NYC’s First German Dual Language Program Now Accepting Applications

The city’s first German dual language program is now accepting applications, much to the delight of the approximately 130 families with ties to Germany in Brooklyn who championed starting the program, according to DNAinfo.

P.S. 17 Hendy D. Woodworth in Williamsburg will host the bilingual program open to up to 18 pre-k kids and 25 kindergartners next fall. A group of parents—GDLP Brooklyn—began efforts to launch the program last summer, said Sylvia Wellhöfer, a German-born Williamsburg resident with two young children. The group is working with experts from the Goethe-Institut and representatives from the Department of Education to develop the program’s curriculum. And English-only speakers who would like for their children to become fluent in German are more than welcome to sign up.

“Germany is a country of engineers, of literature, music…lots of very important writers,” Wellhöfer said. “It’s the epicenter of Europe. There are 6 million reasons why I think German is worth learning.”

Dual Language (DL) programs provide enriched instruction in two languages, with the goal of developing students to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural. Like other DL programs in NYC, kindergarten classes will be taught half in English and half in German, while pre-k students will gain exposure to the language through activities with a German teacher once a day. Kids will gain proficiency in both languages by third grade.

Anyone interested in the program has until Jan. 15 to apply for kindergartners and can do so through the Department of Education. Be sure to list P.S. 17 in your top five choices. Applications for pre-k will open up in early 2016.

There are also three information sessions being held about the program on Jan. 8, 11 and 12. Check out GDLP’s website for more info and to RSVP to one of the sessions. 

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