José Goris
English at primary school in Germany Dear Italki students I would like to know more about English at primary school in the German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). I have been told that German children go to secondary school at the age of 10. Do they have prior knowledge of English by then? If so, how many lessons per week do children get at primary school and is the English teacher their classroom teacher or a qualified English teacher? How many lessons per week do they get at secondary school?
Nov 24, 2016 10:05 AM
Answers · 7
In Lower Saxony English is optional in 1st and 2nd grade and obligatory in 3rd and 4th grade. The goal is to reach level A1 by the end of 4th grade. The kids have 2 lessons per week. The teachers are not specialized, but teach all the core subjects like German, maths and English. (http://db2.nibis.de/1db/cuvo/datei/kc_gs_englisch_nib.pdf) In secondary school English is always obligatory, but there are different kinds of secondary schools and the lessons the students have per week and the levels they reach differ a lot. If you take the Gymnasium (a kind of grammar school/highschool) as an example, the overall goal is to reach level B1 by the end of 10th grade. The teachers are qualified English teachers. Some schools offer bilingual classes, where students not only take English lessons, but lessons in other subjects like geography or biology in English. (http://db2.nibis.de/1db/cuvo/datei/kc_gym_englisch_nib.pdf)
November 24, 2016
Well, i come from a different state in Germany but my cousin is from Niedersachsen. He and I had English since 3rd grade. Serious English classes start in secondary school though. You are right about that. I think English classes in german schools always are 4x45 minutes a week if you are in the best type of school ("Gymnasium" - the one that goes up to 12th grade) The teachers in elementary school are not complete English teachers. The ones in secondary school (that's the one after elementary school right?) are fully trained English teachers. Their abilities vary a lot though.
November 24, 2016
My cousin is German, born and raised in Germany, and from experience of visiting Germany, I would say that many German children can speak English to at least a conversational standard. I'm not too sure if they have qualified English teachers, but classroom teachers generally are quite good at teaching English. My cousin is still a young teenager, but she can hold a conversation with me and knows at least the basic structures.
November 24, 2016
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José Goris
Language Skills
Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish
Learning Language
Polish, Swedish