Our teaching model:

Whole student learning through

  • speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • vocabulary, grammar and culture
  • traditional bookwork, songs, dances, games and craft activities

Special focus lessons throughout the year: science, music, sports, contemporary culture

Wir sprechen Deutsch! as a living language, for the classroom and beyond,
Click here to see our teaching philosophy.

Class size: max. 10-14 students; some classes may be smaller
Native and near-native instructors
Prereaders are grouped together. All children this age are language learners.
All other levels are grouped by age and language level.

Sophie Scholl Schule adheres to academic standards set by the German government (ZfA: Zentralstelle für Auslandsschulwesen).

Student progress: We make periodic reports to all families and offer standardized testing for continuing students in grades 3-12.

German Government-sponsored Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) tests for fluent teens:

This tests reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Basic information about the testing standard is available in German and English. Note! The brochures present a simple picture, but this test requires college-level thinking as well as language skills!
Registration deadlines are several months in advance of the tests — contact us asap if you are considering them.

DSDI: March/April annually, register by start of December.
DSDII: December annually, register by September.
DSDII is recognized as the Abitur für Deutsch im Ausland, a university-qualifying test for German for students abroad.

Typical class groupings:

Spielzeit  (“Playtime”), 3 und 4-jährige (“3 and 4 year olds”)
Whether your child hears German at home, or it’s a new experience, come play with us! German immersion with songs, games, exploratory activities and, of course, play. Age appropriate topics and routines make German come alive for our littlest students.

Kindergarten (age 4-5)
Children this age start with the world they know and begin to absorb new topics. Lessons reflect this: a unit on the family may include a discussion of feelings, a unit on food may end up with the class preparing a healthy treat. Stories, traditional games and songs in all forms (books, puppet play, etc.) form the backbone of this class. Children with different backgrounds come together in an immersion setting.

Grundstufe I, beginner or continuing (elementary level, ages 6–7)
Grundstufe II, beginner or continuing (elementary level, ages 8–10)

A balance of play and “serious” learning gives students the skills they need to progress. Children work with short poems, songs, repetitive stories and language games. We introduce and expand vocabulary and understanding of how language works by oral modeling, interactive play, and eventually, written reinforcement. Customs, traditions and a sense of contemporary Germany are woven throughout the lessons.

Mittelstufe I, beginner or continuing ( mid-level, ages 10–13) Level A1/A2
At this age, students are ready to play a central role in the classroom—they need to engage. They learn pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar through games, skits and plays, and dialogue. Non-traditional and specialized lessons that might feature science experiments or German pop songs, help keep students connected with the things they enjoy every day. Continuing students may take the A1.

Mittelstufe II, (advanced mid-level, ages 10-13) Level B1+
For fluent students with strong German-speaking backgrounds. They not only keep their existing skills fresh, they continue to expand and polish their knowledge of German. We work on more complex grammar, understanding of texts and writing and speaking skills to prepare students for academic success, here or in a German speaking country. Students may take the A2 test.

Beginning teen German level A1 (Internationale Vergleichsarbeit 1)
Well-rounded introduction language basics. Workbook may be used. Songs, simple literature, and dialogue target real-life skills.

Continuing teen German Level A2-B1 (DSDI)
Students refine their ability to navigate everyday topics (simple story-telling, question and answer, etc.), as well as beginning to explore higher-level skills, such as crafting a coherent essay, responding to others’ opinions, and presentation of a research topic. We alternate between reading somewhat longer texts and culturally significant short texts from a variety of sources. These students may take the DSD test.

Advanced teen German Level B2+
For qualified students considering more advanced German study here or abroad. Skills include the ability to handle specialized or technical topics, graphical information, and inpromptu debate. A challenging course with a strong peer group makes this worthwhile for the goal-oriented student. These students are encouraged to take DSDII tests, when ready.

Beginning or continuing German for adults
Language learning knows no age limits! We bring everything we know about teaching the whole student to our adult classes as well. Beginners may be brand new or feel the need to review the basics. Everyday-level listening and reading comprehension skills along with some writing skills required for continuing adult placement.