Classes offered at the Santa Monica German School location
4 – 5 year old students
Introduction to the German language and culture in three steps:
1. Working on oral comprehension
2. Motivating students to speak achieved through games, songs, crafts and
additional fun activities
3. Progression in writing and reading
6 – 8 year old students
The focus is on expanding vocabulary and verbal skills through age appropriate topics and a variety of activities. With the introduction to basic German grammar, writing skills will also be promoted. A1 Testing starts.
Unterstufe II / Mittelstufe:
9 – 12 year old students
Emphasis on vocabulary enrichment and development of writing and grammar skills in preparation for A2 Testing.
(School Principal / Teacher Mittelstufe)
Kirsten was born in Germany and earned her BA and MA in Sociology (Third World Development Policy) from the University of Bielefeld. While attending University, she spent two years in Malawi and Senegal, doing research and working with local communities. Kirsten moved to the United States 21 years ago. After moving to L.A., she worked as a Program Coordinator at the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation as well as USC’s Multimedia Program.
She currently holds the California Multi-Subject Teaching Credentials as well as a BCLAD (Bilingual Education certificate) which she earned in 2014 from CAL State Teach. Kirsten Paul has been a full time teacher at Goethe International Charter School for the last six years, teaching Language Arts, Math, Social Sciences and Sciences in German to a student body with a broad range of German language levels. For the last three years, Kirsten has worked as a 5th grade teacher. Before that, she worked primarily in third grade. She has a lot of experience preparing students for the A1 and A2 language proficiency test. Kirsten is a founding parent of Goethe International Charter School.
Kirsten lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 17 year old son and her 14 year old daughter.
Laura Sanders (Unterstufe)
Lara Juliette Sanders is an award-winning entertainment professional, currently based in Los Angeles, California. She holds a Master of Communications in film, public relations, media and business affairs. Sanders is German native, bilingual English and French. She works in the US as an executive producer, director and author, and for 15 years, she is distributing films all over the world and works in film financing, dialog coaching and is working for Talent Consult LA, a consulting company for actors. Lara’s work includes a Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Director for the film “CELEBRATION OF FLIGHT”, for which she won additional international awards. She also is working as a dialogue coach on set and teaches acting classes for kids, teens and young adults in English and German.
Elisabeth Beken (Kindergarten)
Born in Munich, our GASA Kindergarten teacher Elisabeth Beken lives in Santa Monica with her husband and two children. Ms. Beken studied acting for film and theater, film production, directing, and screenwriting in Germany and the US. Her education in Germany included studying psychology and pedagogy. Fascinated by Maria Montessori’s philosophy, “help me to do it myself,” Ms. Beken worked as an intern at a Catholic Montessori Kindergarten while living in Munich. She contributed to various social projects for children and teenagers who were struggling in society, and also taught stage and camera acting for children K-12 at private and public schools in Germany.
Ms. Beken loves to combine academic and artistic activities with having fun and incorporates various tools of cinematic and literary arts in her teaching. Elisabeth believes in the power of subconscious learning through play and fun. She develops various teaching methods that are specifically tailored to individual students. She believes that every child is intelligent with limitless potential for growth. Ms. Beken states “I love to teach young children because they are the future of humanity who will shape our world for a better future.”
Petra Wise (Substitute Teacher)
Petra was born and raised in the South of Germany. She holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and has taught High School and College students since 1995. Petra has worked at the Santa Monica Branch of GASA since 2003. In the classroom she tries to implement all learning options, visual, auditory and through practical work. She also likes to introduce the students to classic German characters.
Multilingualism is the norm in most of the world and we believe that children who speak and write more than one language will be better prepared for life in the 21st century with its growing global economy. The best way to master another language is to start learning at an early age.
GASA admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.