Courses are held once a week from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
|German, Music (one hour)
||German, German as Second Language (DaZ), Music (one hour)
The school year consists of 31 weeks.
Generally there are between 9 and 15 students per class.
In general, the school calendar follows the Birmingham school district. Our classes will be cancelled if unforeseen school closings of the Berkshire Middle School (weather related, lock downs, ect.) occurs. Make-up day will be the following Friday or on the same day using online platforms if possible. For up to date and detailed information, please call the DSB hotline at 248.755.7317 or visit the home page.
German Grade 1 - 12
The curriculum for German lessons were drawn up based on the educational plans for the elementary, middle and upper grades of Baden-Württemberg. Classes are based on current schoolbooks, workbooks and a variety of additional materials that comply with the guidelines.
According to the latest German teaching methods, students in the lower classes are taught to read and write. In the second grade, the students also learn cursive writing and how to write with an ink pen. Dictations and essays are just as much part of the curriculum as class readings are, which are read and discussed in class. In addition to learning the language of German, students are introduced to German customs and cultural assets as well. Topics such as Carneval, Easter, St. Martin, Nikolaus and Christmas flow into the lessons and school life. The visit of St. Nicholas delights students in all grades every year. Our Kindergarten children tell the story of St. Martin at the popular lantern parade comprised for all classes up to the second grade.
Classes are held Wednesdays or Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The school has an extensive school library with German-language books, games, audio books, CDs and DVDs for all age groups, which is regularly expanded.
German as a second language (DaZ) Levels 1 - 11
The DaZ program is aimed at students who have developed German as a second language through a long-term stay abroad, and/or multilingual parents. Adequate German language skills (oral and written) must be available in order to take part in the class. Appropriate placement tests may be required.
The curricula are based on the European Framework of Reference for German.
Classes are usually only held on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
This course is currently offered in eleven levels. The DaZ lessons are conducted in a traditional classroom setting in the German language. Vocabulary, grammatical structures, as well as reading and writing skills, are developed systematically and subject-oriented by linking student-friendly interests to German school material. The speaking occasions are based on the real life of the students. German customs and cultural heritage are introduced to the students in class. Topics such as Carneval, Easter, St. Martin, Nikolaus and Christmas also flow into the lessons and school life. The annual lantern parade (lower classes) and the visit from St. Nicholas are an integral part of the school year. The DaZ students also regularly visit the school library.
After continuously participating in this program, students can take various national and international exams.
Some tests can only be offered if lessons are taught in person. AATG Test Level 1-4 (DaZ classes only), international comparative tests (IVA1 and IVA2) and German language diploma (DSD I and DSD II), which are recognized in the USA and Germany.
The classes DaZ-10 and DaZ-11 prepare the students specifically for the German language diploma DSD II (required language proficiency diploma for studying at a German university).
Musikzwerge (Music and Rhythm) (2 ½ - 4 years old)
This class is offered to 2 ½ - 4 year old children together with a parent on Wednesdays or Thursdays from 4:30-5:30pm. The world of music is introduced through movement, touch and playful experience. The children's natural ability to sing and to move rhythmically will be broadened by singing age appropriate German songs, speaking finger games, rhymes and rhythms. Creative play with different materials for seeing, hearing, touching as well as first sound experience with basic instruments, rhythm movement and dance are fundamental elements of this fun filled class. Experienced Music teacher teaches the one hour classes. Age appropriate German language skills are necessary to attend classes.
Pre-School (German Kindergarten) (3 ½ - 5 years old)
The teachers of the pre-school program (Kindergarten) enthusiastically prepare a two year lesson plan for the young students (3 ½ - 5 year old). Two teachers in each class (depending upon group size) make it possible for children to learn at their individual level and pace. They will be introduced to various playful interactions with the German language. German nursery rhymes, finger plays, fairy tales, and songs are part of the program, as well as gross and fine motor skill, development tasks, and free playtime for make believe. Creating their own lanterns for the famous lantern walk at school, the visit from "Nikolaus" in December, as well as a "Fasching/Karneval" celebration, is part of bringing the German culture closer to the children. Regular visits to the school own German library is part of the lesson plan, where they can find age appropriate books and games.
The content of the Preschool classes are guided by the orientation curriculum for Preschool Education of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Children need to be potty trained. Age appropriate German language skills are necessary to attend classes.
Classes are held Wednesdays or Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In the event, that only online lessons are offered due to covid pendemic, the duration of the lesson is reduced to approx. 45-60 minutes. Additional reading videos are offered, which parents are happy to accept. The school fee is adjusted during online lessons. A weekly craft package is made available to families as well.
Kindergarten (Vorschule) (5 - 6 years old)
"Vorschule" is based on the Pre-school program and is designed to prepare 5 - 6 year old students for first grade. Linguistic and motor skills are added to the program. Exercises to increase concentration and focus are included for German vocabulary and overall academic performance. Regular hands-on science experiments are part of the curriculum as well. Hand puppets like "Kasper and Princess" are introducing the experiments/game sessions. German culture is part of the program as well. Students will make their own lanterns for the annual lantern walk in November, and will perform the St. Martin play. Nikolaus visits in December and in February they will celebrate Fasching/Karneval. The students will have several presentations in front of the class and an audience. Regular visits to the school own German library is part of the lesson plan. These classes are designed for students attending American Kindergarten during the day. Age appropriate German language skills are necessary to attend classes. Classes are held Wednesdays or Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
French / (Latin upon request)
These classes are designed for students who require French/(Latin) as a second language based on the curriculum for the German "Gymnasium". The courses are offered as Beginner class level 1 (grades 5 / 6) and Advanced classes level 2 - 4 (at least one or three years of French). School material used is officially approved by the German curriculum. The classes are taught in French with German-French or in Latin with German-Latin vocabulary.
Classes are held Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
German tests and German language diploma (DSD) according to the European frame of reference
In 4th grade mother tongue and DaZ-5 (5th grade German-as-a-second language), the "International Vergleichsarbeit IVA1" is taken every year. This exam consists of a written and an oral part, which is taken during the class time.
In 7th grade mother tongue / DaZ-8 (8th grade German-as-a-second language), the students are taking IVA2 (Internationale Vergleichsarbeit). The written exam is taken during class, while the oral exam (including preparation of a chosen topic with creation of poster board) takes place on a weekend in April.
The German Proficiency Test (DSD I and DSD II) is offered by the "Central Agency for Schools Abroad". The 'Kultusministerkonferenz' (KMK – Ministry of culture) annually creates new exams, which are then recognized accordingly in all German states. Upon passing the highest level (DSD II), the student receives the necessary language proficiency to study at a German university.
The written examinations are sent to Germany for correction. The oral examination is chaired by the teaching adviser (BDU) from Germany, who presides over each oral examination.
Only DSB students can take part in the various tests during the lesson.
In 9th grade mother tongue and DaZ-9 (9th grade German-as-a-second language), students are prepared for the DSD I German Proficiency Test (DSD) exam. The date of the written exam is set by the KMK worldwide and usually carried out in March. The oral exam (preparation of an approved topic including creation of poster board) takes place on a weekend in March.
In 10th grade mother tongue and DaZ-11 (11th grade German-as-a-second language), the students are prepared for the DSD II German Proficiency Test (DSD) exam. The date of the written exam is set by the KMK worldwide and usually takes place at the end of November, the oral exam (preparation of an approved topic including creation of poster board) takes place on a weekend in January.
The level of difficulty between the DSD I and DSD II is vast, very demanding and not easy. It requires a lot of preparation and willingness of the student to regularly take part in class and do homework in order to successfully pass. The DSB reserves the right to internally test the student's readiness for the exam.
In DaZ-5 to DaZ-8 German-as-second-language classes, the ATTG tests (American Association of Teachers of German) are taken annually in 4 different levels in January and in April.
In addition to the regular academic curriculum, German culture and customs are taught. Topics such as Fasching, Easter, St. Martin, Nikolaustag, and Christmas are part of the learning experience.
Visits to the well-equipped German library enriches the program. The library offers a large variety of recent publications of books, games, audio books, and German DVD's and provides opportunities to experience the German language in a variety of ways. The majority of books are part of the German based "Antolin" reading program to which DSB students have access to during enrollment.
Weekly homework strengthens and improves the topics studied during class. It is a very important and necessary requirement for the learning success and needs to be supported by the parents.
Weather permitted, students will spend recess outdoors on school grounds.
Report cards are issued at the end of each semester. Students receive detailed information about their academic development and achievements. Attendance of a minimum of ten classes per semester is required to receive a report card otherwise a participation confirmation will be issued.
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