Why learn German?
Reasons why parents decide to enroll their children in German classes at the DSAA:
To capitalize on the students’ learning ability. Some parents want to take advantage of children's natural gift for learning a second language at an early age; while other parents have a child who is simply yearning to learn!
To maintain family ties and native proficiency. Some families have German relatives and hope to keep the door open to their German heritage. Other students with native or near-native proficiency come to our school to maintain and improve their German.
To foster success in school. Students who take German (or another foreign language) score higher on college acceptance tests (ACT / SAT) than their peers. You need at least two years of a foreign language in high school to study at top universities. Many other colleges highly recommend or require it as well.
To study in Germany. Students can be admitted directly to German universities upon meeting the (1) technical and (2) linguistic (link in German) requirements. Students who pass the German Language Certificate II (Deutsches Sprachdiplom II) will not be required to take the German foreign language proficiency test required of foreign students who wish to study at the university level in Germany. This will give the student the opportunity to have a truly authentic German University experience rather than being limited to attending a program that is taught in English.
To participate in an exchange program. Many students want to participate in travel abroad or exchange programs. Students who learn German can readily travel in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For more information, please click here.
To enhance your job prospects in the United States. Many American companies are owned by German companies. German companies represent one of the largest sources of foreign employment in the United States. Proficiency in German can enhance your professional career for employers with global business connections.
To participate in German economic success. More than 1,100 companies from German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U.S. and more than 750 U.S. companies do business in Germany. Almost half of all U.S. pharmaceuticals come from Germany and Switzerland. Medical research continues to thrive in Germany and many American companies have affiliates in German-speaking countries. Knowing the language of your German business partners improves your relations and therefore your chances for effective communication and success.
To be a scientist. A majority of the world's scientists have come from or studied in German-speaking countries. Many new scientific discoveries happen in German-speaking countries and much scientific information is only available in German. German is the second most commonly used scientific language. Germany is the third largest contributor to research and development and offers research fellowships to scientists from abroad.
To work in the tourism and hospitality industry. Germans are the most traveled people in the world. You will find German tourists everywhere. In the US, they are among the most numerous tourists in states like Florida, New York, and California and they appreciate being looked after by German-speaking staff and tour guides.
To travel among European countries. For many people, travelling abroad is one of life’s great joys. German is not only widespread in German-speaking countries, but also in many other European countries, especially in Eastern Europe.
To gain a deeper understanding of English. German and English are both Germanic languages. They share many of the same words, word origins and grammar characteristics. Both have expanded their vocabularies, especially with Greek, Latin, and French words. This makes German a good choice for English speakers.
To learn about your American heritage. German Americans account for about one third of the total ethnic German population in the world. Germans have made tremendous contributions to our country. Some of the more famous German-Americans include Levi Strauss, Albert Einstein, Werner von Braun, and Henry Kissinger. A vast amount of early records, letters, diaries, etc. were written in German, and at one time, America's German-language press had an output that was greater than that of all other foreign-language presses combined. Both the written and the printed legacy of German-speaking Americans are important sources for understanding local, state, and national history and culture.
To learn the language spoken by over 100 million people. German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, as well as in many other parts of the world. Did you know that people speak German in many parts of Eastern Europe such as Poland, Bulgaria, or the Czech Republic? There are even regions in Brazil, Russia, or South Africa where the German language is widespread. (Source: Wikipedia)
To appreciate European culture. Many of the founding documents of European culture have been written in the German language: Literature (Goethe, Schiller, Thomas Mann, Kafka) Classical music (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart) Art (Kollwitz, Dürer, Klee, Kaninsky) Psychology (Freud, Jung) Philosophy (Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno) Science (Einstein, Kepler, Röntgen, Planck, Virchow) Learning German allows students to read or listen to these works and engage with these great thinkers in their original language.
Other resources and articles:
Bilingual Babies More Perceptive To Nonnative Tongues February 25, 2011 NPR Talk of the Nation Science Friday
German Schools Abroad (in German): Deutsche Schulen im Ausland, 17.07.2014, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
Sources: American Assoc. of Teachers of German, Dartmouth College, National Council for the Social Studies, St. Olaf College, Univ. of St. Thomas, US News & World Report, World Book Encyclopedia