For over a century, immigration has been playing a decisive part in Luxembourg’s economic development. Currently, Luxembourg’s population is defined by an extremely high percentage of foreigners: some 43 % of the total population and more than 68 % of the active population do not have the Luxembourgish nationality.
The country’s official languages are Luxembourgish, French and German. For Luxembourg, this trilingualism is vital, for reasons of its intensive exchanges with its neighbouring countries as well as the country’s geographical position on the crossroads of two major linguistic spaces, the German and the French. The language of the Luxembourgers is Luxembourgish. The main language used between Luxembourgers and foreign language fellow citizens is French. The teaching of languages holds an important place in Luxembourg’s educational system.
Attending school is compulsory over two years of pre-primary education (starting at the age of 4) followed by ten years of primary and secondary education. The period of compulsory schooling thus extends over twelve full years.Every child of a compulsory school age must be enrolled in a school, regardless of the legal status of the parents. No child can be refused for reasons of race, sex, language or religion.
A large majority of children and youths are attending State schools. There are a limited number of private schools offering either the same type of education as the State schools or linguistic and/or pedagogical alternatives.
Luxembourg’s Parliament has repeatedly defined as a priority the preservation of the unity of the school system, its diplomas and certificates. Attendance of a same school by foreign and native children is an essential element in preserving the short and long-term social cohesion.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at the Athénée de Luxembourg
The International Baccalaureate diploma is a widely accepted secondary school leaving certificate. The diploma offered at Lycée technique du Centre and Athénée de Luxembourg is recognized by the law as an equivalent to the Luxembourgish school leaving certificate (Diplôme de fin d’études secondaires).
The programme at Athénée is mainly designed for English speaking students who have recently moved to Luxembourg without being familiar with all the languages commonly spoken in the country. It will allow them to follow a high-level secondary studies programme focussing both on languages and sciences and prepare them for further studies at university.
English courses at the Lycée Technique Michel Lucius
As the demand for secondary education in English is growing in Luxembourg, the Lycée Technique Michel Lucius (LTML) started setting up a curriculum for students with English as a first or second language in the academic year 2011/12. For the academic year 2012/13 the LTML will offer classes that aim to prepare students for the IGCSE exams.
In the long run it is planned to offer classes which prepare students for the IGCSE, AS and A-level exams which lead to IGCES, AS and A-level qualifications for students with English as a first or second language
Lycée Technique Michel Lucius
N.B: More detailed information about schooling of foreign children in Luxembourg is available in the French version of this chapter.