Cultural Responsiveness in Germany

Lisa Hacker
Special Education
Intern at Department of Defense Schools – Germany

We have a student who attended German kindergarten and came to Kaiserslautern Elementary School at the end of first grade. He is fluent in German and English. At such a young age, it is inspiring to see him fluent in two languages. Since he has been at Kaiserslautern Elementary School, he has made a so much progressBlog photo 1 edit in reading and vocabulary. On occasion, I have him speak German to me and teach me words. He taught me how to count to ten and say “how’s it going?” Living in Germany I was able to experience the German culture, learn the language (at least enough to get by), travel to different places, and I was lucky enough to bring what I had learned back into the classroom and connect it with some of my students lives. At WMU in the Special Education Program, we always learned about being culturally responsive in our classroom, but I never had a good opportunity to do that. Getting to see German culture firsthand and then bring that knowledge back into the classroom was a great experience. I built a really good rapport with this student in my attempts to understand his language and his culture. He felt that I was trying and I could tell he appreciated it. He has also sparked my interest into pursing a hobby of learning German in hopes of returning to this beautiful place someday!

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