Children: Language Learners

GSEB offers classes for German Language Learners (LL) from 1st to 6th grade

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 had minimal exposure to the German language and culture. However, all language learners who are in 1st grade and older do need basic German language skills to enroll. GSEB cannot accommodate complete beginners. German Learners benefit 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.

Not sure where your student fits?
To find out if your child is a Heritage German Speaker (HS) or German Language Learner (LL), 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; less than 2 Yes answers: Language Learner

New students will be asked to participate in a brief interview before placement will be 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.


1/2 Grade German Language Learners
Class Description: Although this class is taught mostly 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. Children must also be in 1st or 2nd grade (US school system) to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6 

3/4 Grade German Language Learners
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. Children must also be in 3rd or 4th grade (US school system) to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6 

5 /6 Grade German Language Learners
Class Description: In this class 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 be highly motivated to add new skills. Children must also be in 3rd or 4th grade (US school system) to enroll in this class.
Minimum enrollment: 6