High School German

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  • gwengg

    Hello all. I am needing to make a decision soon on a German curriculum for my high school aged son. I’ve recently read through many, many foreign language posts… most from 2-4 years ago. Wondering if anyone would like to give an update on how your choice has (or hasn’t) worked for you. Thanks so much! Always appreciate the wealth of info and wisdom shared here!



    My husband has the Rosetta Stone German program.  He was planning to go to Germany with his brother a few years back, but they were not able to.  He really enjoyed the program.  I have RS French for myself and I love it!  Having the headset makes it easier to learn correct pronounciation.  I feel compelled to become fluent in French and I don’t really know why, I am just going with it!

    Others have said their isn’t enough grammar in the program but there are sections that focus on just grammar so I am not sure where those remarks come from, maybe someone else knows. I highly recommend Rosetta Stone and with the program I bough you can dowload an MP3 that helps you to study the lessons on the go (or while you are washing dishes!)



    blue j

    My freebie version of German has worked the best of all programs we’ve ever tried.  I based how I teach it off of Guoin’s (not sure that’s spelled right) methods which CM used with her students.  It works well.  If you want more infomormation, just ask. 🙂


    Since I don’t speak any German and cannot converse with my son, we use the excellent program at Oklahoma State.  



    Thanks for sharing that site, Bookworm. Bluej, I’d love to hear more.


    Just before we moved to Germany three years ago I started with Pimsleur audio, German Demystified book, and a Babbel app on my iPhone for vocabulary building.  The app and Pimsleur were very helpful for getting me a basic real-world conversational use of the language.  When I say basic, I mean basic, because I had two kids at the time and then when I ended up pregnant with my third five months after we arrived, it all language learning fell by the wayside.  BUT I did learn and retain enough for a basic traveller’s needs and I would love to know how much I could have learned (and how much more fun travel in Germany would have been) if I had continued.  Unforutnately Pimsleur isn’t cheap, but some libraries may have it for a test run.  Now that we are moving back to the southern US and my boys are getting older, I hope to put together something similar in Spanish.  ~Nicole


    Hey Bookworm, that’s my alma mader ;-). Great to see that they have a dynamic German option that works for you!

    BlueJ – what are you using?

    We just finished Rosetta Stone 1 with my 12yo, and can’t invest in the next level yet. Overally, I highly recommend it! My kids have used it and love it – and they have a great feel for the language, especially in writing.

    We use Pimsleur with the younger kids and to work on conversational skills. It helps me to remember pronunciation and common questions and answers.

    We tried Fluenz…but went back to Rosetta Stone. It just wasn’t as engaging for kids, and I didn’t feel like they were really retaining the language.

    I would love to find the perfect CM foreign language curriculum, but haven’t run across it yet. As my daughter moves into high school level, I think we will be looking for a native speaker to give lessons (the advantage of living in a college town, albeit a small one!).


    Thanks for all the suggestions and specific info about each course. I don’t know why, but choosing foreign language curriculum seems to be so difficult for me. This info is a great help. Blue j please share more if you have a moment. I will spend the next few days digging deeper into the other’ s mentioned. Thanks again!

    blue j

    My approach is free and works.  I read up on how CM used Guion (Guoin?) approach to teaching languages.  The idea is that you use a series of 3 or 4 sentences to speak about a common task and move from there.  I don’t know German – or not much, anyway. 

    1. Choose what area you want to work on.  I decided to start with foods/ kitchen/ eating as that is something that is common to my daugther. 

    2. I then choose the series we’ll use.  The first series that we used was this:
    I pick up the milk.
    I pour the milk.
    I drink the milk.

    3. We speak the series main bit (I pick up, I pour, I drink) a few times so that she has that in her mind.

    4. I pull up Google Translate and type in my series so it translates it to German – and is SPEAKS it. We listen to the whole series a few times.  NOTE: DD does NOT see the words.  She is ONLY listening at this time.  Just as you don’t teach a child to spell and read before learing to speak, the same is supposed to be done with the foreign languages.

    5. I reduce the translation down to each sentence.  We listen and then repeat what is said until we have it.  I have dd go over the whole series a couple of times to lock it in her mind. Once that is down…

    6. You choose another thing that can be subbed for milk.  So by the end of the first day, dd knew the original series plus water, lemonade, tea, and coffee.  She is older, though, so for a younger one, you might only do a couple different ones.

    7. We review the next day, and if she is ready, I might add another new word.  We speak it back and forth.  I both speak to her in German and she translates to English and vice versa.

    We go MWF with a small bit of new words and TTh with review and maybe a new word or two, depending, though I really don’t push adding a new word on those days.  Once she had several “drinkable” items under her belt, I changed the series to I pick up, I bite, I chew and so on so as not to change everything, just a few things and add a couple of items that will fit in with that series like apple, etc.  After that I added I pick up, I peal, I eat and so on.

    It’s such a simple idea, kind’a sounds too easy or not rigorous enough, but she’s learning at a PHENOMENAL rate; MUCH better than with RS or any of the other programs.  We will be adding reading the series she knows this semester but will take it slow and that will occur on TTh.

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