For 30 minutes each week, students at Canyon Creek Elementary School are saying “guten tag” to in-school German enrichment classes, led by a former Canyon Creek parent and German native Ute Roesner.
The German classes are part of a PTA initiated language program, which will bring the multicultural learning opportunities to students at least three times this year, adding French and Mandarin Chinese. Both German and French classes will be during the school day. The Mandarin Chinese classes will be held as an after-school club.
“Embracing and learning from new cultures is a cornerstone of Canyon Creek,” Canyon Creek Principal April Crawford said. “Our hope is to lay a foundation for success by ensuring our students feel confident picking a foreign language to study in middle school. Thanks to our outstanding PTA and Ute, our students are gaining exciting new knowledge that can be grown each year.”
The German classes are taught with a mix of English and German with an emphasis on basic greetings, introductions and numbers. Students most recently learned the German words for numbers zero through 10, then used the knowledge to write and solve individual math problems.
“The German classes are fun because it’s a different language,” said Anne Madelyn Morgan, Canyon Creek second-grade student. “It’s cool because we get to learn numbers in a new language.”
The language classes are funded through a $15 suggested parent donation for each child. Any extra costs associated with the classes, including supporting students not funded through parent donations, is covered through the Canyon Creek PTA general fund.
“We don’t expect them to be fluent by the time they leave, but it’s language exposure,” said Jessica Loewy, Canyon Creek PTA president. “The goal is for our students to learn from different cultures and traditions and leave with a familiarity with the sounds of different alphabets.”