Thursday, February 13, 2014

Katja in Leipzig

Was macht Katja in Leipzig?

1.  Sie schreibt ihre Unterstützung für das Deutschprogramm hier!  Juchhe!

Dear Dr. Auger and the Members of the North Kingstown School Committee,

I was disappointed this week to learn that there is discussion of cutting the German program at North Kingstown High School in the coming years. Of course I understand budget issues, but I honestly believe the German program is worth keeping.

As a graduating member of the Class of 2013, I decided to take a GAP year before continuing on to the International Business Program at University of Rhode Island. Right now I am living in Leipzig, Germany on a $60,000 scholarship funded by the United States Congress and the German Bundestag (Parliament).

Germany is a wonderful country with many benefits that are not necessarily highlighted in America, but are ignored to discuss its past. As of right now, Germany has a 5.1% Unemployment Rate, compared to Spain’s 26.03%, France’s 10.9%, and Portugal’s 15.3% (taken from As is quite common knowledge, Germany is the strongest member of the European Union, and while every other country is trying to employ their own people, Germans welcome immigrants because of a surplus of jobs.

In Rhode Island, North Kingstown is the only high school to offer German courses already and to remove them would be removing a very rare opportunity. As I look to my higher education, University of Rhode Island is a leader in German Language, with programs such as International Engineering and International Business, both offered in German, Spanish, Chinese, and French. I discovered these programs as a junior and started to ask questions to determine what language course (German or Spanish) I should follow, and everyone at the University suggested German for two reasons: first, because of the large difference in unemployment rate between Spain and Germany, and secondly because of the success of the German Program at the University.

The German International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island was the first of its kind, and brags a 100% Job Placement Rate upon graduation. Many other colleges have similar programs, all designed around our University’s, and send their students to University of Rhode Island’s Deutsche Sommerschule am Atlantik (German Summer School on the Atlantic) in order to receive better German instruction. All of the wonderful opportunities in German are never recognized at the High School level, except to those who take German, which are far too few.

Of course, there are a couple ways to encourage students to take German, and not another language. But by far, the largest reason I see is students of the 8th and 9th grade level do not see the value in learning German. That was my view at that age, and it took a little research to change my opinions. First, I believed that German was only a heritage language. For me a heritage language would be one somebody is only interested in learning because their family comes from the country. For example, I’ve always wanted to learn Italian because of my family roots there. And as of last year, more that 75% of the class gave that as their reason for learning German. The second and more relevant reason is that Spanish is very heavily pushed in America, which is understandable. With a growing Hispanic population, there are definitely jobs that require a Spanish knowledge. Unfortunately, that’s not the only language a student should be choosing. When going into Economics or Engineering, there isn’t as much possibility in Spanish or French, and definitely not in Portuguese, as there is in German. ...

Now I am in Germany on a significant scholarship, but I didn’t take German upon entering High School. I took Spanish for 4 years while attending North Kingstown High, participating in AP Spanish my senior year, while also enrolled in German I. Though I enjoyed my 5 years of Spanish, which helped me learn that I love languages and gave me a passion to learn about the world, I never connected with the culture, something that lacked in my years of learning the language. There were too many conjugation quizzes to have a Cinco de Mayo lunch, and too much vocabulary to learn to discuss a daily life in Argentina or Peru. To me, that was what sparked my love for Germany. Of course learning the language is also important, and I learned what I needed to in my one year of German to be successful coming to Germany ten days after Graduation, but the culture of Germany along with the language is wonderful.

Mrs. Ruthann Baker does a great job in a very interesting style, and most students in their 2nd are able to compete at a national level in test scores, which is unbelievable. I know, in the end, that the School Committee must ..... (make difficult) cut(s) ... . As a former student myself, I have seen much greater successes with the German students going forward and working with the language than I have ever heard about the Portuguese. Though both classes are fun and interesting, I see only greater opportunities coming to those studying German.

I thank you for your time, and if any further questions arise, please feel free to contact me .... ....


 Das alles, von unserer Katja!   (Fettdruck, von RSB)    Ja, wir können sehr viel über die Sprachenlernende Kultur von ihr lernen!

2.  Sie beendet heute ihr Praktikum in Leipzig mit dem Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum im Alten Rathaus:
Das Praktikum ist bald aus.  Dann verbringt Katja zwei Wochen in Schweden.  Und danach?  Kommt sie nach Hause?  Nein, März beginnt das neue Praktikum hier:


Vielleicht findet sie auch eines Tages genau das richtige Sprachprogramm für uns.

Wir wünschen Dir, lieber Katja, eine unvergessliche Urlaubreise, und alles glänzend in Deiner weiteren Aufenthalt in Leipzig, Sachsen, Deutschland!

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