Tag Archives: German language

SOCAL German Day 2017 at UCI


Yesterday on Tuesday, February 7 the UCI Department of European Languages and Studies invited to its SOCAL German Day 2017.  A day that started out with German weather in fact. But despite initial rain showers students and teachers came out in big numbers to learn what UCI’s German Studies Program had to offer.

German School campus students and the school’s founder Frau Ursula Schoeneich attended as well and joined in the three hours filled program whichUCI -German consul was put together by Glenn Levine, Professor of German and German Language Program Director at UCI. Before the crowd of students spread out to find their respective session, School of Humanities Dean Georges van den Abbeele as well as the German Deputy Consul General Kathrin Steinbrenner welcomed teachers and students to the event.

A variety of interesting and fun classes were offered including sessions led by Peter Zykowski of the Goethe Institute San Francisco, a workshop with Hanni Geist from the DAAD, and daad-workshop-with-hanni-geista class with Vera Dindoyal from the ZfA-Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Students of German School campus won the German Trivia Quiz 1 with 20 to 11 against other High School students. They joined classes of “Getting a Degree in Germany”, “Step into German with Soccer and Music”, and a “German Theater workshop”.

At the end of the event everyone could enjoy a UCI Campus Tour led by UCI’s German Studies students in German or English. By that time California sun had come out again as well and begged for a visit at the university’s ‘Mensa’ (food court). Frau Schoeneich and her German School campus students took that moment to discuss the day’s exciting moments while going through their gift bags filled with information and enjoying California fare.


Text/Images: German School campus & CaliforniaGermans


German Language Immersion in the Summer – German Summer Camps In CA

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool

Spring is just starting today and we are already  talking summer! In fact now is the perfect time to think about a camp that your child will not only enjoy but that will help him/her strengthen his German language skills during summer!

Growing up in a multilingual family offers many advantages, but often it can also be challenging, especially in regards to the second language, the language that is not spoken as frequently. To help your child with this process experts recommend to find different ways to get him/her immersed into the non-dominant language as often as possible. This gives the child the opportunity to connect to that language and become more familiar with its usage as well as its particular culture.

In the case of many CaliforniaGermans this ‘second’ language is German. Once children are in school they speak English for most of the day. Back home again they might hear some German, and if lucky also speak some German with their mother or father.

Spend Summer in California Attending a German Immersion Camp

Many expat families plan on going back  home to Germany, Austria or Switzerland during the summer months to visit family. This of course proofs to be the perfect solution for giving your children a firsthand experience and immersion into the German language and culture. But that’s of course a perfect scenario.  What if work or other factors don’t allow for a European vacation?

Wouldn’t a German language camp in somewhat close vicinity to your home in CA be a great alternative for your child to still benefit from speaking, hearing and learning German all day long for the duration of a fun summer camp?

That’s exactly what we thought and put together this compilation of German Language Immersion Summer Camps throughout California. We hope you find the perfect one for your child and would love to get your feedback on your experience.

German Immersion Summer Camps for Children in California.

Southern California offers camps in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Big Bear. Northern California has camps in Oakland, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Berkeley.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool

Southern California:

Big Bear – (offered through the German-American School Association of SoCal) 7 Days German Immersion Overnight Camp

  • Dates: 23 June – 29 June, 2013
  • Minimum age: 7 years
  • Fun Activities include: archery, swimming, rock climbing, nature hikes, baking & much more.
  • All activities are in German
  • Cost: $575.00
  • Location: Presbyterian Conference Center, Big Bear
  • Contact: Email for enrollment forms, gasa54@aol.com

Los Angeles – (offered by Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool – Regenbogen Kindergarten )    – Spiel, Spass und Sommer-Aktivitäten  –

San Diego – (offered by Enrichment4Kids3 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: July 29th-2nd;  Session 2: Aug 5th-9th;  Session 3: Aug 19th-23rd
  • Age Groups: Pre-K to Elementary Age
  • Activities: “Enrichment for the Head, Heart and Body”. Math & reading, both in German will be taught for the first 3 hours each day before activities like swimming, piano, field sports, tumbling, skateboarding, etc.
  • Cost: Call for info
  • Contact: Kimberley@ReCenter.org
  • Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/Enrichment4Kids?ref=ts&fref=ts

Northern California:

Oakland – (Organized by BAKS plus2 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: June 17th-28th; Session 2: July 1st -12th
  • Age Groups: 4-14 years
  • Activities: Session 1 – ”Wer waren die alten Germanen? – Who were the Germanic tribes?   Session 2  – “Klaus Stoertebeker & CO. – A Pirate’s Life for Me! “
  • The whole program is in German Immersion. Prior knowledge of German is advisable.
  • Hours: Sessions run from 9-1pm daily. Extended Care is available until 5pm
  • Cost: Session 1 – $400; Session 2 – $360 (Discounts available for siblings, Combination of session 1 & 2, and early bird sign ups )
  • Location: Archway Lower School, 250 41st Street, Oakland, CA 94611
  • Contact: sommerschule@kinderstube.org
  • Website:http://www.kinderstube.org/plus/plusprogram.html#summercamp

Menlo Park – (organized by GASPA-German American School of Palo Alto)     One 4-week full immersion summer camp session .                                    “Gedanken in den Wolken…Füsse im Matsch!”

  • Dates:  One session from June 24th – July 19th, 2013 (9am- 2pm Mo-Fri; extended time 2-6pm available)
  • Age Groups: 3-12 years ( no prior language knowledge required!)
  • Activities: music, art, cooking, crafts, sports games, dancing & much more
  • Cost: Early bird – $995 and Regular – $1095
  • Location: GAIS School Campus, 275 Elliot Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94303
  • Contact: office@gaspa-ca.org;
  • Website: http://www.gaspa-ca.org/summer-school-program/overview
  • Note: Earl Bird Tuition valid through March 31st & non-refundable $150 registration fee for all registrations per child!

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley offers German Summer Camps in 3 different locations in NoCal: San Francisco, Berkeley & Mountain View. ( www.gissv.org/summerprogram )

San Francisco – (Organized by GISSV – 4 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 12th 2013 (Four sessions)
  • Ages: 4.9 -7 years
  • Activities: Indoor & Outdoor Adventures. Per session children will discover one of the four elements, air, earth, fire & water.
  • Hours: 9am-4pm
  • Cost: $395/Full Day Session
  • LocationSan Francisco Campus, 4 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129
  • Contact: office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram

Berkeley – (Organized by GISSV – 5 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 19th 2013
  • Ages: 3-6 and 7-12
  • Activities: Explore the world with topics like Ocean, Circus, Space, and Fairy Tales from Around the World!
  • Hours: 9am-2pm
  • Cost: $247/Half Day Session
  • Location: Berkeley Campus, 1581 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram

Mountain View – (Organized by GISSV – 4 sessions available)

  • Dates: June 24, 2013 to July 19, 2013
  • Ages: Ages 3-4, ages 5-14, and adult classes
  • Activities: Students will be exposed to German throughout the day. Music, Art, Art History, Soccer, Basketball and much more. For further information on our program
  • Hours: 9am – 12pm/ Half day, Afternoon activities available from 12pm – 4pm
  • Cost: $375 – $750
  • Location:  Mountain View Campus, 310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram
  • SPECIAL Website: http://www.gissv.org/podium/default.aspx?t=151553&rc=0


Related Articles:

Hilfe, mein Kind spricht Kauderwelsch! – http://www.bibernetz.de/wws/interview-rosemarie-tracy.php

Wie lernen Kleinkinder sprechen? Prof. Rosemarie Tracy, Sprachwissenschaftlerin an der Universität Mannheim, im Interview mit Leslie Rowe über Spracherwerb und Mehrsprachigkeit – http://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/radiowissen/gespraech-rosemarie-tracy-100.html

Orange County Parents get a break with OCI Academy’s Parents’ Night Out


Orange County  International Academy has a special treat to offer German (speaking) parents in the area. Starting with this Thursday, January 17th, OCI Academy will offer special Parents’ Night Out Evenings on every following Thursday until February 14th!

While you enjoy an evening with your partner, your children have fun at the OCI Academy’s German Night for children. They will work on crafts, speak German while having dinner together with other German speaking children, all topped by watching a movie – of course in German.

Reserve Your Spot Early

Mark these four Thursday dates in your calendar and make your reservation early by calling the school. The program is offered each Thursday (Jan 17-14) from 5pm-11pm with a fee of $12 an hour per child. Children can be 2-9 years old. Craft, Movie & Dinner is included in the fee.

And don’t forget February 14th is Valentine’s Day!

Orange County International Academy
10 Abyssinian Way
Ladera Ranch
ph: (949)545-7487

OCI Academy offers also a Parent Night Out Date for Spanish (Friday Feb 1st), Mandarin (Saturday Feb 2nd), Italian (Friday March 1st) and French (Saturday March 2nd)

It’s Time for School – German Preschools in California

As my older son is preparing to going back to university and all of us are getting ready for our last trip this summer to drop him off in northern California, I realize another summer has come to an end!   It’s ‘Back to School‘ for so many children in California! While my eight year old still has a few weeks left to enjoy the beaches before his new school year starts, many California school districts are starting their new school year already this week.

For many students a new year just means moving up to a higher grade, but for some of the youngest ones it means starting a completely new stage of life as they prepare for their first day of elementary school!

This made us take a look at some of the German preschools & Kindergarten available in California.

Last year we had introduced BAKS, the Bay Area Kinderstube with an interview of its director Sybille Cohen. It is a full immersion German language preschool that started out as a parent initiative in 1994 and became a private preschool in 1997. BAKS is a very charming pre-school in a quiet neighborhood in Albany right next to Berkeley. It is the perfect place to send your little ones to slowly ease them into a new way of life – the life of a student. The school feels like a home away from home with an inviting playground and yard where the children grow plants and have a lot of space to run around. At BAKS children enjoy a lot of different activities while ‘living the German language’ through reading, singing, doing arts, nature explorations and also cooking and baking together with the teachers. Since last year the children are even offered martial art lessons and yoga. BAKS is for children 2.5  to 5 years old. Many children who have started at BAKS continue their German school education at the Berkeley campus of the GISSV (German International Schools of Silicon Valley).

BAKS has grown very popular over the last few years and it is advisable to put your name on the waiting list early on.

Across the Bay one can find three German immersion pre-schools

One is KinderHaus right in San Francisco. Similar to BAKS it is a smaller preschool but is run as a parent co-op. KinderHaus, a German international preschool, started out in 2005 and is located in the heart of the Mission District. The school follows the Piaget’s approach to childhood eduction. “This developmentally appropriate program is based on children’s intellectual, social, and physical needs and designed to encourage child-initiated learning activities within a supportive environment.” (Kinderhaus) . To learn more about KinderHaus visit them at their next Open House on Saturday October 15th from 10:00am – 12:00pm.

The other two preschools are part of the two international schools, which are both located in Silicon Valley. One in Mountain View , the other in Menlo Park.

The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) has campuses in 3 different locations. Bilingual preschool programs are offered at both, the Mountain View and the Berkeley campuses, but only the main campus in Mountain View features the programs preschool through High School (GISSV is the only school offering a High School Diploma as well as the German Abitur on the West Coast). “The language concept of the GISSV Kindergarten and Preschool is based on the Principle of the Dual Immersion Method… [This ] offers the children an effortless, natural language acquisition in both languages.” (GISSV website)

The German American International School in Menlo Park offers a preschool and the grades 1 through 8. While GISSV’s focus lays on a dual immersion program, GAIS concentrates on a German language immersion program . The school is a certified IB (International Baccalaureate)  school offering the “Primary Years IB programme” from preschool on. “The content of our academic curriculum from preschool trough grade 8 compares to the California, German, and Swiss standards.” (GAIS website)

Preschools in Los Angeles County 

Going south we find two preschools with German language immersion programs.  Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool is a small quaint preschool with a very central location in L.A. The school has a daily program for up to 12 children in a mixed age group from 2 1/2 years old to Kindergarten age. Kigala Preschool in Santa Monica on the other hand is a much bigger preschool in comparison offering children not only German language immersion but also Spanish immersion programs. Parents can enroll their potty trained toddlers in morning, afternoon, and also full day sessions.

German Preschools beyond Los Angeles

As we move more south along the coast it seems German schools have become more scarce. Orange County for example has no dedicated German language immersion preschools or elementary schools despite a quite extensive local German community. The closest one can get to finding some German infused education is Anneliese School with its three campuses in Laguna Beach. Here children are exposed to a variety of languages from preschool on and receive formalized instruction in both, German and Spanish, from Kindergarten through sixth grade.

A fairly new school in Orange County that we just have learned about is OCI Academy (Orange County International Academy) in Ladera Ranch, which offers language immersion programs for children ages 2-9 in six different languages including German.

San Diego as our last destination on our search for German preschools has one full German language immersion preschool called Die Rasselbande. Founded in 2003 with only 12 children the school has grown into serving over 80 students to date. There are five preschool classes grouped by age and one mixed age class to choose from. The school follows a play-based program that nurtures the whole child. The language during school operation (9am-2pm) is exclusively German. Many children who went through the program of ‘Die Rasselbande’ continue their German school education at the Albert Einstein Academies, a German immersion elementary school (K-8) that CaliforniaGermans had portrayed in July.

‘Schultüten’ – Following a German tradition

A Geman tradition is to celebrate your child’s first day of elementary school with a ‘Schultüte’ . This day marks the transition from playful preschool days into the structured life of elementary school education and beyond.

CaliforniaGermans wants to celebrate this special day with you and teamed up with KinderCone, the first company to introduce this German tradition to America through a line of custom designed Schultüten called KinderCones.

Check out CaliforniaGermans Facebook page to find out how you can win one of three KinderCone First Grade Editions sponsored by KinderCone.

School is out – Summer is here!

English: german school-boy (Heinrich Bruno Wit...

English: german school-boy (Heinrich Bruno Wittig), aged 7, with schultüte & schulranzen, on his first day of school, Zeulenroda, 1936.wittig-archiv.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another school year is over for so many students in CA!

As much as we all are looking forward to relaxing and just enjoying a life that is not controlled by the daily school calendar of our children, for many families the summer is also the time of final decisions in regards to which school to send the kids to next year.

Stay tuned.  Throughout the summer CaliforniaGermans will have some special reports on “German” schools in California.

Also, for all parents of Firstgraders starting out this fall, have you thought of making this special day of your “Erstklässler” an unforgettable event with the traditional “Schultüte” (Schoolcone). If you are not in the mood of making one by yourself (see instructions to make your own here on CaliforniaGermans ), there is also the option to order one. And you don’t have to have one sent all the way from  Germany. KinderCone ships your German “Schultüte” right from Chicago.

Last, German teachers looking for a new challenge might want to check out Bay Area Kinderstube (BAKS) in the San Francisco area (Bay Area Kinderstube 842 Key Route Blvd Albany, CA 94706) .  BAKS is looking for a Preschool director and a Preschool teacher. Full job descriptions can be downloaded at  http://kinderstube.org/jobs.html . For questions please email board@kinderstube.org

Happy Summer and come by often to check out what’s new on CaliforniaGermans!