Information for K-12 Educators

Are you teaching German? Are you interested in adding German to the languages offered in your school district? Would you like to get involved in SPARK?

Map of Spark LabsIn the school year 2020/21 we are partnering with colleges and universities in four regions. These inaugural SPARK Labs are located in the Northeast, Southeast, Texas and the Southwest and the Midwest.

Are you interested in partnering with a SPARK Lab? Here is how SPARK works:

Colleges, universities, and high schools work with the AATG and the Goethe-Institut to provide training for German majors and future German teachers to become SPARK instructors. After successfully completing their initial training, SPARK instructors will teach German to young learners in after school programs. Where possible, SPARK instructors will be granted appropriate credits by their home institutions.

What does SPARK offer?

  1. Ready-to-use, flexible, and adaptable teaching units and materials designed for use with elementary, middle, and high school students
  2. Professional development opportunities for advanced high school students and undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a German teaching career
  3. Access to the Goethe-Institut’s Deutsch Lehren Lernen online courses where aspiring teachers use their advanced German language skills to learn strategies for engaging young learners in German language lessons
  4. Certificates of completion for successful instructors and participants
  5. Comprehensive program support from professional coordinators

Who benefits?

  1. Young learners in SPARK after school programs get to know Germany and cultures of the German-speaking world.
  2. Families access quality after school programming that teaches students a new language and fosters intercultural competence.
  3. High school and college students studying German strengthen their own German language proficiency and gain valuable work experience while sharing what they have learned.
  4. Students interested in exploring a teaching career improve their instructional skills and learn how to facilitate interactive lessons in the target language.
  5. Participating college and university faculty have access to high quality materials and professional development opportunities and join the national SPARK network of German instructors, curriculum developers, and trainers
  6. Local programs benefit from quality instruction and more highly qualified teachers in the future. German instruction in after school programs connects communities to global cultures.


Role of College Faculty

  1. Identify participating college students
  2. Train, supervise, and mentor participating college students
  3. Identify potential schools and collaborating organizations
  4. Serve as a point of contact for students, schools, regional coordinators, and the Goethe-Institut and AATG


Role of K-12 teachers

  1. Partner with existing SPARK Labs to support the development and implementation of German in after school programs
  2. Become a SPARK Lab by offering after school program at your feeder schools
  3. Identify future German teachers and mentor college/university students
  4. Infuse existing German programs with new ideas and input
  5. Advocate for new German programs in order to ensure that German is offered in feeder schools and across one’s school district

Who supports SPARK for German?

The Goethe-Institut and the AATG are grateful that the SPARK program has been met with enthusiastic interest from educational institutions at all levels. It is thanks to the generous support of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office that we are able use this program to spark interest in German in communities across the United States.

German is for ALL

Connect with a SPARK Lab

Please complete this application if you are interested in connecting with a SPARK Lab in your area:

For inquiries, please contact us at

Please stay tuned for more information as we continue to roll out the program to additional regions in the US.