Some good news for German education as well: District 5 in South Carolina expanding foreign languages including German

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Als erste nordamerikanische Kolonie erklärte South Carolina am 15. März 1776 seine Unabhängigkeit von Großbritannien und ratifizierte am 5. Februar 1778 als erster Staat die Konföderationsartikel, die erste Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten. Am 23. Mai 1788 wurde South Carolina als achter Bundesstaat in die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika aufgenommen.

See, things aren't all negative when it comes to the teaching of German. One district in South Carolina is expanding Spanish and German in elementary from grades one to four and is hiring new teachers to do so. It's a very good idea too. We never started learning French in Calgary until fourth grade, but the French we learned at the time was ridiculously easy and it would have been easy enough to fit in a bit of French in the earlier grades too. I always wondered why The Transformers toys I bought always had the word "les" underneath as well "Les Transformers". In a place like Canada or the States I could see just starting out with telling kids what cereal boxes and whatnot mean, things that have actual relevance to their lives at the time.

Back to the article:

The district recently approved hiring six new teachers for the next school year to teach Spanish and German to students in first through fourth grade.

The early start is a concept that's spreading quickly in the county and state; administrators say it's necessary for students to compete for jobs after graduation.

as for how often:
In the fall, elementary students will receive 25 to 30 minutes of either German or Spanish instruction twice a week.

I wrote before about how though Spanish has overtaken German in places like the UK as the second-most studied foreign language, that doesn't necessarily mean that studying German is a waste of time and it could even be a more valuable skill in the end, since German countries and their economies aren't exactly going anywhere, and with a smaller number of people learning the language it will be that much harder to find qualified German-speaking employees for the companies that need them as those currently in the positions now begin to retire.


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