About Us

About the German Language School Conference



The German Language School Conference (GLSC) is the national umbrella organization for private German language schools in the United States. Our member schools, which operate mostly on Saturdays, serve children from preschool through high school and adults.

Our organization projects a positive image of the language and culture of the German-speaking countries and provides a forum for pedagogical, administrative, social and other issues. We offer all teachers continuous education and create a setting for sharing pedagogical ideas and professional experiences.

The GLSC enjoys the support of the German government (Bundesverwaltungsamt/Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the German Language Consultants in the US), the Verein für deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland (VDA), the German Embassy in Washington and its affiliated Consulates, the Literary Society Foundation, and others. It is an associated member of the Weltverband Deutscher Auslandsschulen (WDA) and represents its member schools. F. Undütsch GmbH is an underwriter of the annual Teacher Development Forum.

History

Ethnic mother tongue schools in the USA predate the advent of public schooling and exist today mostly as private institutions complementing public education. The oldest schools still in operation date from 1874 (Boston) and 1892 (New York). However, the majority of the private German language schools in operation today in the United States were established after 1945. At that time, as well as now, parents in German-speaking communities realized the paucity of German language and culture programs in many parts of the country. They also recognized the lack of continuous, long-term instructional programs of the German language as well as the absence of classes informing and teaching about the products and practices of the German culture. These concerns along with an urgent need for high proficiency courses for advanced, native and near-native speakers inspired these committed parents to establish private German language schools to serve their specific needs. While the enrollment figures change from year to year, the present number of students in these schools is estimated at about 6000. Many schools prepare their students to take the National German Exam of the AATG, AP Examinations, the German Language Diploma (Deutsches Sprachdiplom), the Examinations for the Levels A2, B1, C1 of the Common European Framework of References (CEFR) as well as additional local tests.

To link these schools within a central organization for information and support, the and the German language schools in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania founded the German Language School Conference (GLSC) in 1977. The GLSC was incorporated on April 22, 1978. The GLSC has grown from five founding school members to over 40 German language schools and school clusters today.

Goals

    • To assist parents and other individuals as well as groups interested in establishing private German language schools
    • To assist its member schools in teaching the German language and culture on all proficiency levels
    • To assist its member schools in promoting a positive image and furthering good-will and respect for the heritage of German-speaking peoples
    • To assist its schools in selecting and producing teaching material as well as official testing instruments for articulation into further programs in the US and Germany
    • To offer a forum for a variety of topics concerning the German language, literature and culture and to provide venues for the exchange of ideas and opinions
    • To enhance the professional development of its members on the basis of close cooperation, academic collegiality and fellowship


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