Die Vorteile des Deutschunterrichts (The Benefits of German Class)

Check out one of columnists Loren Wandersleben’s favorite courses on the MHS academic menu

Loren Wandersleben and Zach Payne

It’s that time of year again to pick and choose courses for the next school year at MHS! Or maybe you’re graduating and looking at some new college classes that sound interesting. Languages are great options, especially to build cultural experience for resumes or college applications. The German language stands out against the others for multiple reasons. It is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world with more than 135 million speakers.

Let’s dig into the benefits of German as a high school language course.

What Learning German Is Like

You may hear many people tell you that German is one of the hardest languages to learn, whether worldwide or even just at Mentor, but that is a common misconception. There are actually a variety of similarities between the English and German languages. If you speak English then all the cognates that exist between the two languages may come as a surprise.

This is not to say that it is not a struggle for some people, but by applying yourself and doing the work, this class will be great for those willing to learn.

German Can Be Useful in Certain Careers

Kansas State University

When applying to colleges, or careers in the future, they like to see that you have a foreign language skill. German is a great boost as it would help increase chances of getting jobs with internationally recognized companies. There are many jobs like international business, customer service, translation, and human resource representative where German could be a great language to know how to speak. Knowing German can allow you to seize many more interesting job opportunities.

Better Understanding of German Culture

By Kim Ann Zimmermann

You may hear about Oktoberfest, which takes place in Germany yearly and includes fairs, games, food, and drinks. It has been regarded as one of the largest celebrations in the world with six million people visiting the festival on average. Another important aspect of German culture is Christmas, when markets are fairly common during the season. Many German traditions have become a part of American Christmas as well from decorating trees down to dinners with friends and family. There are no forgetting fairytales when talking about Germany, as the Brothers Grimm were born there. Knowing some crazy fairytales is definitely a plus of learning German.

Learning a New Language Improves Memory and Cognitive Function

When you start practicing and memorizing vocabulary or sentence structures, improving short-term and long-term memory is one of the benefits of learning a new language. People who spend time learning new phrases and words from a language are able to delay brain degeneration as well as have a larger brain capacity to hold information. Learning German is also able to enhance cognitive thinking, boost learning skills, and can even give you an edge in mathematics as German is linked to helping improve arithmetic skills.

Education in Germany


Not a lot of Americans know that when you are born in the E.U. you get a very good education for very little money. School in Europe is actually relatively cheap for students abroad looking to travel there for university. Traveling abroad is another great way to make a resume or application stand out. Going to Germany provides a world-class education for a relatively affordable amount of money. Over 6,800 American citizens are studying in Germany right now.

Reading Options Become Wider

“Deutsche Märchen und Sagen” (Beginner Level)

Germany is one language that has been around for a long time and has had so many brilliant minds originate from there. Germany produces on average, 80,000 books yearly, which also means that 1 in every 10 books is published in German every year. The publishing business in Germany also produces $5.43 billion for its economy yearly.

German fairytales are also iconic, the Grimm brothers wrote countless amounts of fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White.

Widens Your Music Taste

German Rock Band Logo

Another part of German Culture is Deutschrap, or German rap. While it’s not widely known in the United States, it’s actually very popular in Europe. Many people say it’s an acquired taste but it would also probably sound better to others if they knew what the artists were singing about. Taking German would definitely help in this area. German Hip-Hop/Rap didn’t get very big until the ’90s and has grown exponentially over the last few decades.

Starting out with more common German songs may be better if Rap isn’t your speed. Other artists like Nena, Madsen, and Bukahara could also be a great place to start in this music journey.

The Class is Fun

Frau Krix German 3 Class

One student commented, “The teachers really make the class worth taking, Frau Krix and Frau Friend are very cool people.” Frau Krix, one of the two teachers of the German classes at the High School and Middle schools offered a comment about why she thinks it would be beneficial for students to take German,

“I think kids should take German to challenge themselves and stand out from other kids because it’s a little more difficult to learn than Spanish and French. Also, Germany is an economic powerhouse and if you want to do something with the economy there are a lot of English and German economics between the two countries. Also, it’s a fun language to learn and there is a rich culture, you can only talk about it if you understand the language. My ultimate goal is to have students develop an open mind and have people be accepting of different cultures.”

Besides this, you may be asking what the curriculum includes if you would decide to take the class during your time at Mentor.

German 1 Students learn the language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Dialogues and conversations are used to familiarize the students with the language. While listening and speaking are emphasized, a formal approach to grammar is also presented. In addition, students will explore the culture. Workbooks must be purchased.


German 2 Students in German 2 increase their knowledge of German through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The difference between this level and the first level is more vocabulary, four additional grammar points, and more intensive speaking and writing.


German 3 This is an accelerated course. Previous grammar learned is reviewed, and subjunctive mood and passive voice are introduced. The student’s knowledge of German is extended, and cassettes and videos further the student’s listening ability. The majority of class time is devoted to conversations with a partner on a wide variety of topics.


AP German 4 Written work includes a combination of in-class timed narratives and 200-word expository compositions. Cassettes and videos are used to sharpen listening skills. Daily partner conversations are mandatory and cover a wide variety of topics. Grammar points are refreshed and refined. Weighted