Every student at GSC will follow one of two major tracks, depending on their familiarity and skill with German:
- Track 1 - German as a Foreign Language - (Deutsch als Fremdsprache, DaF)
- Track 2 - German as Heritage Language (HL)
With some play and fun added while learning a (maybe not so) foreign language, the curriculum helps us stay focused on our ultimate goal: understanding, speaking, reading and writing German. Our results are not only generally accepted, but also recognized by public institutions such as high schools, colleges, and universities.
Our expectations of performance levels at GSC are higher than in traditional settings because our academic year only consists of about 30 teaching days, each about three hours long.
Track 1 - German as a Foreign Language (DaF), or F-Classes
Students enter GSC as beginners in the language. The GSC program seeks to develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with the goal of developing communicative competence and adequate literacy. The aim is to reach at least a mid-high, preferable a pre-advanced stage of language acquisition, which will be tested in regard to the ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) guidelines or level A2 or B1 on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). Talented and motivated students can move to track 2 if they desire and are able to.
Track 2 - German as a Heritage Language (HL), or M-Classes
Students come with previous exposure to German (often hundreds or thousands of hours). Yet, the language of these students frequently reflects a local variety, it usually lacks formal registers and in most cases has not been developed and completed on the level of native speakers. German HL is different from standard German which is needed in an educational setting. GSC's aim is to help fill the gaps of grammar and vocabulary deficiencies, to increase accuracy and help students acquire literacy for academic and professional usage. Final testing exists on levels B1 and C1 according to CEFR or ACTFL guidelines.
Flummi Class (ages 1 to 3)
A wonderful, playful introduction to the German language for young children. Flummi classes are a mom/dad and me class where parents sit in with their children. It has play and structured circle-time.
The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the better. Time Magazine states "The ability to learn a second language is highest between birth and the age of six..."
Pre-School (ages 3 to 4)
Students with previous knowledge and beginners in the language learn together. They are exposed to age-appropriate activities in a German language environment. They develop simple listening and speaking skills. Playing and singing while learning is an integral part of this program.
Kindergarten (ages 5 to 6)
Track 1 (DaF): Students review previously introduced material or are beginners in the language. they are provided age-appropriate further development or introduction into the skills of listening and speaking. Introduction of reading and writing and some simple grammatical structures are also introduced at this level.
Beginners in the language can enter these units.
Track 2 (HL): The course makes use of previous exposure in the language. Age-appropriate further development of listening and speaking skills are stressed. Reading and writing and some simple grammatical structures are also introduced at this level.
Elementary German I/II (1st - 4th Grade / ages 7 to 10)
Track 1 (DaF): Introduction to basic language with emphasis on comprehension and simple communication, reading and writing skills.
Track 2 (HL): In addition to comprehension, speaking and vocabulary building exercises, there is an introduction to simple structural concepts of the language to promote reading, writing and accuracy.
Middle/High School German 1 - 4 (5th - 8th Grade / ages 10 to 13)
Track 1 (DaF): Continuation of previously learned materials and preparation for testing. Classes for new beginners, provided there is sufficient enrollment.
Track 2 (HL): Continuation of previously learned materials and preparation for testing.
High School Kollegstufe I & II (9th - 12th Grade / ages 14 - 17)
Track 1 (DaF): Continuation of previously learned materials. Testing. Classes for new beginners can start, provided there is sufficient enrollment.
Track 2 (HL): Practice of advanced German language skills, more intensive study of literature, history and geography. Testing.
Adult Beginner I/II, Intermediate & Advanced
Classes are offered for beginning, intermediate and advanced students. Emphasis is on mastering communicative requirements for social and business settings. The classroom atmosphere is relaxed and includes films as well as cultural programs.
Specialty classes and private lessons are arranged by appointment.
Class times may vary for beginners.