Children/Teens: Heritage Speakers

GSEB offers classes for German Heritage Speakers (HS) from 1st – 10th grade

German Heritage Speakers (HS) are children of at least one German-speaking parent.  Depending on the amount of daily German input, some can speak German almost on the same level as native speakers of the same age in a German-speaking country (strong heritage speakers).  Others may be somewhat fluent, but show vocabulary gaps and grammar errors (intermediate heritage speakers); yet another group may have only minimal communication skills. A German heritage speaker doesn’t need to learn basic German, especially vocabulary, but needs help to develop reading and writing skills, to expand vocabulary and to develop grammar skills at an increasingly advanced level of language mastery.


Is your child a Heritage Speaker?
To find out, please answer the following questions.

Oral skills:

  1. The student is exposed to the German language at home daily?   Yes    No
  2. The student can communicate in German?   Yes    No
  3. The student has lived in a German-speaking country for an extended time?   Yes   No

–> 2 or more Yes responses: German Heritage Speaker. If you answered with less than 2 Yes responses, please go to this page.

Reading and writing skills (3rd grade and higher):

  1. Student can read in German at a level appropriate for his/her grade level at school or at most up to two grades below his school grade level?   Yes   No
  2. Student can write simple texts in German that might show spelling and grammar weakness but are readable and understandable?   Yes   No

–> At least one Yes, plus oral skills: Heritage German Speaker. If you answered with less than 2 Yes responses, please go to this page.

New students who want to register for a Heritage Speaker can only be accepted if these criteria are met. New students will be asked to participate in a brief interview before placement is confirmed. Final placement is made by the Head Teacher based on German language aptitude, child/student age and maturity, teacher recommendations and a variety of other factors. We do not guarantee placement for any student in a particular class or level.

Minimum enrollment per class is 6 students. If the minimum is not met, the class will either be canceled or, in rare cases, the class will merge with a similar level.


HS CLASSES OFFERED:

1/2 Grade German Heritage Speakers
Class Description: In Grade 1 for German Heritage Speakers, the students will learn to read and write in German.  At the end of the year, they will be able to read and write short German sentences. The class will be taught immersion style, and vocabulary expansion through games, songs, seasonal crafts, and story-time is another important part of the class. Students will also do some grammar work, concentrating on nouns and verbs.
Prerequisites: This class is only open to German heritage speakers (new students) and current students assigned by their teacher. Your child is a heritage speaker when the student is able to understand and speak basic German, and the student has basic reading and writing skills (sentence-level) in English. Children must be in 1st or 2nd grade (US school system) in order to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6 


3/4 Grade German Heritage Speakers
Class Description: In level 3 and 4, students strengthen their reading and writing abilities.   They read and write short stories and informational texts, and give short presentations in class. At least one book will be read in class together per semester, but the students will also immerse in the German language and further expand their vocabulary.  Grammar will concentrate on sentences and prepositions.  In the spring, all students will take the A1 exam provided by the ZfA (Zentralstelle für das   Auslandsschulwesen).
Prerequisites: This class is only open to German heritage speakers (new students) and current students assigned by their teacher. The student should be able to understand and speak basic German (maintain an easy age-appropriate conversation), have basic knowledge of German letters and their sounds, and be able to read and write sentences and simple, short texts in German. The student knows to capitalize nouns and conjugate regular verbs. Children must also be in 3rd or 4th grade (US school system) to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6 


5/6 Grade German Heritage Speakers
Class Description: In a German-speaking classroom, Grade 5/6 German heritage speakers will be reading books, learning about German culture, history and geography, expanding their reading and writing abilities, giving short presentations, and writing summaries and short essays. Starting with this level, the students will also be introduced to formal German grammar and spelling instruction as they make their way into the middle- and high school-level German. Games, crafts, and songs will still be part of the curriculum. In this level, the students will take AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exams each school year.
Prerequisites: This class is only open to German heritage speakers (new students) and current students assigned by their teacher.  The student should be able to understand and speak German (maintain a conversation in German) and be able to read and write fluently in German (age-appropriate texts). The student should know nouns, verbs, adjectives, and conjunctions in German, and be able to use the past tense. The student will have passed the A1 Test (ZfA) successfully (3 stars in each category). Children must also be in 5th or 6th grade (US school system) to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6 


7/8 Grade German Heritage Speakers
Class Description: Students in Grade 7/8 will work further on expanding their vocabulary, grammar knowledge, and reading, writing and listening skills. We use a level-appropriate German textbook, but the students will also watch videos, work online, read and discuss at least one book together, and work on projects and presentations.  At the end of this level, the students will have finished the A2 curriculum. The students will take the next level of AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exam and start to prepare for the A2 exam by the ZfA (Zentralstelle für das Auslandschulwesen).
Prerequisites: This class is only open to German heritage speakers (new students) and current students assigned by their teacher.  The student should be able to understand and speak German (maintain a conversation in German) and be able to read and write in German (age-appropriate texts). The student should know nouns, verbs, adjectives, and conjunctions in German, be able to use the past tense and have passed the A1 Test (ZfA) successfully (3 stars in each category).
Minimum enrollment: 6