Preschool-12 Bilingual Education in
Three Locations in the Bay Area

Saturday School

German Saturday School at GISSV

All classes meet at the GISSV Mountain View campus, 310 Easy Street.

Open to Everyone Interested in Learning German

On weekends, our Mountain View campus is home to the German Saturday School at GISSV, an independent school offering a comprehensive and carefully designed program for students of all ages, from preschoolers to adults, interested in learning the German language and culture. The program serves learners of all levels, from those without prior knowledge of German to those with some rudimentary or even advanced competency in the language.

To gain German language and cultural proficiency, our staff exclusively teaches in German and provides interactive feedback in the target language. Intent upon strengthening students’ communicative skills, we focus on student-centered instruction and perceive the students as active participants in language acquisition. Partner- and group work, role plays and interviews provide a stimulating and challenging learning environment and constitute important components in our teaching philosophy. To enrich the experience of learning German, we utilize films, multimedia and online materials. The computer facilities at GISSV provide excellent support for our Saturday School. Last but not least, we offer extensive mentoring and advise our students in their course of study within the parameters of the Saturday School curriculum.

The core curriculum of the Saturday School follows the Thuringian curriculum (German only) for elementary schools as adopted by the GISSV and modified for the goals of the Saturday School, the general guidelines of „Deutsch als Fremdsprache“ (German as a Foreign Language), the guidelines of the The Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) and the nationally recognized standards by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Our Mission

The Saturday School at the German International School of Silicon Valley fosters language immersion as a method of teaching German as a second language. With the first day in class, from toddlers to adult learners, the Saturday School teachers use German as their primary means of instruction.

Why Bilingualism?

  • Bilingualism has economic advantages in life reflecting the global economic changes
  • Bilingualism nurtures flexible and divergent thinking
  • Bilingualism increases the self-esteem and the self-confidence
  • Bilingualism enables thinking outside the cultural box
  • Bilingualism opens borders and communication systems

Why German?

  • German is the second-most-often taught foreign language in Europe (Over 100 million Europeans are native speakers of German placing German among the top ten in the number of native speakers among world languages)
  • The largest concentration of German speakers outside Europe is in the United States and Canada.
  • Germany is one of the largest contributors to research and development in the world
  • Germany plays an vital leadership role economically, financially, and politically role in the European Union and the world
  • Germany remains powerful in the arts, literature, philosophy, and psychology


Questions? or Tel: (650) 254 0748, Fax: (650) 254 0749

Saturday School Faculty & Staff

Aaron Clegg, 6th Grade Teacher

Learning a new language usually makes people laugh.I certainly did.I laughed through high school German classes in Eureka, California, where I grew up, and through a year in Germany as a high school exchange student, and through upper division college German courses. Of course, languages are serious business.

more about Aaron Clegg, 6th Grade Teacher
Jutta Cottarel, 3rd Grade Teacher

Native from Germany, my family and I have lived in the US since more than 20 years.Our journey began in New York and then Boston were both my husband and I worked as scientists in the Biotech Industry. After our 3 children were born, I decided to transfer into the field of education, which was a very rewarding experience.

more about Jutta Cottarel, 3rd Grade Teacher
Karin Denson, 5th Grade Teacher

I was born in Poland and moved to Germany at the age of 6. When I entered the first grade, I didn't speak any German at all. Maybe it was because of my great appreciation for my first teachers, who supported and nourished my joy of learning and my self-confidence in this new situation, that I decided to become a teacher myself.

more about Karin Denson, 5th Grade Teacher
Katharina Eldada, DSD I and DSD II Teacher

When my father accepted an assignment abroad, I found myself at a German Auslandschule at age 8. Like most expatriate children, I did not speak the local language. Yet, I was always envious of the bilingual/bicultural students in school who could function in both worlds. Years later, I wanted my daughter to also benefit from speaking all the languages in her background – which got her stuck growing up with four languages.

more about Katharina Eldada, DSD I and DSD II Teacher
Conny Fiala, 8th Grade Teacher

I grew up in Southern Germany, a 5 minute drive from the French border. After finishing my degree in German and Biology at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, I spent nine months traveling in different countries around the world practicing my English and Spanish, and had an absolutely wonderful experience.

more about Conny Fiala, 8th Grade Teacher
Nordira Lancaster, 3rd Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and speak both Uzbek and Russian fluently. In my high school years I became interested in German, and wished to one day be able to study at a University in Germany. After finishing my first Master's Degree in Tashkent, I received a scholarship from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) to study in Germany.

more about Nordira Lancaster, 3rd Grade Teacher
Anja Seibt, 4th Grade Teacher

Literature and language arts have always been near to my heart. Growing up in Berlin, the capital of Germany, I immerged myself in the arts through books and theater. In the late 1990s my husband and I came to Silicon Valley and fell in love with the area. We decided to settle and raise our family here.

more about Anja Seibt, 4th Grade Teacher


Is German a prerequisite for my child to attend?

Yes and No. No German is required for the elementary level. Yes, at the intermediate level (age 9 and upward). If the student has no prior knowledge of German s/he has to work at least one hour/week in addition to our 2.5 school hours/week.

Can my child start school at the beginning of the second semester?

Yes. Your child can also join our classes in the middle of each school year, provided that we have space available.

How are students placed?

Students are assigned to classes based on factors like age, maturity level, academic performance, social needs, learning styles, and possibly a placement test.

If I / my child have never taken a German language class what course is appropriate?

Students register for a beginning German language course according to their age.

How can parents actively participate in the German Saturday School?

There are many events for parents to get involved in our school such as volunteering at festive events or attending our annual parent meeting.

I / My child registered for a course that is either too difficult or too easy. What should I do?

Speak with your instructor and we will find another class that matches your skill level.

As a native or heritage speaker of German, do I have to take a placement exam?

Yes. You are possibly required to take the placement exam. Consult with the principal.

My children come from a German speaking background, however, we do not speak German at home. How do you place our child?

No problem. We place children according to their age and ability.

How do I register?

Click on online registration located on the GISSV website under Saturday School. Fill out first the contact information, second the emergency form, next proceed to select a course, and finally pay the tuition and registration fee. You will receive a confirmation e-mail.

Does the German Saturday School follow the regular school calendar?

Almost. We start every Saturday after Labor Day and finish the third Saturday in January. Students attend 15 sessions per semester.

What is the earliest age my child can attend the German Saturday School?

We offer classes from toddler to adult. Minimum age is 12 months.

Is it possible for my child to start at German Saturday School partway through the year?

Yes. If there is a place available in a class suitable for your child it may be possible. Principal, student, and parents meet and discuss the available options.

What materials or text books will my child need?

For each class parents & students will receive a syllabus with detailed information about the course and textbooks. The textbooks are ordered by the school.

Will there be any homework?

Most class levels have some basic assignments and vocabulary to learn each week, however, this will not require a huge huge time commitment.

Are all the teachers at German Saturday School native speakers?

All teachers at the German Saturday School are native speakers or have native speaker quality.

Do the classes match up with regular school classes and will my child change classes each year?

We determine classes by age, maturity, and skill level. Each class is fairly even in regards to age.

Can I arrange to have a tour of the Saturday School at GISSV?

Each year there is an Open House, usually in August, that prospective students and parents are very welcome to attend. Individual tours can also be arranged by simply contacting the principal.

What are the fees for the German Saturday School and when do I have to pay them?

Cost per semester: $525 ($475 2nd family member; $425 3rd family member - grades 1-10). All prices are per semester, non-refundable and due on enrollment. Textbooks and registration fee are included.

Is there a report system in place?

Children receive a mid-year report card and a final report card at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to discuss and monitor their child’s progress throughout the year and can always talk to the teacher either before or after class.

What are the hours of the school?

School runs from 9:30 am to 12 pm on Saturdays. Children have a short break during the morning when they can have a snack (bring one from home) and spend some time in the playground. Children are supervised at all times. We also offer classes during the week (evenings/day). See our schedule.

Where is the school located?

Our address and phone number are:

German Saturday School at German International School of Silicon Valley
310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: (+1) 650-254-0748 • Fax : (+1) 650-254-0749

How big are the classes?

Class sizes vary, from a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 8. Only occasionally do we have 9 or 10 students in a class.

Can I attend a class to get a first impression of how things work?

Of course, just let us know and we can arrange a visit to one of the classes.


For all questions relating to the Saturday School, please email us at

This address reaches the Head of Saturday School Jennifer Marsh and the Deputy Head of Saturday School Britta Tyschak.