Why should your child study German? Honestly, the best reason of all is simply because they want to. Whether the interest comes from family heritage, an interest in history, or just that it sounds “cool,” that internal drive is what motivates students to move beyond requirements to any level of mastery.
Benefits of Learning The German Language
Most of the benefits provided by learning German are common to learning any foreign language:
- It satisfies college requirements.
- It increases a student’s understanding of English.
- It increases a student’s ability to recognize context clues.
- It increases cultural understanding, both of their native culture and the culture of the target language.
- It broadens perspectives and shows new ways of looking at the world.
German has the added advantage of being delightfully literal.
A Good Teacher Makes Language Learning Less Intimidating
I took German in high school because Russian wasn’t offered. I had never really thought much about language before that. Spanish made more sense, or so everyone told me, but I did not enjoy my eighth-grade introduction to Spanish. Fortunately, I had two excellent German teachers whose teaching styles perfectly matched my preferred learning style.
The first was Ms. Glendening. She opened the doors of wonder for me and a whole new world of language. When I wasn’t able to afford to go on the class trip to Germany, she was visibly disappointed. She then searched for a scholarship opportunity that paid for a year of study abroad. My second teacher was living in Germany.
As a teacher, I try to emulate the best characteristics of both: immersive, meaningful, playful, and encouraging.
Parts of German grammar can be intimidating. There is no getting around gender or case or adjective endings. How tedious this is for students has a lot to do with how it is taught, however. One of the clearest methods I know is a simple sentence-building activity that visually demonstrates how German sentences are put together. I turned it into a sort of simple choose-your-own-adventure type game. This grammar drill ended up the most requested game for our end-of-year party.
If a student develops a passion for German that brings them beyond college requirements, there are, of course, other benefits.
- German is the dominant language of the EU, with more native language speakers than any other European language. It is the second most spoken second language (behind English).
- Germany has the largest GDP of EU member countries.
- Germany directly invests over $10 billion into the US economy. Several German companies have satellite offices in the US.
- It is the language of Goethe, Schiller, Kafka, Brecht, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others.
- German immigration has greatly influenced American culture.
- Many of the world’s most significant works in science, theology, psychology, history, and literature are written in German.
- Plus, binge-watching your favorite television series sounds like more of an accomplishment in German!
Project & Presentation Samples
These are examples of some of the projects complete by students in our online German classes.
- Gavin – https://www.flipsnack.com/gavdew/das-mittelrheintal.html
- Sydney – https://www.flipsnack.com/FerretFoxtrot/die-schw-bische-alb.html
- Keegan – https://www.flipsnack.com/KeeganT/nordlingen.html
- Nisa’s – https://www.flipsnack.com/nisalhanley2023/schwarzwald.html
- Brussels – https://youtu.be/2Vr1NGqwZg8
- Canada – https://youtu.be/C69BbatklmM
- France – https://youtu.be/I_uzQrbxwEs
- German Family Heritage – https://youtu.be/_Rt53bcF7sk
- German Landmarks – https://youtu.be/0kfa8W3-Uc8
- Latin – https://youtu.be/Iiy3eRF-Jz0
- Nigeria – https://youtu.be/UhvzyL2h-tM
- Paraguay – https://youtu.be/ifnLMlrJero
- Spain – https://youtu.be/tcvo3LIrJb4
- Chinese Dragon – https://youtu.be/_h2LWZFYUXw
- Hungary – https://youtu.be/c-D8cByJ_tI