Picking up German is child’s play

As adults, learning a new language is a daunting task, a struggle for many, and some don’t even bother to try, however there is a magical stage in early childhood development where children are like little sponges, seemingly absorbing language and other concepts into their minds with little difficulty.

Teaching a child many languages has been shown to help them develop cognitively and increase in social confidence as they enjoy the benefits of being able to communicate ideas and feelings in a variety of ways.

 

 

The Preoccupational Stage

According to Jean Piaget, a Swiss born biologist and psychologist, the Preoccupational Stage occurs in a child’s life from 2 years till 7 years of age. One of the major advancements in this stage is speech and language acquisition, through which children do the important work of making sense of their world and their place in it. This is done through play, experimenting and questioning. At this important stage most children are also working out moral dilemmas and becoming less egocentric.

 

 

German school in Durban

The Deutsche Schule Durban (DSD), a small, independent school affiliated with ISASA has traditionally had mostly pupils from homes where at least one parent speaks German, but increasingly they have found there are more families wanting to give their child the benefit of learning German as an additional language. The school is starting a toddler group in addition to their existing Kindergarten classes in January 2018. This means children as young as 18 months can begin their school career at the DSD, a fantastic age for children to playfully and easily pick up another language.

The school is premised on the belief that multilingualism is an important part of an education towards a global future. Qualified teachers see to it that the children’s cognitive, emotional and motor skills are developed and fostered through carefully planned activities. Their insistence that children with no prior knowledge of German must be enrolled from as young an age as possible, so that they can learn German before entering Grade R, is based on the knowledge that language acquisition and mastery is easier the younger a child is when introduced to any language.

The school recently completed a new extension which has created space for the toddler group as well as another classroom as the school grows from strength to strength, continually improving its infrastructure to meet the increased needs of the community it serves.

 

Why DSD?

The school provides a warm, family-centred environment that makes learners and their parents feel welcome. It boasts modern teaching methods and a holistic view of education, using a combination of the South African and German (Baden Württemberg) curricula. Classes are small, allowing individual attention for learners and there are sports, music, arts and religious education classes incorporated in the school day as well as computer lessons beginning from Grade R. The school has a well-stocked library and very supportive teaching staff.

For those not living close to the school (based in Cowies Hill), there is a school bus service.

 

Auf dem Weg zur #SustainableLivingExpo. On our way to the Expo in partnership with #ecoschools

A post shared by Deutsche Schule Durban (@deutscheschuledurban) on

 

Community

The DSD is also an integral part of the Westville community, hosting events that are very popular and attract many visitors, including the annual Christmas Market and the Music & Lantern Festival.

 

Visit the school’s website at www.dsdurban.co.za for more information or phone 031 267 1307 or email [email protected] to find out more about all the DSD has to offer.

  AUTHOR
Eve Morris
Photographer and Feature Writer

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