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Do you think German should be a language offered in high school?


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The high school in my hometown starting offering a German class the first year after I graduated. It has gone on to become one of the most popular electives in the school and people scramble to get into it first. I do believe the teacher is really amazing and he makes it fun to learn the language, but the class itself is just spectacular. The schools in my current city now do not offer German as a language and it got my wondering, do you think it should be offered as an elective? Is it as commonplace as Spanish or French? Would you have taken a German class if you were a high school student?

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It really comes down to budget. My school never offered German. I think all schools should at least offer Spanish, if they only offer one language. At the end of the day, spanish is more useful for everyday life in the US than any other foreign language is.

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Well, German was offered in my high school, but since I live in Poland it's actually very useful :P I don't think it would be nearly as useful in the United States. That being said, German is spoken not only in Germany, but also in Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein, so it's not as rarely used as one might think :)

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I was under the impression that offering languages like German and French in high school as optionals was common practice. I mean even here in India, I had the option of choosing between German, French and Sanskrit as 3rd language. Some schools even offer other languages like Spanish as well. I am definitely in favor of such a thing. If you start early, there is a good chance you'll end up with a good command over the language.

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It really comes down to budget. My school never offered German. I think all schools should at least offer Spanish, if they only offer one language. At the end of the day, spanish is more useful for everyday life in the US than any other foreign language is.

Very true on all points. If a school can only afford a few languages, then Spanish should definitely be one. It's especially useful in my area because we have a very high Spanish population. That class would fill quickly, too. French was the only one that always had an opening.

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It depends on the country. Here in Portugal I think it's an option, we always learn English and then we have the option for French or German. In English native speaking countries I think they should offer Spanish first and then French, German or Portuguese maybe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think German should be offered in high school. I have nothing against german, as a matter of fact I'm learning it. But if you will compare it to other language like spanish. I think more countries are using spanish than German.

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I don't think German should be offered in high school. I have nothing against german, as a matter of fact I'm learning it. But if you will compare it to other language like spanish. I think more countries are using spanish than German.

Why not? Then both should be offered.

Really nothing against Spanish speaking countries but the German economy is booming. If somebody would want to move to a new country they'll definitely consider Germany as an option.

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That's already happening in my town. The schools offer a profile of two languages, last year the most wanted one was English + Spanish, but some years ago when I was enrolling it was English + German. Either way, it should be done. It offers a very high start for the students and it's useful as Germany is a country with rich history and when you learn a language you always learn for the country as well. :)

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There are a couple high schools in my city that do offer it as a foreign language option, one of them being a language school (they offer dozens of languages). Unfortunately, my school only offered French and Spanish, when I went there. They now offer German (for about 2 years now) and I hear people are signing up for it more than the others. Yes, I think German should be taught in high schools. I think it gives the students more of an option. If the student can choose which language too learn (which in some schools, you have to learn a language, you don't have an option), I think they would better appreciative it and learn more/take more away from the class since they want to be there and weren't forced.

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As Rebel said, German language is a very popular high school profile in Bulgaria. In my school there are four languages: English, German, French and Russian. Whatever language you pick as your main foreign language, you have to choose a second foreign language, which you start studying in the 9th grade.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You'd think more schools would, especially if they are emphasizing STEM and business courses. There are nine German-speaking countries in the EU, and right now the German economy is one of the stablest around. There is a ton of corporations who have bases both in Germany and America; not to mention it's quite similar to English and honestly I think it's easier to pick up for English speakers than it is to pick up Spanish. Yes, there are a lot of Spanish-speaking individuals in the United States and it is good to be able to communicate with them. But if you are not planning to work in communities or with people who would need spoken Spanish, and instead in international business, German is the way to go.

So much of psychological, musical, literary work and developments have come from German-speaking countries, so it is very useful indeed to be able to access some of the source material in its original language. Something I've been able to enjoy is reading modern poetry by German authors like Bertolt Brecht. I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea but I think it's very useful in most areas of study.

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  • 4 months later...

I live in Indonesia and I'm still studying in high school (I'm a freshman!). German is a mandatory subject here. I thought it would be boring at first, but after I have been studying it for a few months I think it's pretty interesting.

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Actually, my school had a German teacher at some point - She died, though, so I never had the chance of taking German back then. They never looked for a replacement, for some odd reason.

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In my high school German is offered, as is Spanish however French is compulsory, during the first two years. When starting third year of high school,you have the option to choose to learn German or Spanish.

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In the high school I attended in Hungary learning a third language  next to Hungarian and English was required. I could choose from German, French or Spanish. German was my choice, although the teaching proved to be horribly inefficient, as we mostly wrote word list exams, and didn't really focus on grammar. Also she didn't even teach us in the second half of senior year, we just played games and quizes.. in Hungarian!

So I think German should be offered as a second or third language, but with proper focus on actually teaching it, and more focus on grammar than just learning some vocabulary.

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German was offered to me alongside with Spanish and French when I was in highschool.

I really think that all those languages are pretty "worthless". I mean, forcing highschool students to learn a language just because they have to like that feels rather useless. I get that it's useful to learn English, and you're almost handicapped if you don't learn English: but there's not really much reason to learn German/French/Spanish.

Surely if people chose to learn those languages from their own free will for whatever reason they have, but being forced like that "just because" feels so bullshit. The only option people had besides learning one of those languages in my school was to have extra-english, and that was rare: and only for peope who had problem with English.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an interesting topic, and it always seems like it very much depends on where you live and what teachers you have. I went to school in Australia, and we had pretty much equal amounts of French, German and Japanese language students in the final years of high school. However, overall numbers for any foreign language were quite low, which I think is a shame. We could also only really choose one language: I did French, but have ended up in Germany now anyway. Oh well! :)

Now, if you're of the school of thought that language learning is some kind of essential skill to teach students, then it does very much depend on where you live and what your native language is. English seems to rank highly for this reason, but it seems that Spanish does, too (i.e., in the US). Australians are poor at this: we should be studying Indonesian or Mandarin!

On the other side, perhaps the more important skill in some cases would be to teach students *how* to learn another language. Teaching (English) kids German or Dutch could be good for that.

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Sure, if there's room for it. In a school in the United States I think Spanish and French are clearly the first choices. If you have both of those (my high school only had Spanish) then I suppose you'd want either Mandarin or German next. I would definitely have taken German if it had been offered.

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I find it interesting that they'd offer German in a non-european school, but it certainly isn't a bad thing. They offer it here starting from 8th grade I believe? Not many people take it, but it's nice to have the option. There are also some short few week courses for spanish and maybe italian too and the selection gets better in high school.

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  • 1 month later...

I wish, so much, that my high school would have offered German. We had a sister school in 'Germany' and students would always go on a school trip there and vice versa, every year. It would have made so much sense to offer German. I would have taken it in a heartbeat.

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I'm from America and at my high school the German Language was always offered as an elective. You had 3 choices for foreign language at my school: French, Spanish, and German. My friend took German and I took French. It's funny because now I am studying German as I have become more intrigue by the culture and the country in recent years. I think it should be offer even before you reach high school. At least by the time you enter high school you will know some parts of the language and take more advance courses on speaking German.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes!! Yes yes yes yes, absolutely yes! I took German my freshman year of highschool, and despite having a troll for a teacher, the language was positively amazing. I really do think it's a language that captures the hearts of many students.

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