LISA FAQ (English)


LISA general

What is the LISA?

The Linz International School Auhof is a school branch of the Europagymnasium Auhof, Linz Austria. We teach general education content in English. Students who do not speak English learn this language in class. Students who do not know enough German will also learn this in our school.

What makes LISA so special?
  • Communication of general educational content in English: This makes our graduates bilingual in German and English.
  • Matura and IB Diploma Program: In addition to the Austrian Matura, we offer the internationally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
  • Drama: Drama (stage play) is offered from the first class. Even our youngest learn to present themselves on stage and thus strengthen their self-confidence. They also expand their English vocabulary and expression. The subject of Theater Arts can be selected as a focus for the final exams within the IB Diploma Program.
  • Creativity, sport and social engagement: The international diploma program promotes creativity, sport and social engagement outside of class.
  • Maintaining the mother tongue: As part of the IB, students with other mother tongues can also take final exams in over 30 languages offered by the IB.
  • Internationality: A quarter of LISA students come from all over the world. Due to the international orientation, diversity and internationality, we convey openness to the world and respectful interaction with one another. Students with German as their mother tongue learn to communicate naturally in English in an international environment. Likewise, international students learn the German language. The result is a wonderful symbiosis of Austrian and international students.
  • Excellent preparation for university studies: LISA students graduate from school with very good knowledge of English, which offers them a significant linguistic advantage. In addition, critical thinking and scientific work are practiced and consolidated as part of the IB Diploma Program.
What is the LISA Academy program?

The LISA Academy program enables students with a non-German mother tongue to obtain the International Baccaluaureate (IB) diploma. It is offered in 7th and 8th class (11th and 12th grade). Students can apply with the IB diploma at universities both in Austria and internationally. These students attend German as a foreign language class.

How many students does LISA have?

Around 450 students are currently attending LISA. It is run as a school branch of the Europagymnasium Auhof. There are approximately 1200 students in the entire Europagymnasium Auhof.

How many teachers teach in the school branch?

Around 140 teachers are currently employed at the Europagymnasium Auhof. Around 70 of them teach at the LISA. Native speakers and international teachers and assistants are part of the staff.

What languages do LISA teachers speak?

The teachers speak both English and German. About 20% of LISA teachers are English native speakers.

How often do teachers change?

Very little. Teachers who work for us usually stay until retirement. We train young teachers. This gives us a very experienced staff.

How long has the LISA been in existence?

The school branch LISA was founded within the Europagymnasium Auhof in 1992. We have been “IB World School” since 1997. In 2000 we had the first graduates, a total of more than 800 to date.


English as the language of instruction

Do my children have to know English when they come from an Austrian elementary school?

No. In the first few months, teaching is bilingual until the English skills are sufficiently established. All teachers can speak German and the students can also answer in German.

What if English is not spoken at home?

This is the case with the majority. Approx. 75% of our students come from a German-speaking household. Our students learn English at school according to the immersion principle.

I as a parent cannot speak English. Is this a problem?

It is not necessary to be able to speak English well, and the parents’ school knowledge is usually sufficient to support the children. There are parents who don’t speak English at all and then learn it with their children. With the exception of English, linguistic errors are not included in the assessment of the subjects. If the parents create a protected learning environment at home and make sure that the children do their homework, a lot is already done.

My child doesn’t speak English. Can it follow lessons at all?

If your child starts in 1st class (5th grade), this is not a problem, since the lessons are bilingual. Only later will the lessons be completely switched to English.

How do children learn English from 1st class (5th grade)?

They learn the language through immersion in an English-speaking environment and all subjects with the exception of German are initially taught in two languages.

How quickly do students learn English?

The children of the 1st class can already follow an English-language lesson after about one semester. However, sometimes they are not yet able to formulate questions in English. The questions can then be asked in German. From 3rd grade AHS, bilingual classes are no longer necessary and they are taught entirely in English. Students who only speak English and who learn German also benefit from this bilingual teaching.

Are there any learning delays due to English-language teaching?

In the first two years, the focus is primarily on language acquisition and it is therefore necessary to approach the subject content more slowly. However, this initial delay is minimal and will soon be made up for. Other factors, such as motivation, play a much stronger role, for example.


German at LISA

Will my child receive adequate support in the German language?

Some parents fear that students with a non-German mother tongue will lower the German level of the class. Other parents fear that their children who do not speak enough German will be overwhelmed by the mother tongue level of German. Both fears can be alleviated, because pupils with a non-German mother tongue receive their own German as a foreign language lesson. These lessons are separated.

I as a parent cannot speak German and therefore cannot support my child sufficiently. Is this a problem?

The same applies here as for parents who fear that they cannot speak enough English. If the parents create a protected learning environment at home and make sure that the children do their homework, a lot is done.

How does the German as a foreign language program work?

Students who do not have a native German level receive their own German as a foreign language (DAF) lesson. These students then do not attend regular German classes. The DAF program usually takes place in the afternoon and is across classes. Students with the same knowledge of German are grouped together and, if possible, taught with their peers.

Can students switch to a vocational school after grade 4?

Students can switch to a vocational school (job training school). Our students often also have the advantage that they have good English skills. We are pleased that we have a high retention rate and that only a few students switch to other schools.


First languages and foreign languages at LISA

Which foreign languages are offered at LISA?

The number of languages to be learned depends on the chosen branch within the LISA. At LISA we offer the “LISA-Languages” and “LISA-Economics” branch. In the Languages branch, students learn a total of four languages during their school career. In addition to German and English, French (from 3rd class) and optionally Spanish, Italian or Latin (from 5th class). In the economics branch, students learn a total of three languages. In addition to German and English, another language is selected from the 5th grade (Sp, It, Lat, Fr). Latin is not a compulsory subject at LISA.

What does the language program at LISA look like?

Our language program is based on three pillars:

  • Differentiation of German lessons: Students with German as their mother tongue attend regular German lessons. Pupils who have a different first language and insufficient knowledge of German to take part in the regular lessons attend German as a foreign language.
  • Differentiation of English lessons: There are three levels of English in the lower level: beginner, advanced and mother tongue. These students are taught in separate groups.
  • Support of the mother tongue: This is for pupils who do not have German as their mother tongue. You can have yourself checked externally in your mother tongue and then have this grade credited to your certificate.

Admission to 1st class

How is the admission process?

Children who come from an elementary school in Austria (regardless of whether it is German-speaking or not) register in February of the school year. Children with AHS maturity are invited to the admission process. The children complete a language creativity check, either in English or German. The children and parents are also invited to an interview. You will receive the dates when you register.
Please find detailed information here!

What if my child is not admitted?

You still have time to register in another school because you will be informed about the admission in good time. The admission period in Upper Austria is two weeks, you will be informed about admission after one week.


Admission to grades 2 to 7

How is later admission done?

These applicants register via our online system OpenApply. They are invited to a placement test in English and mathematics and an admission interview after all documents have been checked. A placement test may also have to be written in French if you want to register for the Language branch (where French is a mandatory subject).

Which students are not accepted?

Only students who live in the same household with their parents or legal guardians in the Linz / Upper Austria area are accepted.

What are the admission criteria for children who have attended school abroad?

Children who have attended school abroad must be able to speak enough English to start with us. Adequate knowledge of mathematics is also a prerequisite. These skills are checked with a placement test.

What are the admission criteria for children who want to switch from another Austrian school to LISA?

The same applies to these students as to students from abroad. The knowledge of English must be so good that you can follow an English-speaking lesson without any problems.

Can students be accepted who do not speak sufficient German or English?

Such cases are rare because most of the students have already attended an Austrian elementary school. If neither German nor English language skills are available, there is only a small chance of following the lessons. The extent to which admission is possible will be clarified in a consultation.


Internationality

How many students with non-German mother tongue are there in LISA?

Approximately 25% of LISA students speak a mother tongue other than German. Our international students come from all over the world. However, the majority of our students speak German because they attended an elementary school in Austria.

How many students with an international background are there in LISA?

It is difficult to define the term “internationality”. We have students from Austria who are visiting our school due to a planned or past stay abroad. We also have students from abroad who live in Linz due to the work of their parents. For us, however, it is not the origin of the pupils that is relevant, but that everyone is motivated and happy to work on their learning success. Most students (approx. 75%) come from German-speaking families in the Linz area. They visit our school to learn English at a high level.

Which native languages are there at LISA?

Our students speak about 30 different mother tongues. However, this does not mean that a student’s mother tongue is also the language that the student knows best. Some students have better language skills in German or English, although they have a different mother tongue.


IB Diploma and Matura

What final exams does LISA offer?

We offer two final exams. The Austrian Matura and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Both exams enable further studies. The majority of our graduates complete both the Austrian matriculation examination and the IB diploma. Students with a mother tongue language other than German complete the IB diploma alone.

Is there an obligation to complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma?

There is no obligation to take the IB exams, just as there is no obligation to take the Austrian Matura. However, if someone visits our school, he / she is obliged to take all courses, including IB items, regardless of whether he / she takes the IB exam.

What are the advantages of two qualifications?

The IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate Diploma) is an internationally recognized school leaving certificate. LISA students prepare for the final exams in the last two school years. The IB Diploma or IB Diploma Program offers the following advantages:

  • The double degree facilitates access to renowned universities worldwide.
  • Graduates obtain the internationally accredited additional qualification
  • Pupils can choose their main subjects according to their own interests and skills in which they take the IB exams.
  • The CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) program to be completed as part of the IB Diploma Program can be advantageous in the application process for admission to universities. In the CAS program, pupils are involved outside of school in the areas of creativity, sport and social issues.
  • The Extended Essay (an international pre-academic paper) prepares students for writing seminar papers at universities. Writing an extended essay lays an important foundation for later studies.
  • In the Theory of Knowledge course, students learn to critically question what they have learned and to make ethical considerations. Interdisciplinary topics are discussed and a networked way of thinking is promoted.