The following is a broad overview of our program. We strive to teach only in German and we encourage our students to speak, listen, read and write as much in the target language as possible. Our diversified curriculum addresses all types of learners. Ages may vary and are contingent on enrollment. For more information on each test, please see here:
- 9-10, 4th, 5th grade: A1
- 11-12, 6th, 7th grade: NGE level 1
- 12-14, 7th, 8th grade: NGE level 2
- 12-14, 7th, 8th grade: NGE level 3
- 12-14, 7th, 8th grade: A2
- 12-14, 7th, 8th grade: NGE level 4
- 14-16, 9th, 10th grade: DSDI
- 15-17, 10th, 11th grade: AP
- 16-18, 11th, 12th grade: DSDII and SAT
Parent-Child Groups (ages
2 – 4)
The goal of the Parent-Child groups is to foster and gently introduce German into the lives of children between the ages 2 and 4 years. Parents have the opportunity to meet other parents who are interested in encouraging early language exposure through play and interaction. 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 must accompany their children and are encouraged to interact in an active manner with them, 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, and a crawling tunnel.
Kindergarten (approx. ages
In Kindergarten 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 through craft activities. Circle time with our children’s books is a favorite. The children learn vocabulary including the following topics: my family, all about me, housing, clothing, shopping, fruits and vegetables. We also teach colors, seasons, body parts, vehicles, animals, and introduce the ABCs. Verbs are introduced in context. As the seasons change, we teach the appropriate holiday traditions and songs of German-speaking countries.
Vorschule (approx. ages
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 sentence structure 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 1
(approx. ages 7-8)
All four skills (listening, speaking, writing, reading) are being addressed in this class and in the assigned homework. Some topics are family, at home, school, body parts, leisure time, food and drink. The students expand their basic writing skills. They play various educational games to deepen their knowledge of traditions and geography of German-speaking countries. 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 engaging students to become more proficient.
Elementary Level 2
(approx. ages 8-9)
We continue to 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. We continue to address the traditions of German-speaking countries. Students have homework that reinforces the concepts being taught in class.
Elementary Level 3 (approx. ages 9-10)
We continue with the instruction of the structures of the German language and to address the traditions of German-speaking countries. Project based learning is a favorite part of this class. The weekly homework deepens our students’ knowledge of German.
At this level, we also introduce the German Language Proficiency Assessment A1. This test addresses the students’ speaking, listening, reading and basic writing skills.
Elementary Level 4 (approx. ages 10-11)
Students continue their study of verb conjugations, questions, personal pronouns, articles, possessive pronouns, modal verbs, prepositions, accusative and dative forms of nouns. A number of students will take the German Language Proficiency Assessment A1 test for the second time. Depending on the students’ proficiency level, we might also introduce the level 1 of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) National German Examination (NGE). It is an online test evaluating listening, reading and writing skills. Although the test is geared towards High School students, our much younger German school students can usually handle it well.
Elementary Level 5/ Middle School Level 1 (approx. ages 11-12)
Students continue their study of verb conjugations, questions, personal pronouns, articles, possessive pronouns, modal verbs, prepositions, accusative and dative forms of nouns. Past tenses of verbs and a variety of topics will be addressed. We continue to administer levels 1 and 2 of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) National German Examination (NGE). Homework assignments enhance the students’ skills.
Middle School Level 2/ High School Level 1 (approx. ages 13-15)
NGE 3,4, A2 and DSDI
At this level, the students continue to improve their overall fluency. The class might address various topics, such as housing, the city, and problems at school. They might discuss the pros and cons of having a cell phone or a uniform at school. Our 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. The students might also read an entire novel. We continue preparation for levels 3 and 4 of the American Association of Teachers of German’s (AATG) National German Test (NGE). We are also offering preparation for two high level tests from Germany, the German Language Proficiency Assessment A2 and the more difficult one, DSDI. Both tests require students to be able to research a topic that they can present to an audience. The tests also address listening, reading and written skills. Homework assignments often cover essay writing for the tests. For example, the DSDI has a 75 minute timed essay and students must practice at home to become comfortable with this format.
Highest Level (approx. age 15 and up)
At this level, the students have completed a number of American and German tests. They continue to work on fluency in all 4 skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. We prepare our students to master materials at very advanced levels. They read newspaper articles, listen to radio plays, read short stories. The students write long essays at home to prepare for the Advanced Placement Test (AP) and DSDII. 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 library to read at home. The students must be able to research a topic that they can present to an audience and they are required to prepare an oral presentation within 20 minutes during the test. We also suggest that they watch a daily German news program to stay up-to-date with current events in German-speaking countries.