DaF - Deutsch als Fremdsprache

It has been proven that the skill of speaking an additional language enhances everything from problem-solving skills to collaboration and creativity.

Various studies have shown an improvement of the brain’s “executive system” in bilinguals as they are more able to “block out irrelevant information and concentrate on the task at hand.” They are also better at “switching between different tasks without being confused.”(de Lange, Catherine “My two minds.” New Scientist. 5 May 2012)

Experts say that bilingualism should start as early as possible. One approach is through immersion schooling, where subjects such as maths are taught in the additional language or children receive equal instruction in two languages. Bilingual immersion schooling is particularly successful because children are learning from their peers, which is both intensive and motivating. 

The constant switch between languages can be described as training for the brain resulting in statistically proven delay of Alzheimer disease symptoms.

Find more information about the advantages of bilingualism within the following articles here:

In years 9-10, these 4 periods are replaced with Spanish as an additional language.

The other 5 periods are designed like a typical language course and cover topics ranging from the basics in the beginner courses (e.g introducing oneself, hobbies and family) to more complex topics in the more advanced courses (e.g. environmental issues or media). 

GISS has a communicative focus in teaching and learning German as an additional language, which means that grammar and accuracy in the language are means to support communication, rather than goals in themselves. Students are encouraged to use German both inside and outside of the classroom from day one, according to their current language proficiency.

DSD Exam

Typically, in year 10, students sit the DSD I exam, a globally recognised language exam. Students passing the DSD I undertake the DSD II exam in year 11 or 12. This covers the language requirements for many Universities in the German speaking world. 

In addition to being engaged with the language and cultures of German speaking countries at school, the German as an additional language teachers arrange a variety of excursions for the students. 

For example, in year 7 students attend an overnight Language Camp close to the school where they can participate in fun activities.

In year 9 or 10, students are given the opportunity to participate in an exchange with Germany. 

Students who choose to participate host their German partners the following year (i.e. in year 10/11). 

Other extracurricular activities in the past have been for example going to the cinema to watch German movies or excursions to our partner the Goethe Institute.