German Language Instruction for the Youngest Learners

Research shows, that the earlier you start with introducing a second or third language to your child, the easier it will be for her or him to learn it.

Especially if those languages are spoken at home as well, your child will just grow up using these languages instinctively and will automatically pick up the vocabulary and intonation of each one.

From what I have experienced, this effort of raising children with more than one language, is even more successful if the child can connect one parent to one particular language. It will make it so much easier for the child to switch back and forth between languages since there is also a visual distinction.

But even if your child grows up in a mono-lingual household, you now have so many options to introduce your youngsters to a wealth of languages and give them, too, the gift of understanding other cultures early on.

For many of us German expats it is a given that we want our children to be able to speak our native German. We want them to be able to communicate with family and friends still living overseas. But sometimes it’s hard if all the pressure of passing on this cultural heritage just rests on you!

California is fortunate enough to have many German language schools among its wealth of  language schools all together. Many of them offer classes already for three-year olds. And a few even offer Mommy-and-Me classes that one can attend as soon as the baby is born!

In the following find a few examples of schools, that offer these early language courses; but please feel free to browse our list of various schools under our “Resources” tab.

Learning German for the Youngest all around California


Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool is offering “Mama und Ich” classes starting this September 2017. The classes are instructed by Ilka Sternberger, Director at Tivoli, who is also a certified as a Lactation Specialist UCLA, and Postpartum Doula DONA .

These classes offer parenting information and support, meditation for the Mamas, German children songs and verses, movement and seasonal finger games. Sessions will start on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. All classes are held at: Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in Mar Vista (3170 Stoner Ave., LA, CA 90066).  Two classes are offered weekly. The 3-4pm baby class is for newborns to age 15 months and the 4:15-5:15pm Toddler class is for age 16 months to 2 plus years.

If you are interested in joining our next session please rsvp to ilkayan@aol.com.

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WanderKind School in Glendale offers a bilingual nature immersion program preschool program for 2-5 year olds and an after school program for 4-7 year olds. Whether children are enrolled full time or part time they will always experience friendship, joy, free play and creative expression. Two mornings and two afternoons a week are spent at Brand Park immersed in a forrest school curriculum. While outdoors teachers guide the children utilizing English and German. The rest of the time we learn, get messy and play in the indoor/outdoor classrooms of the school and focus on German language immersion.

Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .

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GermanSchool campus in Newport Beach just started with a “Vorschul-Klasse” for children ages 4-6years. This particular class will playfully engage the children with the concepts of the German language through music, songs, rhythm and dance. Children will learn numbers, the days of the week, the calendar, seasons and much more through fun songs and plays. As it is tradition at the school, also the youngest members will learn how to introduce themselves and will be able to hold up a small and simple conversation by the end of the year.

GermanSchool campus offers a variety of German language classes for children, 4-17 years old, focusing on guiding the older students through the various  exams available. From Deutsches Sprachdiplom to AATG testings for high schoolers.

Contact GermanSchool campus at (949) 285 0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com

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German Pacific School of San Diego offers classes for students ages 3 to 18 at its four different locations in San Diego County: Poway, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and La Jolla. For this school year 2017 /18, registration has already closed. But if you are still looking for German classes for your child(ren). There are just a few spots at each location left. Most classes are full.

Contact Wiebke Elbe (germanpacificschool @gmail.com) to inquire about availability or to get on the waiting list.

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GASA – The German-American School Association of Southern California, Incoffers classes for children ages 3 to 5 years at its Kinderland School and has Parent & Me classes for children 1-3 years old that are currently offered only in Anaheim Hills.

Founded in 1954, GASA maintains several schools in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego area.  The various schools offer classroom-based German language programs to children ages 4 – 17 years in its Saturday Schools.

Contact the school at office@gasaschool.org or at (562) 693-0223.

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German Language School of Marin (NorCal) has a Kindergarten class that accepts children starting as young as 3-years-old at the Santa Rosa campus and as young as 4-years-old at the Novato campus.

In Kindergarten, children approach the German language in a playful, hands-on way. Through simple poems, circle games, songs and rhymes, story books, and art projects, the children intuitively learn basic vocabulary and grammar. Lessons revolve around themes like family, animals, colors, food, clothing, body, nature, months, weekdays, seasons, and holidays. To support learning on Saturdays, basic homework for our Kindergarteners include poems and songs that they can practice and memorize throughout the week.

Contact the school at (415) 897.9771 or email: info@germanschoolmarin.com

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GASPA – German American School of Palo Alto offers a Parent & Me class  for children ages 0-3, for the first time this year. The “Froggy Group” is for parents and their children. Come to play and sing with your child in German!  Classes start September 16th, from 9am-10:15am.

Since 1965 GASPA has been offering the ever popular Saturday morning program for students ages 2.5 to 18. Students 2.5 years or older must be accompanied by a parent in class until age 3. Saturday classes are already in session since September 9th, 2017. All classes are at the Campus of Alto International School , 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park.

Contact the school at (650) 520-3646 or email: contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Kleine Schule Oakland in the Bay area offers parent-toddler classes for kids from 18 months up to 5 years. They take place once a week for 1 1/2 hours.  The school welcomes to a space where you can have a lot of fun while learning the German language. You may not even realize how much you are learning because you’ll be so busy playing, singing, reading, crafting, experimenting, baking and making friends. Nature plays an important role; sometimes we even take the class outside and meet up in the nearby forest.  The school also runs a daycare program fromMonday to Friday 9am-3pm.

Contact Runa for more information at kleineschuleoakland@gmail.com

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Let us know if you heard of other German programs for the Youngest German Language learners and send us an email at californiagermans(AT)gmail.com

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