German Department Review

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The German department is headed by Rebecca Lindemulder, its sole teacher. While teaching across four grades simultaneously, Lindemulder curates personal relationships with each of her students across the three to four years she teaches them. Classwork revolves primarily on partner activities and two-person dialogues, fostering a sense of community among German students. 

The academic rigor of German is adaptive to students’ needs, as Lindemulder adjusts the flow of her class to cover material that students struggle with in greater detail. Summative assessments are rare and their difficulty level is usually reasonable. Homework is given daily, with assignments ranging from new grammar topics taught through interactive VHL videos to completing fill-in-the-blank worksheets. However, these worksheets might be the department’s biggest detriment; the course places a large emphasis on vocabulary, but leaves some students unable to form their own sentences without half of the sentence already being provided to them. 

The German curriculum strictly adheres to the topics in the VHL textbook, which become progressively monotonous as language skill advances. However, Lindemulder enriches the curriculum with exciting cultural traditions, additional vocabulary, and interesting stories about her experiences with German culture. One of the course’s highlights is the Christmas season. Every year, German students across all grade levels spend a month singing German Christmas carols, eating cookies from German bakeries, and opening Advent calendars. The German department offers a plethora of school trips, scholarships, and opportunities. Through the German department’s partnership with the Goethe Institut, students have access to free trips to Germany and internationally recognized placement exams. Overall, Lindemulder makes language learning approachable, engaging, and stimulating for all students through her passion for German culture and language.