The Saturday School at the German – American School of Ft. Lauderdale offers various courses in which children and adults learn the German language, customs and culture. We furthermore teach Art-, Music- and Science Social Studies courses in a full immersion German setting. Classes take place on Saturday morning.
These classes are aimed at children between the ages of three and five who have not yet learned to read. Using games, songs, rhymes, and small scenes, this course builds upon simple speech patterns the children may apply to various settings they find meaningful. The subject areas touched upon include: myself, colors, ‘Who’s who?’, playing, school, family, animals, and more. The teaching principles of ‘Learning With Your Head, Heart, and Hands’ like those of ‘Learning With All Your Senses’ play a particularly important role for this age group.
German as a foreign language for children:
This course builds upon the preschool level classes and is intended for nonnative German speaking children at the elementary school level, ages 5-8 years. The class teaches the German language as well as the basics of reading and writing in a fun way. The subject areas all evolve around the children’s interests. Children of this age group like to talk about themselves, their family, school, friends, and about their games. All these topics find consideration in realistic and age appropriate settings and texts. Simple sentence patterns are being taught, allowing the children to be versatile when applying those to small situations. Movement, play, music, rhymes, rhythms, and a broad spectrum of alternating exercises keep the children motivated and create a relaxed class atmosphere.
German 1st & 1st / 2nd School Year:
Native speakers between the ages of five to seven years of age build the target group of this class. The children acquire German reading and writing skills. In this class we work with the ‘LolliPop Fibel’. Using the well tested analytical – synthetic method, children learn reading and writing in a safe proven way. Its flexible design contains an initial sound index which encourages children to independently explore sound-letter combinations, thus enabling them to do their own writing. The subject and text selection is child-appropriate and reflects the children’s environment. The exciting story throughout the textbook switches between reality and fantasy, the students solve riddles, which keeps them highly motivated throughout the learning process. Various assignments, materials, and learning games entice children to learn according to their individual talents and skills, their individual developmental stages, and at their own paces.
German Classes 2nd – 4th Grade:
These German lessons at the elementary school level build upon the contents of previous school years.
The children are encouraged to use the German language creatively through a variety of changing exercises and social forms, learning methods and games. The following areas, “Verbal use of language”, “Handling texts”, “Written language use” and “Spelling” are considered in these lessons. Within this course, the teacher once again puts great effort into meeting the individual study and developmental stages of each student. Textbooks and differentiated teaching materials from Germany are intergarted in the lessons.
German Classes / 5.-10. School Year/ Preparation ‘German Language Diploma’:
This class also builds upon the contents of the previous school years. We continue to work with reading and language books from Germany. The lessons are being conducted with a holistic approach, i.e. beginning with a given verbally acted out situation, they combine speaking with writing, grammar, as well as language studies. The textbooks use highly motivational literature, enabling students to discover and experience the German language patterns, and inspiring them to draft their own writings. The lessons stimulate the students joy of reading and further develop their reading and writing abilities. Within this course, the teacher once again puts great effort into meeting the individual study and developmental stages of each student.
This course also prepares the students for the “German Sprachdiplom” examination administered by the ZfA (Zentralstelle für das Auslandswesen). Through intense practice, the students will be prepared to pass all areas of the test, including written and spoken communication as well as reading and listening comprehension.
Science and Social Studies – competence through actions:
In the ‚Science and social studies classes’ of the ‚German School of Ft. Lauderdale’, children acquire competence above all through doing. We work with the new science and social studies ‚LolliPop’ subject course books, as well as the textbooks ‘Frida & Co’, from the Oldenbourg publishing house. These are modular courses for this class. In addition to the lesson taught, the course books can be used as reference and idea giver in the learning process, during free work, for projects and experiments and in the acquisition of work techniques. Some of the subjects covered are: - Family/ company - Body/ nourishment - Nature/ technology - Time/ room - Plants/ animal - Music/ art
Art class: ‚Meet the Masters’
This is an educational art class ‘Meet the masters’, for children ages 3 and up. The children are introduced to the life, work and techniques of various famous artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, like Miro, Hundertwasser, Picasso, Klee, Matisse, Warhol, Kandinsky etc. The students are encouraged to apply the various techniques of the artist’s styles, and experience different art media, while creating their own personal art works.
German as a foreign language for adults:
The German-American School of Ft. Lauderdale offers German courses for adults at different levels (A1-C1). We work with current textbooks from Germany that take the following aspects into account:
- Cyclical grammar with action reference
- Learning sequences instead of isolated training of partial skills
- Competence and task orientation
- Authenticity, e.g. in the types of text and occasions
- Explicit speaking and pronunciation training that enables learners to speak quickly and fluently
Olga Bacher was born in the Czech Republic as the youngest of five children of two professional musicians and music educators. Growing up in Germany, she earned her Abitur (high school diploma) from a humanistic high school and then graduated with the State Certificate for Music Teachers from a four-year program at Leopold-Mozart-Conservatory in Augsburg. She went on to teach at a community music school for 14 years. Her marriage to Neil, an American citizen, led to the family moving to South Florida with their two sons. Olga taught at the Music Learning Center of Miami Dade College for some years, held the position of the general music and strings teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in West Palm Beach for one year and then earned her Bachelor of Music at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Nina Schwerling comes from Hessheim, a small village in the beautiful ‚Pfalz ‘, Germany. She met her husband in New York, where they were both volunteering in a community for adults with disabilities during their semester vacation. She attended the Pedagogical University in Heidelberg, passed the first state exam as a special needs teacher and then taught children with learning disabilities at an elementary school in Ludwigshafen for one year. She then successfully completed her internship at a school for children with special needs in the ‘Pfalz’, and passed the second state exam.
Since then she has been living in South Florida together with her husband and now four children.
Nina has been working for the German School (with baby breaks) for about 10 years.
Armande Herold was born in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and was raised mainly in Germany. She graduated from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz with a PhD in Biology. 1994 she moved with her husband and 2 daughters to the USA and lived for 20 years in New Jersey. Here she began to teach German at NJ Schools and at LEARN, a private language school. 6 years ago Armande and her husband decided to move to Florida, because of the sunshine and the horses. Meanwhile Armande has taken Childcare classes and is truly enjoying being back in the classroom and able to prove that languages are fascinating and fun. She also enjoys spending time with the Toddlers, who are so creative.