Child and Teen Classes

IMG_0010At the German School of the East Bay (GSEB), we try to provide students with the learning environment they need to advance and succeed. Per current language learning research, this can best be accomplished by offering classes for German Heritage Speakers (HS) and novice German Language Learners (LL).

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 a lot of vocabulary gaps and grammar errors (intermediate heritage speakers); yet another group may have only minimal communication skills. Most heritage speakers have good listening comprehension skills and can speak well, but have significant problems reading, and especially writing, in German.

German Language Learners (LL) do not have a German-speaking parent at home.  That includes parents who can speak German, but don’t speak German regularly at home. These children have not been exposed to German language, culture and media or only minimally.

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.   Novice German Learners and Heritage Speakers with minimal German skills benefit more from a systematic language approach, starting with basic listening, vocabulary development and conversation skills that allow them to start communicating in German (speaking and writing) and gradually learning basic grammar structures.

Where does a student fit?

To find out if your child is a Heritage German Speaker (HS) or German Language Learner (LL), please answer the following questions with as much insight as possible.

 Oral skills:

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

(Two or more Yes responses: German Heritage Speaker)

 Reading and writing skills (third 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)

New students who want to register for our Heritage Speaker classes on any level can only be accepted if these criteria are met. New students will be asked to participate in a brief interview before placement will be confirmed.

Teachers will assign current students to their appropriate classes at the end of the term.


CLASSES OFFERED:

Class Title: Kindergarten for German Heritage Speakers
Grade Level: Kindergarten (4-5 years)
Class Description: Four- to five-year old students will be dropped off by their parents for 2.5 hours of Kindergarten class time, including a 15 minute in-classroom snack break. The class is exclusively taught in German, and while songs, stories, books, poems, Fingerspiele (finger games) and seasonal crafts will feel like pure fun to the students, these activities will also foster German phonological awareness and prepare the students for reading and writing German in the subsequent grades.  During the school year, the students will get to know all German letters.
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 basic German conversation and can answer in German.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, Kindergarten for German Heritage Speakers A (#21440)
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, Kindergarten for German Heritage Speakers B (#21874)

Class Title: Kindergarten for German Language Learners
Grade Level: Kindergarten (4-5 years)
Class Description: Four- to five-year old students will be dropped off by their parents for 2.5 hours of Kindergarten class time, including a 15 minute in-classroom snack break. The class will mainly be taught in German (immersion style), but will be considerate of students who do not have a German speaking background or very little prior knowledge of German. Through songs, finger games, picture books, stories and seasonal crafts, the students will be exposed to German and start to actively use the language themselves.
Prerequisites: Very little German language knowledge is necessary.
Class Times:
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, Kindergarten for German Language Learners (#21441)


Class Title: 1st/2nd Grade for German Heritage Speakers
Grade Level: 1st/2nd (5-7 years)
Class Description: In Grade 1/2 for German Heritage Speakers, the students will learn to read and write in German.  At the end of year one, they will be able to read and write short German sentences. At the end of year two, they will read simple, age-appropriate German texts. The class will be taught immersion style, and vocabulary expansion through games, songs, seasonal crafts and storytime 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, the student has basic reading and writing skills (sentence-level) in English.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 1st/2nd Grade German Heritage Speakers A (#21442)
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, 1st/2nd Grade for German Heritage Speakers B (#21834)

Class Title: 1st/2nd Grade for German Language Learners
Grade Level: 1st/2nd (5-7 years)
Class Description: Although this class is taught immersion style, the students will also use a textbook specifically targeting German language learners that exposes them to vocabulary and grammar in a systematic way, covering topics like “about me,” animals, free time/hobbies, and food.  At the end of this level, students will be able to maintain an easy conversation as well as read and write easy German sentences or texts.
Prerequisites: Basic reading and writing skills (sentence-level) in English.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 1st/2nd Grade for German Language Learners (#21504)


Class Title: 3rd/4th Grade for German Heritage Speakers
Grade Level: 3rd/4th (8-10 years)
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.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 3rd/4th Grade for German Heritage Speakers A (#21507)
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, 3rd/4th Grade for German Heritage Speakers B (#21833)

Class Title: 3rd/4th Grade for German Language Learners
Grade Level: 3rd/4th (8-10 years)
Class Description: In addition to the immersion classroom setting, students in Grade 3/4 for German Language Learners will use a German textbook providing them with a systematic, age-appropriate language approach, including pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and reading and writing tasks. Students will be able to maintain conversations about family, school, clothing and games at the end of this grade, and they will be introduced to basic German grammar (A1- level).  In level 4, the students will take the A1 exam provided by the ZfA (Zentralstelle für das  Auslandsschulwesen).
Prerequisites: The student preferably possesses basic German skills (A1- Level), and is able to understand and speak some German (introduce themselves, numbers, colors, favorite toys /sports, etc.), and read and write simple German words/sentences.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 3rd/4th Grade for German Language Learners (#21508)


Class Title: 5th/6th Grade for German Heritage Speakers
Grade Level: 5th/6th (10-12 years)
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 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).
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 5th/6th Grade for German Heritage Speakers A (#21509)
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, 5th/6th Grade for German Heritage Speakers B (#21832)

Class Title: 5th/6th Grade for German Language Learners
Grade Level: 5th/6th (10-12 years)
Class Description: In Grade 5/6 for German Language Learners, students will start working on the A2 German curriculum. Classes are taught mainly in German, but grammar (the dative case, past tenses) and other more difficult content may also be reinforced by English explanations.
Prerequisites: The student should possess basic to early advanced German skills (confident A1 level), and be able to understand, talk, read and write simple German texts. The student should have basic German spelling/ grammar knowledge and have received at least one star on each A1 Test (ZfA) category.
Class Times:
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, 5th/6th Grade for German Language Learners (#21510)


Class Title: 7th/8th Grade for German Heritage Speakers
Grade Level: 7th/8th (13-15 years)
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 fuer 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).
Class Times:
– 01:00 pm – 03:30 pm, 7th/8th Grade for German Heritage Speakers (#21559)

Class Title: 7th-12th Grade German 1
Grade Level: 7th-12th (teenagers)
Class Description: This class is for teenagers who want to learn German. Using a German textbook, students will learn German as they would in middle or high school, covering all aspects of German – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Due to the small class setting, students will advance approximately at the same pace as a regular 5-unit high school class. Students will take the appropriate AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exam during the school year.
Note: We can certify that a student has taken German at the GSEB, but we cannot guarantee that a high school will count this class towards Foreign Language Requirements.
Class Times:
– 09:30 am – 12:00 pm, 7th-12th Grade German 1 (#21557)