There are many reasons to learn German at GSSB and to dive deep into German culture: Our fantastic teachers, a close community of fellow students, and fun activities in and out of class are just some of them.
In Europe, about 100 Million people speak German as their native language: German is the only official language of both Germany and Austria. It is also one of the official languages of Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Speaking German opens numerous opportunities for international careers not only in German-speaking countries but all over the world!
Germany has a tremendously rich cultural heritage which continues to impact the US. With an estimated size of approximately 43 million in 2019, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups in the US. German speaking composers, philosophers, and authors have changed the way we think and live. An understanding of German culture helps us to explore the many facets of a long history, traditions, and current developments. All GSSB students are invited to take part in German cultural events such as Oktoberfest, Lanternwalk, Fasching etc.
German is Europe’s science powerhouse and one of the most important languages in the scientific community. For high-quality research output, German ranks third in the world after the United States and China. From 2015 to 2019, Germany accounted for 24% of total share of research publications in Europe and 7.5% of the total global Share. It is not surprising that Germany hosts more than 400,000 international students as of 2022 statistics – Germany ranks in the top five countries in the world by the number of international students!
Benefits of Bilingualism
According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, there are multiple benefits to learning a second language. Some, but not all, include:
It’s Never Too Late to Learn Another Language
Beginning at an early age is always best, because it improves cognitive abilities and development. But this doesn’t mean that any age is too late to learn a language. Studies show that there is no single age cut-off when the brain is not able to learn a second language.
Multiple Cognitive Benefits
There is also evidence that speaking multiple languages helps with attention control on cognitive tasks and helps with memory as well. Problem solving is another aspect which is sought after in academic and professional settings. Students who speak multiple languages have an advantage, in that they already see the world as having multiple solutions and answers. A student who has been exposed to multiple languages from infancy on, has already learned that there are multiple words for a single object, one in one language and another in another language. What is even more fascinating is that many bilingual and multilingual students are able to transfer skills between languages!
Students who learn a second language proficiently have higher academic achievement on standardized tests, such as the ACTs and SATs and tend to have higher academic performances at the college level. Bilingual (and multilingual) students also have an increased linguistic awareness.
Learning multiple languages also translates into the sciences. For example, studies show that students who learn multiple languages are able to hypothesize better. This is attributed to being able to see multiple solutions or answers to a single question.
Benefits of Learning a Second Language Doesn’t Stop at Graduation
There is also evidence that learning a second language helps to delay age-related cognitive losses. The theory is that switching and using two or more languages helps the brain to stay active. And just like you need to exercise your muscles, multiple languages helps to exercise the brain.