Monday, July 24th, 2017

Children’s Curriculum


The following is a broad overview of our program. We strive to teach only in German and we encourage our students to speak and write as much in the target language as possible. Our diversified curriculum addresses all types of learners. Ages may vary!

Parent-Child Groups (ages 1 ½ – 4 years)
The goal of the Parent-Child groups is to foster and gently introduce German into the lives of children between the ages 1.5 and 4 years. Parents have the opportunity to meet other parents who are interested in encouraging early language exposure through play and interaction with other children and adults.

The weekly routine includes teacher-directed activities such as movement, singing, nursery rhymes, hands-on activities, games, storytelling, puppet theater, as well as free play. We also celebrate the joyful traditional holidays of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The language of instruction and interaction is German as much as possible. Parents are encouraged to interact in an active manner with their children, e.g. singing and speaking in German as well. We discuss greetings, colors, numbers, animals, body parts, weather, seasons, days of the week, food, going shopping, family, feelings, opposites, vehicles and more. The lively classroom contains many toys and books as well as a tent, a crawling tunnel, and blankets.

Kindergarten (approx. ages 4-5)
In Preschool, we teach vocabulary through rhythm, song and dance, stories, and games. Most activities are hands-on, e.g. using crayons, children’s scissors, play dough, or making a fruit salad. The children strengthen their fine motor skills with our craft activities, and they proudly take their finished products home. Circle time with our beautiful children’s books is always well-liked. The children learn vocabulary including the following topics: my family, all about me, housing, clothing, shopping, fruits and vegetables, Easter, and Christmas. We also teach colors, seasons, body parts, vehicles, animals, and the ABCs. Verbs are introduced in context. As the seasons change, we teach the appropriate German traditions and songs.

Elementary Level 1 (approx. ages 5-6)
In this class, we elaborate on the themes mentioned above and the students start to write in print. They have short homework assignments and reinforce their knowledge of grammar and new vocabulary through hands-on projects. Songs and vocabulary games help the students retain vocabulary and grammatical structures in a fun manner. We also offer circle time for reading and sharing picture books. This encourages the students to speak in German as much as possible.

Elementary Level 2 (approx. ages 7-8)
All four skills (listening, speaking, writing, reading) are being addressed in this class. The topics are family, at home, school, body parts, leisure time, food and drink. The students expand their writing skills. They play various educational games to deepen their knowledge of German traditions and geography. Grammar lessons focus on sentence structure, correct usage of articles and adjective endings, singular and plural forms of nouns, verb conjugations, nouns and pronouns, negation, question and answer, modal verbs, and the time. Hands-on activities, songs, and poems are also included.

Elementary Level 3 (approx. ages 8-10)
This class draws from an excellent textbook from Germany called Deutschmobil 1. We focus on the fundamental structures of the German language to enable the students to have conversations about leisure time and sports, family and housing, school, animals and the circus, food and drink, health, and travels. Students continue their study of verb conjugations, questions, personal pronouns, articles, possessive pronouns, modal verbs, prepositions, accusative and dative forms of nouns. At this level, we want students to become familiar with German tests. For this reason, we introduce the basic level of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) national German test. This test features some easier reading and grammar parts but no listening test.

Middle School Level 1 (approx. ages 9-12)
At this level, the students improve their auditory skills. They write essays on topics such as “My family,” or “My vacation.” Deutschmobil 2 presents various interesting topics, such as ghost stories, fairy tales, stories of adventurers and pirates, animals, leisure time, knights and castles, housing, the city, and problems at school. The teenagers also study the German federal states with their particular traditions and geographic features. Grammar activities focus on verbs, subordinate clauses, reflexive verbs, indirect questions, preterit, past perfect with “haben” and “sein,” prepositions followed both by the accusative and dative. We continue preparation for the various levels of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) national German test.

Upper Middle School Level (approx. ages 12-15)

In this class, the students deepen their knowledge of all areas mentioned above. They also read more difficult short stories and often an entire novel for young readers. Deutschmobil 3 deals with the following topics: unbelievable stories, cinema and film making, inventions, visions of the future, a report on trees, the North Sea and its animals, and growing up. Grammar activities include adjectives, various subordinate clauses (temporal, concessive), passive voice, relative clauses, indicative and conjunctive, infinitive sentences, and genitive forms of nouns. Students take higher levels of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) national German test. All upper level students take the newly developed DSD A2 from Germany that is structured like the AP test but with topics appropriate for this age group. The exam is considered as difficult as the AATG 4 test.

Highest Level (approx. age 14 and up)

In this class, we prepare our students to master materials at very advanced levels. Our students read newspaper articles, listen to radio plays, read short stories. The students write long essays at home to save the time in class for other important issues. These advanced students read an entire novel in class. Additionally, they are also asked to select other novels appropriate for their age group from our teacher library to read at home.