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Online German - how is it going this year? (Updates?)


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Updated in post #67 with my review of CLRC's German 1 that I ended up signing DD#1 up for.

Please post your reviews of German 1/2/3 if you feel comfortable doing so. Bluebonnetgirl is looking for a German 1 class for her ds for next year.

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I bumped an old thread on the K-8 board with this question, but thought I might get more feedback here, so I'm cross-posting just my post:

I'm looking for online German 1 for my dd#1 who wants to add another language. She does well with live classes & loves languages. Finding a good teacher is key for this kid.

Here are the options I've seen so far: WTMA, CLRC, some former Landry teachers (that I'd have to search around a little bit for), Potter's School, Oklahoma State Online German (last resort), and (ETA:  Kolbe Academy), BYU (not live?).

 

Anyone want to chime in with recent (including this year) experiences? I'd love to have feedback on any of the live classes and teachers.

 

She'll only have time to get through German 2 since she'll be a Junior next year (probably - she's actually a sophomore-by-age in the state we live in, but I've always considered her a grade higher) so availability of German 3 or above isn't really a problem.

Edited by RootAnn
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I don't know of any more than you posted.  We are with a former Landry teacher doing German 1.  I'm not sure if we will stick with her next year or try someone else.  I think the class is fine, but she does tests on the same week as you learn the second half of the chapter, so that weekend is crazy busy finishing up the second half of the chapter and studying and doing the test for that chapter.  However, DS does like her style/presentation and may choose to stay with her simply b/c he knows what to expect in the class.  We basically reserver every other weekend to study for the tests.  

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My youngest has liked WTMA German 1 so far. The issue we have is that the online class is on Mon/Wed/Fri 12noon PST and our library wifi is not strong enough for Blackboard. So that means that my kids can't go for any outside classes of any kind for homeschoolers that ends around 12pm or start around 1pm. We didn't have that scheduling problem with AoPS classes because it is text based so the wifi requirement is mild, and the classes are weekly at 4:30pm PST.

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Tess - Which (former Landry) teacher do you have? Do you feel the once per week time is enough? How much time do they have in class to hear & speak German? Is the teacher a native speaker? 

 

Aracadia - The one huge negative for us for WTMA is the 3x/week meeting. It would tie us down SO much & possibly conflict all over the place. How efficient with time is the WTMA teacher? How's her classroom management? How is the teacher? DD does love the Blackboard interface.

 

CinV - Is BYU self-paced? OSU's German is at the bottom of our list because DD does much better with a live, weekly course.

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We only tried CLRC German in the summer; it was like an intro to see whether the student would like it. DD liked the teacher and wanted to continue for real, but we had too many things lined up. The teacher had PDFs and audio. I don't know how rigorous it is. I like CLRC because it's small so lots of opportunities to speak up. It was like that for French and Arabic, just a handful of kids, like 5-6 max. It's just like that for Greek 3, like 4-5 kids. Hopefully someone can chime in with more info. Landry, now Excelsior, tends to be huge classes although for French 3 there are just 6 kids, but not many opportunities to speak. Just listening to the teacher speak. Maybe I'm just difficult to please when it comes to language classes. I want all aspects!

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Arcadia - The one huge negative for us for WTMA is the 3x/week meeting. It would tie us down SO much & possibly conflict all over the place. How efficient with time is the WTMA teacher? How's her classroom management? How is the teacher? DD does love the Blackboard interface.

Each session is an hour so my "distractible" child has less problems maintaining his attention. I don't have any issue with the teacher or classroom management but I do find the course load light for a high school class if the child does not go beyond whatever is required for homework. His Saturday German class which is for middle school kids have a heavier load. I sign this kid up for the WTMA class because he does well if we do language daily. So short of a dual immersion school, or Concordia language camp, pairing a three times a week online class with a B&M Saturday class has work much better than just the B&M weekly class.

 

I bought the online version of the textbook and workbook (https://www.klett-usa.com/produkt/5667_10553/geni@l_klick_A1-geni@l_klick_A1_Online_Textbook_-_1-Yr_License/NP01160631302) used in the WTMA class for my "independent" child and made him do everything as revision for their Saturday B&M German class. This kid is my "underperforming" kid and a weekly 2.5 hrs B&M class fulfills part of his social needs as well as his German academic needs. He could self study but the once a week nagging from the teacher as well as 1hr of the 2.5hr class time spend on speech/conversation/drama suits him well.

 

So my two kids have different needs for the same language.

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Tess - Which (former Landry) teacher do you have? Do you feel the once per week time is enough? How much time do they have in class to hear & speak German? Is the teacher a native speaker?

 

Aracadia - The one huge negative for us for WTMA is the 3x/week meeting. It would tie us down SO much & possibly conflict all over the place. How efficient with time is the WTMA teacher? How's her classroom management? How is the teacher? DD does love the Blackboard interface.

 

CinV - Is BYU self-paced? OSU's German is at the bottom of our list because DD does much better with a live, weekly course.

I picked the WTMA German class *specifically* because of the three times weekly meeting* and it was been a really great one for DS who was "meh" about it previously. i can't stand German (I tried learning it myself as a teen and it was a disaster) so this class is all him. He really loves it.

* we do play hooky sometimes, such as tomorrow, going skiing.

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We used Deutsche Welle online - it's free, and is stuffed with activities, progress tests, etc, and will take you as far as level C2. 

 

We paired it with Deutsche Aktuell and a local native speaker for extra practice.  After a year of that, DS joined a local B&M HS at second-year, but is clearly operating at third or even fourth year proficiency compared to other students.

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Tess - Which (former Landry) teacher do you have? Do you feel the once per week time is enough? How much time do they have in class to hear & speak German? Is the teacher a native speaker? 

 

 

 

DS has Frau Cruz.  It's 90 min class once a week. He's on Wednesday, which isn't ideal b/c it means a lot of the work gets done over the weekend.  I think a Fri class would be good, you could have your weekend but still have time to get it all done during the week.  Right now ds is working a little every day Thur-Mon, sometimes Tue to get it all done for the Tue night deadline.  So my biggest issue with the class is the fact it is a Wednesday.  

 

She has office hours on Monday, but for a test week that is a little too late to start asking questions.  She's been great when DS has emailed her asking for more info.  The weekend is a slower response.  I know he has had to wait for textbook answers until Monday and still be studying for a test.  

 

The lady is not native, but spent time over there(if I recall at least a year or longer?).  She is talking and the kids are talking multiple times during class, so they are hearing it the full 90 min.  I do think it would be beneficial for twice a week.  However, DS likes the class.  I'm doing Duolingo while he does this class.  So helping him understand things is helping me ;-)  

 

I didn't know WTMA was 3/weeks.  That would be hard to manage, but what a great exposure!  Ideally I would like to see language be twice a week.  Mon/Th or Tues/Fri.  I haven't seen that anywhere.  

 

DS gets to pick where to do German 2.  I know he's probably going to do math online that is twice a week.  So how a 3 day/week German set up could fit our schedule I don't know...  We may end up back with Frau Cruz simply b/c of scheduling.  She uses the Deutsch Aktuell book.  You have audio files to listen to, text assignments(answers given next class), workbook assignments that are input for grade online, and tests(every other week-1chapter).  There were memory verses, and composer information on the tests.  And I know he had to do a verbal test one time separate of the writing test.  Like I said, he talks multiple times in class.  

 

I'm off to research some of these other options...  

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Ideally I would like to see language be twice a week.  Mon/Th or Tues/Fri.  I haven't seen that anywhere.  

There were memory verses, and composer information on the tests.

 

CLRC German 1 is Mon & Thurs this year. German 2 is Wed-Fri this year. Don't know what the schedule will be next year.

 

So, memory verses as in Bible verses or frequently used phrases? Composer information - is that music composer? That's in the textbook, then?

 

I'm familiar with (what was formerly) Landry's once-per-week class. I think it works really well for some classes & when the teacher populates the class page with lots of activities and supplements. At least, I think DD has gotten a lot out of her Chemistry once-per-week class. She actually likes that the class is on Wednesday so she can get a little work done on Thurs/Fri and finish up either on the weekend or Mon/Tues if she has a full weekend. (Her teacher's office hour is on Thursday, which is completely useless!)

 

Self-paced, self-directed doesn't work at all with my kid, so we'd probably pick a different language before going with BYU, Oklahoma State, or the recorded option at Homeschool Connections. It is good to have all the option listed in one place for other people, though, who might not have the same limitations in their student that I have in mine.  :gnorsi: I would love to do an intro German this summer, but I think this summer will already be too full.  :crying:

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DD took 2 semesters from Mr. G.  at Currclick.  She loved his class.    The only reason she changed was because he was not offering a German 3 equivalent.  

 

DD also has Frau Cruz for German 1.  Not sure what we will do next year.  I am afraid to change teachers. The text book is important.  Mr. G. used a different book.  There was a huge gap.  Mainly, because she used a different book for German 1.  Assignments were expected to be in a certain format...etc.  So, she was moved to German 1.  It was a huge blow to her.  But, she got past it and it has been an easy year for her so far.  She has realized that she learned a lot last year, just in a different order.

 

 

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Each session is an hour so my "distractible" child has less problems maintaining his attention. I don't have any issue with the teacher or classroom management but I do find the course load light for a high school class if the child does not go beyond whatever is required for homework. His Saturday German class which is for middle school kids have a heavier load. I sign this kid up for the WTMA class because he does well if we do language daily. So short of a dual immersion school, or Concordia language camp, pairing a three times a week online class with a B&M Saturday class has work much better than just the B&M weekly class.

I bought the online version of the textbook and workbook (https://www.klett-usa.com/produkt/5667_10553/geni@l_klick_A1-geni@l_klick_A1_Online_Textbook_-_1-Yr_License/NP01160631302) used in the WTMA class for my "independent" child and made him do everything as revision for their Saturday B&M German class. This kid is my "underperforming" kid and a weekly 2.5 hrs B&M class fulfills part of his social needs as well as his German academic needs. He could self study but the once a week nagging from the teacher as well as 1hr of the 2.5hr class time spend on speech/conversation/drama suits him well.

So my two kids have different needs for the same language.

  

I picked the WTMA German class *specifically* because of the three times weekly meeting* and it was been a really great one for DS who was "meh" about it previously. i can't stand German (I tried learning it myself as a teen and it was a disaster) so this class is all him. He really loves it.

* we do play hooky sometimes, such as tomorrow, going skiing.

Besides class time, how much time do your kids have to spend on homework, just a rough average? I'm actually not looking for a heavy workload class, just a slow steady progression is fine.

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Besides class time, how much time do your kids have to spend on homework, just a rough average? I'm actually not looking for a heavy workload class, just a slow steady progression is fine.

30mins or less for three times a week. The homework is typically due on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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CLRC German 1 is Mon & Thurs this year. German 2 is Wed-Fri this year. Don't know what the schedule will be next year.

 

So, memory verses as in Bible verses or frequently used phrases? Composer information - is that music composer? That's in the textbook, then?

 

 

 

The Bible Memory stuff is a short verse.  There might have been 3 in the fall, or just 2?  The music composers is stuff she's teaching.  They learn a short paragraph about the composer and the test info is easy to learn.  She plays it in class.  It's German culture basically she's exposing them to. 

 

My son does not like change.  I expect us to stay with Frau Cruz for German 2 next year if she's teaching it.  Wherever she ends up teaching.   And I see the point about changing...different focus from a teacher and all.  My son would be devastated to have to redo German 1 elsewhere and then 2.  He's only doing a language b/c I'm requiring it.  ;-)   While twice a week would be better IMO, he will stick to what he knows just to get it done.  

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Besides class time, how much time do your kids have to spend on homework, just a rough average? I'm actually not looking for a heavy workload class, just a slow steady progression is fine.

 

for my DS it depends on the week.  The book we use has 2 sections in a chapter.  So the first week of a chapter he does the tv portion for an hour(we do this on Sat).  He listens to audio files(10-25min depending on how many).  He does the text portion.  This can be 1 assignment or I've seen up to 5.  The Leestruck section is always an hour b/c he ends up needing to translate the entire thing to be able to answer the questions about it.  Then there is a workbook part that can be 3 sections but it's been more than 5 before. Again, there is always one section that isn't clear about what to answer and it takes longer to work on.  Once you finish it, you input it as an assessment online for a grade.  The text answers are given in class.  So this non test week I would say 15-45 min 4 days before the next class.   

 

On a test week he has all the normal work PLUS time to study for the test and take the test.  Those test weekends we spend more time at home so he can study.  I help quizzing him, so it's both of us working on German over the weekend.  Lots of discussion on the work to do simply b/c some of the vocabulary isn't known yet and we have to talk through what makes sense in some situations.  I'm way more involved than I had hoped to be.  I'm learning the material and after he does the work we talk about the work and discuss if anything doesn't make sense and such.  Him telling me about the work helps him understand it more ;-)  

 

So some days 15 min, other days over an hour.  It varies so much and that is hard on my DS.  He's not good working by a timer, so he has to work by spreading it out in what we think is balanced.  Sometimes it just isn't. 

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My son takes German through a former Landry teacher at Excelsior, Frau Gleason and she is the one who actually designed the courses in the first place.

 

It's a good course and he devoted about an hour per day.

Sounds like each teacher is different. We have French and Spanish at Excelsior. It's definitely not one hour per day, but I'm not complaining. We take them for the grammar instruction, since we have a French tutor and italki to round out the lack of conversation. If I want to add in another language, it'll have to be geared more towards middle school kids.

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Besides class time, how much time do your kids have to spend on homework, just a rough average? I'm actually not looking for a heavy workload class, just a slow steady progression is fine.

Approx nothing.

Ok, I exaggerate but it feels like it. Yet, it seems they're making progress.

Mine could be doing better on the class so don't go by what I say. I'm more focused on his DE classes (bc: grades) so this is more of an extracurricular for us. He loves loves loves this class, so I feel ok calling it "fun" ;)

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My son takes German through a former Landry teacher at Excelsior, Frau Gleason and she is the one who actually designed the courses in the first place.

 

It's a good course and he devoted about an hour per day.

 

DD may decide to switch to Her for German 2.  We chose Frau Cruz because she offered grading/quizzes/tests for the semester.  Frau Gleason also has a CLEP class.  So that is a plus.  And she does use the same books(I think, unless she changed when she moved from Landry to Excelsior?) that we are currently using.

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DD may decide to switch to Her for German 2.  We chose Frau Cruz because she offered grading/quizzes/tests for the semester.  Frau Gleason also has a CLEP class.  So that is a plus.  And she does use the same books(I think, unless she changed when she moved from Landry to Excelsior?) that we are currently using.

 

Is Gleason planning on doing grading next year at Excelsior?

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Is Gleason planning on doing grading next year at Excelsior?

 

I spoke with her on the phone.  I believe she will be doing a full class next year(grading and exams).  She just doesn't have the time this year since she took on an extra class when Landry closed.

 

Our kids must be in the same class.:)

Edited by rjand6more
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  • 2 weeks later...

30mins or less for three times a week. The homework is typically due on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Just to clarify, DD has had almost no German except for a year of Saturday German school a long time ago. Is it 30 minutes of homework on MWF even for a beginner? I'm about to enroll and I know she would love to learn German, but I'm trying to keep everything lighter due to more time-consuming classes and activities.

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I'm leaning toward CLRC with the native speaker even though it is only an hour twice per week. (Schedule for 2017-2018 is out now.) I like that the materials are fairly cheap, but I'd like to see a review or two. I am waiting to register until the rest of the online schedules are out.

 

DD would probably love a lighter class, but she also loves languages & wants to learn them well. If it is too much, we can always move her to WTMA the following year for German 2. (Right now, she'll have classes M-T-Th if she does the CLRC class. If she did WTMA German, she would have classes every day of the week!)

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Just to clarify, DD has had almost no German except for a year of Saturday German school a long time ago. Is it 30 minutes of homework on MWF even for a beginner?

Yes. The class assume zero background/knowledge. It is less than 30mins per homework but my kid would take his time. If he concentrate like this morning, he was done in 10mins. He is not my language kid and needs all the spiral review.

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Just to clarify, DD has had almost no German except for a year of Saturday German school a long time ago. Is it 30 minutes of homework on MWF even for a beginner? I'm about to enroll and I know she would love to learn German, but I'm trying to keep everything lighter due to more time-consuming classes and activities.

Confirmed. ds was a true true beginner.
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We just signed up for CLRC German (scheduling conflict with WTMA German class) so hoping to see some of you there. :)

My kid is an absolute beginner.

 

We are narrowing down next year.  

 

Stay with Frau Cruz.  No clue where she will be.  Since other schools have schedules coming out I'm guessing she's going to stay independent?  Conflicts with math online class.  Would force me to find another math class. 

 

Frau Gleason/Excelsior.  Emailed questions, got great response.  Schedule would allow a math class online.  

 

German School local.   We visit Sat to check this out.  I'm hopeful that it will be enough and Ds will like it.  It's just slightly more in cost than Excelsior, but all those native speakers has got to be a higher quality situation.  

 

After we visit the school on Sat we will make a decision and get signed up for German 2 somewhere. 

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I love the idea of three days a week but the only school that I see that goes beyond German 2 is Potter's School. My daughter is also looking at German but as she will be a freshman next year she has the option to get to German 4. Am I missing somewhere?

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I love the idea of three days a week but the only school that I see that goes beyond German 2 is Potter's School. My daughter is also looking at German but as she will be a freshman next year she has the option to get to German 4. Am I missing somewhere?

Well, WTMA just started German last year so I assume if interest, they will continue the sequence.

Frankly, it is hard to find upper level foreign language classes (French AP, anyone?) because there's very little interest. People do their 2 years or whatever and move on. At German 4, we will probably dual enroll and deal with it that way (same thing we are doing with French).

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I love the idea of three days a week but the only school that I see that goes beyond German 2 is Potter's School. My daughter is also looking at German but as she will be a freshman next year she has the option to get to German 4. Am I missing somewhere?

WTMA will probably be adding a level every year. Last year they only had German 1. So the odds are your DD will be fine going if she opts for WTMA. I don't think CLRC plans on adding upper levels. I don't want to speak for them, but they haven't added anything this year.

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According to the CLRC German teacher, German 1 has roughly 30 minutes of homework per day not counting the two hours of online class per week. It doesn't sound like she plans to add a German 3 class at CLRC.

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She didn't specifically say there would never be a German 3 class. I asked, "Also, what do you recommend to follow your German 2 class or what do your students usually do once they have completed your German 2 class when they wish to go further with the language?" Here was her answer:

 

If a student did that all through German I and II, he would be very well equipped to take a German I college class.

 

It sort of answered my question (after her German 2, take a German 1 class at college), but it was disappointing for multiple reasons. We still plan to go forward with CLRC for German 1 next year. If the teacher isn't a fit or the class isn't what we are looking for, we still have senior year to go with another option (WMTA, TPS, or OSU Online).

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If you plan for her to take more than two years you should probably strongly cosnider German Online by OK state.  I didn't think ahead when choosing Landry (now Excelsior) and there's going to be a problem when my son finishes year two.  He will have to switch over to German Online and who knows if the program will mesh?

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DD is a sophomore this year, so she only has two years left anyway, so we aren't looking for a program that needs more than two years. I'm thinking of others in this thread who do need more than two years or people who run across this thread later. So, your advice might be really helpful for others who are in a different boat. (DD will have 4+ years of Spanish in addition to two years of Latin, so I'm not worried about her FL requirement. She just loves to learn languages.)

 

I didn't realize that Homeschool Connections also offers German (only levels 1 & 2 again, though).

 

OSU would be my last or second to last resort (tied with TPS) because DD really needs the live component of a class to stay on track time-wise. It is possible she'll be mature enough in another year to pace herself adequately, but she definitely won't be by this fall. It is a case of "know your student."

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In that case, I would recommend Excelsior Classes - the German courses from Susan Gleason were originally designed by her for Landry and have been used for several years.  My son is learning a LOT of German, and the class is fun, with some interesting little projects, audio files that were made by the textbook publisher, and online, workbook and textbook components, plus a lively live class every week (fairly lively, at times it can get a little boring but any class can.)  She also is starting a "german club" and if your student actually "attends" and participates, can put "German club" on their transcript.  THey are also assinged to listen to German Christian TV online, so they train their ear for the sound of the language.  It's a pretty full course for a first year course!

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In that case, I would recommend Excelsior Classes - the German courses from Susan Gleason were originally designed by her for Landry and have been used for several years.  My son is learning a LOT of German, and the class is fun, with some interesting little projects, audio files that were made by the textbook publisher, and online, workbook and textbook components, plus a lively live class every week (fairly lively, at times it can get a little boring but any class can.)  She also is starting a "german club" and if your student actually "attends" and participates, can put "German club" on their transcript.  THey are also assinged to listen to German Christian TV online, so they train their ear for the sound of the language.  It's a pretty full course for a first year course!

 

We just signed up DS for German 2 with Gleason at Excelsior.  He didn't want to leave his other teacher(also former Landry) but after talking with Gleason and hearing others here talk about her class I decided it was the best option for my boy.   I'm torn about the German club though and won't decide about it until last minute. I hadn't thought about it being on a transcript...

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