Open Letter To Save German Language Education in the Iowa City Schools
Dear Superintendent Stephen Murley and the Board of the Iowa City School District,
Dr. Evan Torner
Dr. Vance Byrd
Dr. Berna Gueneli
Dr. Henning Wrage
9 responses to “Open Letter To Save German Language Education in the Iowa City Schools”
Great letter, Evan. Save the German program!!!
Don’t guess: German language is the official language in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium… and working language in the European Union. There are about 120 million native speakers.
I wholeheartedly agree with this appeal to prevent losing German in the Iowa City school district. Understanding in another language brings perspective to everything you learn and broadens your ability to problem solve. I have no stake as an teacher of German, but I speak as an Iowa citizen concerned about overall educational excellence in our state. I know from my professional experience that German is an important world language and Iowa City students in particular should have a choice to learn it.
Please add my signature to the list! I’m a professional translator and have a German husband and three amazing children, all because of my start in German language learning in Iowa City schools in grades 7-12.
Please add my signature to the list. I studied German at Northwest Junior High and West High (1975-79). Thanks to the ICCSD German program, I was awarded a Fulbright to study at the University of Hamburg in 1983-84. Thanks to the Fulbright, I was admitted to the Ph.D. program in philosophy at Penn State and had a 22-year career as a philosophy professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati. My life was enriched immensely by my study of German in junior high and high school.
Please add my name to the list. Because I took German at West, I have been able to communicate freely with German engineering colleagues, and even was able to translate a handwritten German techical calculation from the 1970s with just a dictionary at hand.
Dave Gerlits, Class of 1973
I have always been proud that my high school, Cedar Rapids Washington, taught 5 languages. Now it has more. I went on to enjoy a junior year abroad in Vienna (a very attractive German-speaking city with wonderful theaters) and receive my Ph.D. in German from Iowa (another program that has been cut) and have been a German professor in Alabama (Auburn ) and Texas for 30 years.
Don’t forget that Germany is also one of the most popular places for tourists to visit. German may seem superfluous to many, but I frequently encounter people who work for a German company like Siemens or BASF, are being transferred to Germany, or urgently need personal or business translations. Often they wish they could learn German in a jiffy and would pay a great deal for instant proficiency. Unfortunately there is no such thing.
High schools in Houston are currently advertising for quite a few German teachers.
Good luck to protestors,
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