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    I am very excited to be teaching German and European History at Grapevine High School. This is my fifth year teaching at GHS, and I love working with students and wonderful colleagues.
     
    In today's increasingly global society, learning a foreign language and multiple cultures is crucial. I would like to share with you a few reasons why I think the German language and culture are crucial for us to understand. 
     
    1)  German is the language of many and the language of money throughout Europe.  More than 120 million Europeans speak it as their native tongue.  Also, the European Union's central bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany, making German one of the most common business languages in the world.
     
    2)  Germany is among the top three world economies and is also consistently No. 1 in exports, outpacing countries like the United States and China.  Also, German-speaking Switzerland boasts one of the highest standards of living in the world.
     
    3)  German multinational corporations have extensive operations in the United States.  As a result, many major companies have said that they would hire a candidate with knowledge of German before hiring someone with no knowledge of German, all other qualifications being equal.
     
    4)  German speakers have proven themselves to be among the most innovative people throughout the course of history.  With names like Mozart, Beethoven, Gutenberg, Einstein, Goethe, Schiller and Hertz, it is no wonder that German is one of three primary scholastic languages (joined by French and English).
     
    5)  Germans spend more money as tourists than most other nationalities, topping 91 billion Euros in 2007 alone.
     
    6)  German is second only to English as the most common language in cyberspace.
     
    7)  Chances are pretty good that YOU are German.  An estimated 42.8 million Americans can trace some or all of their lineage to German or German-speaking ancestry.
      
    8)  English is actually a Germanic language.  Therefore, much of what you will learn in German you already know in English.  Try translating the following German passage, and you might surprise yourself at how much German you already know:  Meine Schwester hat braunes Haar. Sie ist intelligent. Sie studiert Medizin in Berlin. Sie kann gut singen.
     
    9)  Adding German during your eighth grade or freshman year will give you ample time to earn the credits necessary to graduate on the recommended plan.  Also, if you have taken Spanish or French, then you have a good foundation for adding German.
     
    I hope that helps you see why studying German can really benefit you.  I look forward to seeing you in class!
     
    Bis bald!
     
    Kristen Oviatt