigen test (certificate valid 48 hours)

    If there is no certificate or an invalid certificate, you will not be able to take the test.

    Conditions of registration

    1. A confirmation of registration for the fide test will be sent automatically to each participant immediately after registration.
    2. An invoice of the fide test registration fee along with an ISR will be sent to the postal address provided by the participant.
    3. The registration fee for the fide test must be paid before the first exam date. Proof of payment will be requested from the participant during the first part.
    4. The participant will receive an invitation to the fide test indicating the precise dates and times of their test no later than 2 weeks before the test.
    5. Any cancellation made in writing to the school administration before the registration deadline will result in the reimbursement of registration fees, with a deduction of CHF 20 for administrative costs.
    6. In the event of a cancellation received after this deadline and until the day before the first date of the assessment, the centre will refund the registration fee, but will retain the sum of CHF 88 corresponding to the late cancellation fees.
    7. In the event of cancellation or absence on the day of the assessment, no refund can be made.
    8. If Bell does not receive payment of the exam fee by the date of your first exam, Bell reserves the right not to accept you for the exam
  • What is the payment process for the fide exam?

    All students are required to pay for the exam prior to taking it. Please take proof of payment with you on the day of the examination, as this is a requirement to be able to sit the exam.

    Payments can be made either by payment slips (BVR), credit card (Visa or Mastercard), or bank transfer.

  • When will I get my results?

    After taking the examination, it will take around four weeks for you to receive the results directly to your address. Please note that your results will be processed by the fide office in Bern and we do not have any knowledge about the status of your results while they are being processed.

  • How much does the exam cost?

    The oral and written parts will cost a total of CHF 250. However, if you’d like to take them separately, the oral part is CHF 170 and the written exam is CHF 120.

  • When is the next available exam session?

    Details of the upcoming exam sessions you can join are available on our fide exam page. Bell is offering weekly sessions all year-round (with the exception of national holidays) so you will always have an exam date in less than a month.

  • How can I register for the French test?

    To register for the fide exam, you should go to our fide exam page on our website where you will find the upcoming sessions. Every registration should be done online.