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“Having Fun while Learning German” is a year-long motto at German School Campus

Celebrate with us the end of an excellent year of learning.

GERMAN SCHOOL campus ends this school year on a strong note with our students bringing home 15 awards for their exceptional work in the German National Exam testing in May: 10 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze Award!

“But how do you get there?” Parents frequently ask us. In the following we hope to offer some answers by letting you in on our teaching philosophy as well as on what a successful first year of German language studies may look like.

A successful year of learning German.

For many of our students this school year was their first year being exposed to the German language and for some it was even the first year learning a foreign language all together. It is amazing to witness the immense progress students have made by the end of each school year.

When classes start out in late August, many parents, who have signed up their children to learn German, are anxious about how their child will cope with learning a foreign language. What will they learn during the first year? What will they actually be able to understand by the end of the year?

They are always surprised but excited to find out that many of our first time learners partake in either the German National Exam for teenagers or the A1-“Vergleichsarbeit” test for our younger children. And this, by the end of only one year of German language instruction!

The Road to Success

It’s an exciting learning path throughout the year, where each student studies not only German grammar and vocabulary but also discovers quite a bit about German culture. At GERMAN SCHOOL campus we are teaching along the guidelines of the Common European Framework. For students starting out with studying German this means learning a lot about daily life scenarios.

Students will learn how to introduce themselves in German, how to talk about their family, their hobbies and their pets. Throughout the duration of the school year, they will practice chatting with fellow students about their day and can strike up a conversation about friends and school.

Fun Along the Way

Part of our teaching philosophy is to regularly incorporate fun and engaging ways to help our students retain new vocabulary and learn grammatical concepts more easily. If we talk about sports, we’ll make use of our exceptional location right on the Newport Bay, and take our students out on the water, where they can learn how to kayak, or rig a sailboat “in German”. Who says working on new vocabulary can’t be fun?!

Another lesson that students enjoy each year is the chapter about food. students enjoy each year is the chapter about foodWe invite the whole class to join us for our traditional German breakfast and principal ‘Frau Ursula’ literally “makes the breakfast vocabulary come to life”! What better way to learn German vocabulary than by munching on delectable German cookies, enjoying German chocolate milk and indulging on the vast variety of German breads, cold cuts and cheeses?

While sipping tea or chocolate milk, students work on how to ask in German for another piece of bread, or practice how to offer a fellow student another cup of tea. “The success of each of my students is very much on my mind all year long”, says principal Ursula Schoeneich, “and moments like our breakfast, when I see our children start conversing in German, assure me that we are on the right path.”

Excellence is our Goal

German is a very structured language and, yes, has many rules. But once you understand the basics, there is a system you can build on. Especially English speakers have an advantage. The English language has so much in common with German that “even today, 80 of the 100 most common words in English are Germanic in origin…making the most frequently spoken words in English and German …extremely similar!” Kindergarden-Kindergarten; ball- Ball; sun-Sonne.

At GERMAN SCHOOL campus we like to give our students little goals to work on before tackling the big goal of the National German Exam testing. This gives them a sense of purpose and turns learning into a game by achieving various benchmarks along the line. We encourage all of our students to take part in the year-end German National Exams and that way be eligible for the Delta Epsilon Phi National Honor Society for High School Students of German. We are proud to have two students qualify for this award in 2017!


Mark your Calendar for these Upcoming Dates :

July 1st
Join us for our End-of-the-Year Award Ceremony and celebrate our students! Students, please bring parents and friends and join us for a delicious breakfast and receive your awards and medals!

July 3rd – 8th
Summer STEM-Language Camp at GERMAN SCHOOL campus. Come and have fun with us at the Newport Bay! Please sign up here!

August 28th
The new 2017/2018 School year at GERMAN SCHOOL campus starts out. You can enroll your student right here.

Spring in Franconia!

Spring in Franconia!

Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria with about half a million inhabitants and is in the heart of Franconia. Not only does it contain a dramatic and fascinating past, but also a wonderful old town, and many international fairs and with great locations in the middle of nature. City life beckons many residents and tourists to visit. The connection the city has to the University of Erlangen and the city of science, Fürth, makes Nuremberg even more attractive for all generations. Large parks and a great public transportation systems connect the three cities and the people. The surrounding lakes, the open air events, and the castle at night should especially be visited during the springtime.

Die Blaue Nacht
Die Blaue Nacht
Spring in Franconia!
Spring in Franconia!

One popular event for everyone is “die Blaue Nacht” in the center of the city. All shops and squares light up with a magic blue glow, while artists and storeowners present their works. Many visitors meet for music, cocktails, and good food on the streets dancing the night away. If this is too much blue, you can also visit the public gardens, the zoo, or enjoy long walks to many different cities. Despite the high population, Nuremberg has remained welcoming and pleasant. If you are planning a trip to Germany, the middle of Franconia should not be missed!

Frühling in Franken!

Frühling in Franken!

Nürnberg ist die zweitgrößte Stadt Bayerns mit ungefähr einer halben Millionen Einwohnern und ist das Herz Frankens. Nicht nur eine dramatische und faszinierende Vergangenheit, sondern auch eine wundervolle Altstadt, viele internationale Messen und die tolle Lage in der Mitte von Natur und Stadtleben überzeugen viele Bewohner und Touristen. Die Verbindung zu der Universitätsstadt Erlangen und der Wissenschaftsstadt Fürth macht Nürnberg noch attraktiver für Jung und Alt. Große Parks und eine gute Verkehrsanbindung verbinden die drei Städte und die Menschen. Aber vor allem die umliegenden Seen, die Openair Events und die Burg bei Nacht sollte man bereits im Frühling besuchen.

Nuernberg
Nuernberg
Die Blaue Nacht
Die Blaue Nacht

Ein beliebtes Fest für jedermann ist „die Blaue Nacht“ im Zentrum der Stadt. Alle Geschäfte und Plätze tauchen in ein blaues Licht, während Künstler und Ladenbesitzer ihre Arbeiten präsentieren. Viele Besucher treffen sich zu Musik, Cocktails und zu gutem Essen auf der Straße und feiern die ganze Nacht. Wem dies zu viel blau ist, der kann auch die öffentlichen Gärten oder den Zoo besuchen oder lange Wanderwege genießen. Nürnberg ist trotz seiner Einwohneranzahl gemütlich und natürlich geblieben. Wer eine Reise nach Deutschland plant, der sollte sich die Mitte Frankens nicht entgehen lassen!

What is a foreign language worth?

JOHNSON is a fan of the Freakonomics books and columns. But this week’s podcast makes me wonder if the team of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt aren’t overstretching themselves a bit. “Is learning a foreign language really worth it?”, asks the headline. A reader writes:

Is learning a foreign language really worth it?
Is learning a foreign language really worth it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My oldest daughter is a college freshman, and not only have I paid for her to study Spanish for the last four or more years — they even do it in grade school now! — but her college is requiring her to study EVEN MORE! What on earth is going on? How did it ever get this far? … Or to put it in economics terms, where is the ROI?
To sum up the podcast’s answers, there are pros and cons to language-learning. The pros are that working in a foreign language can make people make better decisions (research Johnson covered here) and that bilingualism helps with executive function in children and dementia in older people (covered here). The cons: one study finds that the earnings bonus for an American who learns a foreign language is just 2%. If you make $30,000 a year, sniffs Mr Dubner, that’s just $600.

But for the sake of provocation, Mr Dubner seems to have low-balled this. He should know the power of lifetime earnings and compound interest. First, instead of $30,000, assume a university graduate, who in America is likelier to use a foreign language than someone without university. The average starting salary is almost $45,000. Imagine that our graduate saves her “language bonus”. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe (a statement dubiously attributed to Einstein, but nonetheless worth committing to memory). Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?”

Accumulated language bonuses
Accumulated language bonuses

Second, Albert Saiz, the MIT economist who calculated the 2% premium, found quite different premiums for different languages: just 1.5% for Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German. This translates into big differences in the language account: your Spanish is worth $51,000, but French, $77,000, and German, $128,000. Humans are famously bad at weighting the future against the present, but if you dangled even a post-dated $128,000 cheque in front of the average 14-year-old, Goethe and Schiller would be hotter than Facebook.

Why do the languages offer such different returns? It has nothing to do with the inherent qualities of Spanish, of course. The obvious answer is the interplay of supply and demand. This chart reckons that Spanish-speakers account for a bit more of world GDP than German-speakers do. But an important factor is economic openness. Germany is a trade powerhouse, so its language will be more economically valuable for an outsider than the language of a relatively more closed economy.

But in American context (the one Mr Saiz studied), the more important factor is probably supply, not demand, of speakers of a given language. Non-Latino Americans might study Spanish because they hear and see so much of it spoken in their country. But that might be the best reason not to study the language, from a purely economic point of view. A non-native learner of Spanish will have a hard time competing with a fluent native bilingual for a job requiring both languages. Indeed, Mr Saiz found worse returns for Spanish study in states with a larger share of Hispanics. Better to learn a language in high demand, but short supply—one reason, no doubt, ambitious American parents are steering their children towards Mandarin. The drop-off in recent years in the American study of German might be another reason for young people to hit the Bücher.

And studies like Mr Saiz’s can only work with the economy the researchers have at hand to study. But of course changes in educational structures can have dynamic effects on entire economies. A list of the richest countries in the world is dominated by open, trade-driven economies. Oil economies aside, the top 10 includes countries where trilingualism is typical, like Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore, and small countries like the Scandinavian ones, where English knowledge is excellent.

There are of course many reasons that such countries are rich. But a willingness to learn about export markets, and their languages, is a plausible candidate. One study, led by James Foreman-Peck of Cardiff Business School, has estimated that lack of foreign-language proficiency in Britain costs the economy £48 billion ($80 billion), or 3.5% of GDP, each year. Even if that number is high, the cost of assuming that foreign customers will learn your language, and never bothering to learn theirs, is certainly a lot greater than zero. So if Mr Saiz had run his language-premium study against a parallel-universe America, in which the last half-century had been a golden age of language-learning, he might have found a bigger foreign-language bonus (and a bigger GDP pie to divide) in that more open and export-oriented fantasy America. And of course greater investment in foreign-language teaching would have other dynamic effects: more and better teachers and materials, plus a cultural premium on multilingualism, means more people will actually master a language, rather than wasting several years never getting past la plume de ma tante, as happens in Britain and America.

To be sure, everything has an opportunity cost. An hour spent learning French is an hour spent not learning something else. But it isn’t hard to think of school subjects that provide less return—economically, anyway—than a foreign language. What is the return on investment for history, literature or art? Of course schools are intended to do more than create little GDP-producing machines. (And there are also great non-economic benefits to learning a foreign language.) But if it is GDP you’re after, the world isn’t learning English as fast as some people think. One optimistic estimate is that half the world’s people might speak English by 2050. That leaves billions who will not, and billions of others who remain happier (and more willing to spend money) in their own language.

Source: The Economist – Mar 11th 2014, 17:11 BY R.L.G. | BERLIN