Subject German at St. Kilian’s
St. Kilian’s German School is an Irish school and also a member of the network of 140 German Schools Abroad, which are supported and subsidised by the German Government Agency, the ZfA. The subject German therefore plays an important role in our school. Pupils study German at a standard that is not available in any other Primary or Secondary School in Ireland.
Students are not required to know any German if they enter St. Kilian’s German School in Primary School, 7th class (1st year) or – numbers permitting – in 10th class.
German in Kindergarten/Vorschule (Junior/Senior Infants)
- The acquisition of the German language in Kindergarten and Vorschule is embedded in a holistic concept for language promotion.
- In addition to lessons which are used for the acquisition of German and the promotion of the German language, learning the language in Kindergarten and Vorschule goes beyond the academic learning of words, grammar and pronunciation.
- German is used in everyday life as a language of instruction, implemented through the one person one language concept; in this form of language learning, language acquisition takes place without pressure and follows the principles of first language acquisition.
- In contrast to functional foreign language teaching, in which the pupil learns a language with the help of rules, language acquisition through immersion happens in natural situations of everyday life.
- In each Kindergarten group there are two teachers, each of whom has a very good command of English and is a native German speaker.
- In Kindergarten and Vorschule, native and foreign language speakers are taught together – a separation is only made from 1st class onwards.
- On average 25% of our Kindergarten children are German speakers.
German in Primary School
- Students who enrol later than 1st class and do not speak any German are expected to attend additional support classes for German (from class 2 on).
- German classes are offered at different levels: for non-native speakers (DF) and native speakers (DM).
- Sachkunde is an additional subject taught through German in classes 1-4 to all pupils. Projekt Deutsch is taught to all pupils in Class 5 and to DF pupils in Class 6.
- Art is taught through German throughout Primary School.
- As of the school year of 2015/2016 we offer a German Curricular Stream (Sek-I Stream). This means that eligible native and non-native German speaking pupils from 5th class on are prepared for the German Mittlerer Schulabschluss while continuing with the Irish Primary School curriculum.
- Students in the Sek-I Stream are taught through German in the following subjects: Mathematics (3 periods/week), Biology (2 periods/week). From class 6 on the subject History (2 periods/week) is also taught through German.
German in the Secondary School
- Students receive enhanced German lessons and more periods of German than in a typical Irish school.
- All students of St. Kilian’s are prepared for the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. They also have the opportunity to sit a Bilingual Leaving Certificate.
- There is also an opportunity to sit the Sprachdiplom exams (level 1 and 2) of the German Kultusministerkonferenz (Level A2-C1 European Framework for Language Competence). By passing these exams, students achieve a level of German language proficiency that is far above the level of the Leaving Certificate and satisfies the language requirement to study at a German university. Students who started to learn German in St. Kilian’s in 1st Year can also sit these exams.
- We also offer a German curricular stream (Sek-I Stream). This means that suitable students (native German speakers as well as foreign language learners) will not only sit the Irish Junior and Leaving Certificates, but are also prepared for a German Mittlerer Schulabschluss and they qualify for entry into the gymnasiale Oberstufe in Germany.
- German lessons are offered at various levels in each year group, for beginners, advanced learners and for students who participate in the Sek-I Stream.
- Most of our students will have achieved language level B1 by the time they enter the Senior Cycle, ratified through the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (German Language Diploma, DSD). Pupils who have not reached language level B1 will be prepared for the Irish Leaving Certificate in a dedicated Leaving Cert teaching group (DL).
- Depending on the curricular stream the individual student follows, certain subjects – other than German – will also be taught through German. All students will be taught through German in at least one other subject or in the project course History and Literature. This course is offered at all proficiency levels including beginners.
- German lessons are predominantly given by native-speaking teachers or by teachers with a proven language level of C2.
- The Irish curriculum is supplemented by a framework plan for ‘German as a Foreign Language for German Schools Abroad’. The requirements in this framework correspond to a much higher level than the Irish curriculum.
- German textbooks with a clear focus on competency-based learning are used for the German language classes.
- St. Kilian’s offers several exchange programmes and the majority of students take part in at least one exchange programme with Germany during their time in our Secondary School.
- German lessons are almost exclusively in the target language (German). This is a unique opportunity for students to hear as much German as possible around them.
- If you have any questions about the subject German in Secondary School, please contact our Head of German, Herr Ralph Magnus, by email.