My child's school has become an "International School" this year. There are no foreign students, but they are teaching english as a second language to children since the age of 3. This comes with a tuition raise, and it does weight on my family budget, but I find it positive overall though unnecessary at her age. (This is from developing Latin American country, we have to pay for decent education, and many schools are trying to differentiate by self-proclaiming bilingual).

I have recently noted some panels, written in poor English, presenting class projects displayed on the hallways. It was not clear to me whether they were written by students or teachers, but it worries me that they might be offering a sub-standard education.

I do not want to behave as the kind of parent who will demand top-notch teachers but is not willing to pay top-notch tuition fees, and I do ask for partial scholarship every year. Yet, I don't feel like I should turn a blind eye to problems involving my child's education. I also am aware of how defensive people might get when you tell them their language skills are poor.

How should I address this or similar issues with the principal?

  • I'll try to ask my wife about it. She's in the childcare sector. Though we work in Switzerland so cultural differences might apply.
    – MakorDal
    Jul 11, 2018 at 6:31
  • A second language is more beneficial and easier to learn when you start young. That said, English is still a difficult language to learn, correctly. As an American who only speaks English I can tell you that I don't even speak or write the correct way (way too many rules).
    – user20343
    Jul 12, 2018 at 13:48
  • I thank Rory for the edit. I had never noticed that I also mistake "they're" for "their" sometimes.
    – Benari
    Jul 17, 2018 at 0:00

3 Answers 3


In my experience, the best approach is to ask to observe the class. That’s a reasonably common thing to ask, and doesn’t suggest anything negative - you just want to see how your children are doing. It’s a sign of an interested parent.

Then you can see if the level of instruction is up to what you think is appropriate, and if not you can have actionable issues to bring to the teacher or principal if necessary, or have sufficient information to make your decision on staying with this school further.


Your English seems to be quite good. I suggest talking to the teacher and/or observing a class to assess the quality. You can spin this as "I want to learn about the educational approach and goals so we can best support it at home as well".

If it's bad, I would suggest pulling the kid out. Some of our kids spoke ok German when they got into high school were actual German lessons were offered. We auditioned the class and it was terrible: the teacher had a horrible accent and only a very limited grasp of correct grammar. This was clearly doing more harm than good: once a really bad accent is established, it's hard to get rid of it.

We pulled the kids out and finagled on online course.


One solution might be indirect communication : send an email with the correct texts, saying that it would be better, then check the developments.

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