Why German May Be the Right Choice For Your Child
Whether you’re just beginning to explore magnet language programs or are already convinced that a bilingual program is the right choice for your child, welcome!
For many Miami families, a German language program is not an obvious choice. When you consider that almost 60% of Miami’s 2.4 million residents speak Spanish (and of that group, half say they don’t speak English well or at all), it’s not surprising that a lot of parents look seriously at Spanish language programs.
But what if your child already speaks Spanish? Or maybe you studied in or have visited Germany and fell in love with the country? Or perhaps you’re looking further into your child’s future and want her to learn a language that will help her stand out from the crowd both personally and professionally?
Whatever your reasons for considering a German language program, you’re in good company. The German IS and IE programs in Miami-Dade have grown by leaps and bounds since their introduction thirty years ago. Today, the families in our four schools hail from more than thirty nationalities and speak more native languages at home than we can keep track of. But we’re all united by our interest in giving our children the best possible education and prospects for the future.
You may find yourself thinking, “But we don’t speak German at home, so how can this work for us?” While some of the families in the IS and IE programs include at least one German-speaking parent, the majority of our families don’t speak German at home. This means their children’s first exposure to German happened at school. Each May, our graduating high school seniors are a testament to the fact that the program can and does work.
Aside from the advantage of being less well known or “in demand”, which means it’s (potentially) easier to gain admittance, the German IS and IE programs offer your child distinct advantages well beyond just learning a language.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
A Strong Curriculum
Our highly trained native German-speaking teachers instruct students in the rigorous academic program established by the state of North Rhine-Westfalia in Germany. This curriculum meets or exceeds the objectives and requirements of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system.
Our middle school IS students take German at an Advanced Placement level and regularly win top honors in high-school level language competitions.
German Speakers Are Unique
According to a recent survey, just 10% of Americans can hold a fluent conversation in German, while about 55% of Americans can speak Spanish fluently and 17% can speak French. German speakers in the US are unique!
College admissions officers in the US are flooded with applications from Spanish speakers, so fluent German speakers stand out.
Study in Germany…for Free!
Germany is home to some of the most highly regarded universities in the world. And as of October 2014 tuition is free, including for international students!
When you consider that the average annual out-of-state tuition at US public colleges is $20,000 (not including room and board), and at private colleges it tops $31,000, avoiding debt while obtaining a world-renowned education is very appealing.
The Language of Science
Around the world, German is the second most commonly used scientific language after English. For students interested in a career in science, this can open a lot of doors not just in the US but also in Europe.
Germany Is a Big Deal
Germany is the world’s 4th largest economy and the economic powerhouse of Europe. It’s also a major trade partner of North and South America. In the US, German companies employ 800,000 people, and recently two of them, BMW and VW, committed to increasing their hiring and investment here.
German Speakers Earn More
MIT economist Albert Saiz revealed that bilingual German speakers in the United States enjoy an average lifetime earnings bonus of $128,000 compared to bilingual workers whose second language is French or Spanish. The relative uniqueness of fluent German speakers may be to thank for this.
A Wealth of Professional Opportunities
Nine of the world’s 50 largest companies are German — think Allianz, Adidas, BMW, Bayer, Lufthansa, SAP, Siemens, and Volkswagen — and operate on almost every continent. Others are less well known yet still influential, forming the backbone of science and industry: names like BASF, Beiersdorf, Boehringer Ingelheim, Carl Zeiss, Duerr, Heidelberger Zement, Leica, Meyer Werft, Sennheiser, and many more.