Kathleen Schroeder-Brass, Coordinator
The German Language School Saskatoon/Deutsche Sprachschule Concordia was rejuvenated in the fall of 1983 by Leslie Angele with the support of the Multicultural Council and the German Concordia Club. Classes for different levels were held Monday and Wednesday for adults and on Saturday for children.
At first classes were held at St. Matthew’s School before moving to Holy Cross School and then to the present location of Aden Bowman Collegiate. Some of the first teachers were Agnes Amundrud, Doris Bietenholz, Linda Prefontaine, Rita Verma and Moni McKinstry.
Since its founding in 1983 the German Language School has had four principals: Leslie Angele, Byron van Bryce, Marie Hüttemann, Gabi Waidelich-Harrison and now Kathleen Schroeder-Brass.
Starting a language school is not an easy job. The principal has to find teachers who will commit their time and effort to the school. Obtaining teaching material is a challenge. Also, applying for grants to keep the school running is a very important part of the coordinator’s job.
At its high point the school had more than 130 students enrolled. Cultural activities include: St. Martins Feier, St. Nikolaus Besuch, Weihnachtsfeier, Kinderfasching and spending time at the language camp. The school year usually ends with a picnic.
- St. Martin’s Celebration and Potluck Dinner
- Christmas Card Contest
- St. Nikolaus Visit
- Open House
- Multicultural Choral Festival
Typically 70-80 students have enrolled each year. Besides learning through schoolbooks and workbooks, each teacher also has individual ideas for more class activities such as crafts, picnics, playing games or singing together.
As for teaching materials, the school has a library with books, audio-visual materials and games for all age groups. Teachers also create their own games, flashcards and posters.
Just as many other language schools, the Saskatoon German Language School is also a Heritage Language School. The Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages (SOHL) operates as the umbrella organization for schools in Saskatchewan. As an example of SOHL’s work, workshops are offered to assist language teachers in a variety of topics related to teaching.
Currently the school offers several children and adult classes.
Classes start at the beginning of September and run until May and include:
- Children level age 5-13
- High School credit classes for grades 10, 11 and 12
- Adult beginner, intermediate and advanced classes
- Conversation class