Courses

We offer German Classes once a week. The classic school year course consists of 30 weeks and roughly follows the public school calendar in regard to holidays. A school day consists of 3 hours of class with a break time in-between. This equals a total of 90 lessons (30x3x45min) active German per school year. Classes are limited to 10 students.

German as a Foreign Language

Our students can be divided into two main groups based on their previous exposure to the German language: One group are students for whom German is a Foreign Language.

Classes clearly focus on achieving communicative competence and adequate literacy by developing skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. We want our students to be able to reach at least an A2 or B1 level (Common European Framework to Reference – CEFR) – which means that they can understand the main points and standard language as used.

German as a Heritage Language

The other group are students that have already been exposed to German mainly through their families (Heritage Language learners). This circumstance is recognized in our curriculum too.

We help them find and correct deficiencies in their grammar and vocabulary. The school strives to enable these students to reach an academic and professional level of their German – level B1 or C1 (Common European Framework to Reference – CEFR).

Levels

  • Kindergarten

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • Adults

To attend GERMAN SCHOOL UPSTATE, students must be at least four years old by September 1st. New students are assessed by an instructor to determine their placement. Students of all abilities are welcome to enroll any time during the year if places are available.​ Enrolling at the beginning of the school year is preferred.

The individual objectives for each level/class can differ. Our final goal is that our students can understand, read, speak and write in German on a level that is recognized by High Schools and Universities.

This also includes raising awareness of German culture, including customs and celebrations, geographical and historical facts relating to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The GERMAN SCHOOL UPSTATE provides professional and personal guidance that helps students to achieve their goals.

Kindergarten

According to research children often respond to new languages with curiosity and impartiality. They learn more through games and gestures while adults take a more analytical approach with stricter rules.

The GERMAN SCHOOL UPSTATES provides a friendly, fun and playful environment where smaller children can learn and practice the German language. Vocabulary is taught through games, stories, songs and poems. Most activities are hands-on, e.g. using crayons, play dough, etc.

Our focus is on verbal communication. The vocabulary is related to the children’s daily life. They learn for instance vocabulary for “family”, “self”, “housing”, “clothing”, “shopping” and “food”. This includes also animals, body parts, vehicles and colors.

Beginner & Advanced

Beginner (A1 & A2)

Our beginner and continuing program is a well-rounded introduction into the basics of the German language. All four skills – listening, speaking, writing and reading – are incorporated in the class. We introduce and expand the vocabulary and the understanding of how the language works by teaching phonetics, and through interactive play / hands on activities as well as written reinforcement.

Various educational games deepen the knowledge of German traditions and geography. Sentence structure, correct usage of articles and adjective endings, singular and plural forms of nouns, etc. are the focus of the grammar lessons.

The goal is to enable students to have small conversations about topics such as leisure time, food and drinks, sports, family, housing, school, animals and travels. Students can reach a level, at which they are capable of understanding short general texts, fill out basic forms and write personal e-mails / letters. They will be able to express their physical and emotional needs and feelings.

Advanced (B1 & B2)

The advanced level is a continuation of previously learnt material and also preparation for standardized testing. Students improve their skills, expand and polish their knowledge of German. We work on more complex grammar, comprehension of longer texts in addition to writing and speaking skills.Students learn to discuss, judge and argue familiar topics. They will learn to follow longer speeches and take part in fluent, spontaneous conversations. We read newspaper articles, listen to radio plays, and read short stories or novels. Students are taught to express themselves on a more detailed, advanced level. They also learn to write whole essays in German.

Adult Courses

Classes for adult learners put emphasis on mastering the communication necessary for social and business settings.

The curriculum includes listening, speaking and writing tasks that develop as well as enhance comprehension and vocabulary. It also covers areas of language structure / grammar.

Exercises are embedded for instance into role plays or presentations. The classes take place in small groups. This allows for a close interaction between the language teacher and the students. The curriculum will be adapted to the students’ level and field of interest.

Certificates & Exams

Students can take the AATG test with the GERMAN SCHOOL UPSTATE.

The test is an evaluation tool for the proficency of a student. This test also prepares the students for the Advanced Placement Test which some High Schools offer.

Students who have reached a certain proficiency in the German Language, plan to study in Germany or seek an official Certificate that proofs their competency in the German languge can take the DSD with the GERMAN SCHOOL UPSTAE.


AATG – National German Exam

AATG stands for “American Association of Teachers of German”. The AATG administers the National German Exam each year to nearly 22,000 high school students in the second, third and fourth level of German.

The Exam is a computerized test that provides individual diagnostic feedback. The results provide a means of comparing students in all regions of the country, as well as programmatic data provided to help inform curricular decisions.

… more details at www.aatg.org


DSD - Deutsches Sprachdiplom der KMK
(German Language Certificate of the Education Ministers Conference)

German language students outside of Germany can take the DSD – a program that prepares the participants amongst other things for a study in Germany. Matters of language and cultural issues are covered in the program. It finishes with an exam and a certification on language competencies on level A2/B1 = stage 1 or B2/C1 = stage 2

The DSD stage 1 is a prerequisite for Studienkolleg* and DSD stage 2 is required for entrance to German universities. The exam is set and corrected by Zentralstelle für Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA) and is accessible for high school students at accredited schools only. About 51.000 students in over 65 countries participating in the exams each year.