We teach according to the curriculum framework of the Central Agency for Schools Abroad. It is understood as a fundamental curricular contribution to a modern and comprehensive overall concept of schoolwork. The holistic and complex concept of language and communication underlying the curriculum framework results in instructional teaching and learning situations that are concrete and action-oriented. This means that for the planning of teaching projects, (partial) competencies are not trained individually and isolated in a subject-specific manner, but rather, based on life worldly and communicatively significant tasks, complex, diverse, and age-appropriate learning opportunities are created.
The communicative action competence to be aimed for is structured in a way that is generally customary for foreign language teaching according to the following categories:
- Listening comprehension/listening-visual comprehension
- Participating in conversations
- Speaking coherently
- Reading comprehension
- Language acquisition
To be able to act communicatively, i.e. according to one’s intentions and situation-appropriate, and to realize or acquire corresponding (partial) competencies in the sense described above, linguistic means are required in the “classical” fields:
In German as a foreign language class, the aforementioned structural areas are acquired and trained with a view to their respective communicative action functions.
Goal: Preparation for Exam Phases
The following tests and exams are conducted in our schools: AATG-NGE (National German Exam) Tests Level 1 and Level 2, 3, 4.
Structure and Content: Each level of the exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions divided into two parts of 50 questions each. The listening and viewing part is 40 minutes long and consists of a series of short audio and video segments. The reading part is 45 minutes long and consists of a variety of print texts, including graphics and images. All materials used in the exam come from authentic sources. The test login process and a practice test are explained and conducted for the test takers.
In addition, we offer various tests from the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) that lead to obtaining the German Language Diploma (DSD). IVA1 – A1 Comparison work, IVA2 – A2 Comparison work, Language Diploma B1/DSD I, and B2/C1 DSD II.
The DSD test consists of four parts that are practiced in class:
- Reading Comprehension
- Listening Comprehension
- Written Expression (Essay)
- Oral Expression (2 parts, Free Speaking, and a Selected Presentation)
If students pass the German Language Diploma B1/DSD I, they have the language qualification to study at a German College of applied sciences. With the passed German Language Diploma C1/DSD II, they have the qualification to study at a German University with their US high school/college degree. For both, no other language test needs to be taken in Germany.
Grade levels at German School Campus:
Pre-stage and Kindergarten Level A0 (4-5 years old)
In kindergarten, listening comprehension is the primary learning goal, where the recognition of initial and final sounds, as well as the comparison of sounds from different words, is considered part of this goal. Speaking is the second goal, followed by reading and writing as the third learning goal for children aged 4 and 5. The instruction should be in German, with teachers using clear and concise sentences and conveying vocabulary through demonstrations and visual aids. The TPR method is considered a successful and interesting method, applied through stories, fairy tales, songs, and everyday situations to expand children’s vocabulary. The vocabulary should be appropriate for the children’s age, including greetings, numbers, colors, family, body parts, animals, food, fruit, shapes, seasons, vehicles, holidays, adjectives, and verbs. Textbooks such as “Fabuli-Anfangsunterricht Deutsch,” “Fabuli-Lehrerhandbuch,” and “Fabuli-Audio-CD” can be used as supportive resources, as well as games, toys, songs, poems, and rhymes.
Basic Level A0.1 (approx. 6-8 years old)
Basic Level A1.1/A1.2 (approx. 9-11 years old)
The promotion of oral communication and speaking is the focus of instruction. Grammar is not the primary focus, but simple concepts can be introduced in a beginner class with older children and a higher level of language proficiency. The textbooks at this level reflect the curriculum in their structure and content. The vocabulary from the previous stages should be expanded, particularly with regard to the students’ everyday lives. Orally developed content is reinforced through writing exercises, particularly through the practice of copying, invitations, and email responses. In heterogeneous groups, written exercises during class are a good method, especially when conducted in groups or in pairs. The grammatical structures should be developed in accordance with the textbook used, including the learning of the definite articles “der, die, das,” the position of the verb in the sentence, main clauses, question words, subordinate clauses, comparative clauses, and the conjugation of regular and irregular verbs. If the student’s language proficiency is adequate, they should participate in IVA1-comparison tests. The following textbooks are available: “Deutsche Grundschule,” “Der grüne Max neu” or “Magnet neu” A1 course book with audio-CD, workbook, children’s books, fairy tale books, (Klett Verlag) Pixi books are available to students.
Intermediate Level A2.1 / A2.2 (12-15 years old)
Students who are in the lower levels have already pursued a specific curriculum through the use of textbooks. New students should, if possible with existing language skills, join where the entire class is currently standing. For this level, we recommend the textbook “Klasse! A1 or A2,” which also serves as the basis for our curriculum. In addition to this textbook, students are introduced to regional studies through the viewing of film contributions and have the opportunity to practice a presentation after consulting with the teacher. The writing of essays is considered particularly challenging and requires a lot of practice. We support our students by providing them with a detailed outline and structure for the essay.
As the students’ daily lives continue to expand, it is necessary to systematically expand their vocabulary. Depending on age and level of proficiency, students should be prepared for the AATG-Level-1 or Level-2 test and IVA2. Various textbooks are available for this purpose, such as “Klasse! A1 or A2 with audio-CD” (Klett Verlag), “Workbook,” “Teacher’s Guide,” and “Test Book” (Klett Verlag), “German Vocabulary & Grammar A2” (Huber Verlag), as well as the “So geht’s zum DSDI-Übungs- und Testbuch” (Klett Verlag). In addition, students also have access to various reading books such as “Arme Anna,” “Lindas Traum,” “Julian zeigt Mut,” “Und Das Nennt Ihr Mut,” and “Teen Readers (DaF).”
Advanced Intermediate Level B1 (15-17 years old)
In this advanced German class, students are expected to have good knowledge of German. The lessons include not only grammar and vocabulary exercises, as well as reading challenging texts, but also practicing idiomatic expressions and complex sentence structures. To complement the lessons, short films, and movies are discussed. In addition, German literature, history, and regional studies are given space, and practicing presentations on specific topics is also part of the curriculum.
In Advanced DaF classes, the following topics and experience fields are considered and age-specifically concretized: the environment in Germany, the digital world in Germany, as well as migration and integration in Germany. A large part of the lessons also includes preparing for tests. If their linguistic proficiency is sufficient, students can be prepared for the AATG-Level 3 test as well as the B1-DSDI.
Various textbooks are available for this purpose, such as “Klasse! B1 Coursebook with Audio-CD” (Klett Verlag), “Workbook,” “Teacher’s Guide,” and “Test Book” (Klett Verlag), “So geht’s zum DSDI-Übungs- und Testbuch” (Klett Verlag), as well as “German as a Foreign Language Grammar Exercises B1” (Langenscheidt Grammar Training). In addition, students have access to various reading books such as “Ohne Handy” and “Feuerspiele” (Verlag an der Ruhr), “Mueller auf Rügen” (Langenscheidt), as well as “Der zerbrochene Krug,” “Kleider machen Leute,” and “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” (Klett Verlag).
The goal of Exam Phase 3 is for students to pass the AATG-NGE Level 3 test (approximately 14-16 years old) and the Deutsche Sprachdiplom B1/DSDI.
High Advanced German classes, B2/C1 (17-18 years)
In the advanced German classes, Oberstufe 1 – B2 and Oberstufe 2 – C1 (17-18 years), it is expected that students already have a very good command of German. In addition to grammar and vocabulary exercises and reading challenging texts, idiomatic expressions and complex sentence structures are also practiced. German literature, history, and culture are given a lot of attention. Working with short films and movies complements the lessons. Project work, such as presenting a project in PowerPoint, is also practiced. Discussions, debates, and the exchange of opinions are important components of the lessons.
In the advanced B2/C1 DaF classes, the following topics and fields of experience are considered and specified for the respective age group: advanced topics provided by ZfA for the exam year. Various textbooks are available, such as “Deutsch Ausdruckserweiterung, Festigung, Vertiefung Grammatik ‘Sag’ besser’, Arbeitsbuch C1” (Huber Verlag), “So geht’s zum DSD II-Übungs- und Testbuch” (Klett Verlag) and “Aspekte B2”.
There is also a preparatory additional exam and AP class to prepare students for Exam Phase 3. The goal of this phase is for students to successfully pass the AATG-NGE Level 4 test, the Deutsche Sprachdiplom B2/C1-DSDII, and the AP German Language and Culture (College Board).