Support Network


Connect with your colleagues

As programs become smaller and smaller, we need our colleagues even more. Whether at elementary, high school or university level, connecting with others through professional organizations and networks has never been more important. Make attending professional organization meetings a priority and make sure to connect with your German teaching colleagues.

The following organizations, programs and associations support the German language in the US:


German Organizations

To strengthen German programs at schools and universities (K – 16), the Goethe-Institut supports teachers, helps in motivating students to learn German, and cooperates with the educational authorities throughout the US. Through workshops offered by a network of experts across the country, as well as online, German teachers are introduced to new instructional materials and methods. In addition, the Goethe-Institut awards over 50 grants each year to German teachers in the US to attend professional development seminars in Germany and summer schools in the US.

The Goethe-Institut offers German language courses in the US and in Germany. The courses are structured according to the Common European Framework of References and follow a communicative approach. Classes are offered both face-to-face at the Goethe-Institut and in various forms of online learning, always including personal tutors. The Goethe-Institut administers internationally recognized language exams at its locations and at certified examination centers throughout the US.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) / German Academic Exchange Service is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. It offers information and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education, providing financial support to over 67,000 individuals per year.

Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen (ZFA)
The ZfA supports German schools for German-speaking students (Deutsche Auslandsschulen), administers the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) exam and provides information, training, and materials for German teachers to proctor the DSD.

Internationaler Deutschlehrerverband (IDV)
IDV, the umbrella organization for German teacher associations on five continents, hosts networking and professional development opportunities, including the Internationaler Deutschlehrertag (IDT) every four years, the Internationale Deutscholympiade, regional meetings, and DACHL seminars on German, Austrian, and Swiss topics.


“Schools: Partners for the Future” (PASCH)
The initiative “Schools: Partners for the Future” (PASCH) was launched by the German Foreign ministry in February 2008 and currently oversees a worldwide network of over 1,500 partner schools. PASCH schools are centers of excellence both in the national STEM rankings and the language area (German), meant to outreach to and have an impact on other schools with German programs in the US. To this purpose PASCH schools benefit from a particular support by their respective German partners, the Goethe-Institut and the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen.

German American Partnership Program (GAPP)
The German American Partnership Program is the most successful bi-lateral short-term school exchange program between the United States and any other country. Sponsored by the German Foreign Office and the US Department of State, GAPP has proven to be the most powerful tool for promoting German programs for over 30 years. Since 1982 over 250,000 students have participated in this program, the main objective of which is the integration of students into the everyday life of host families and into the classroom activities of host schools to provide them with a coherent intercultural experience.

Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP)
The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) was founded in 2002 to promote education about Germany, to encourage intercultural dialogue, and to provide the opportunity for North American social studies educators to experience Germany in person. TOP offers many teaching materials, professional development workshops and study tours in Germany. Since 2014, more STEM contents have been included in the programs.

Berater für Deutschunterricht (BDU)
German language consultants are teaching professionals from Germany that are dispatched by the Goethe-Institut and the Central Office for German Schools Abroad to support German programs across the US. They do so by working closely with departments of education; maintaining and expanding teaching networks; counseling educational institutions in all areas of German teaching (curricula, text books, educational planning); and, upon request, supporting schools in cooperation with American authorities.

US Language Associations

American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
With 5,000 members, the AATG is for teachers of German at all levels of instruction and all those interested in the teaching of German. The mission of the AATG is based on the belief that bringing the language, literatures and cultures of the German-speaking world to all Americans is a vital humanistic endeavor which serves essential national interests. It’s the only national individual membership organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the language, literature, and culture.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
An individual membership organization of more than 12,000 language educators and administrators as well as business and government representatives, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. In addition to their annual conference, ACTFL also supports regional initiatives, provides advocacy materials, and publishes a journal and magazine for FL teachers.

German Studies Association (GSA)
The German Studies Association is the multi- and interdisciplinary association of scholars in German, Austrian, and Swiss history, literature, culture studies, political science, and economics. GSA holds an annual conference and publishes a scholarly journal – German Studies Review – as well as a Newsletter. Membership is open to anyone interested in German studies.

Modern Language Association (MLA)
With over 30,000 members in 100 countries, the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences. It hosts an annual convention as well as other meetings and forums of academic exchange.

National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL)
NCSSFL is an organization of state education agency personnel responsible for language education. NCSSFL’s State Resource Links provide quick access to language associations across the US, as well as a variety of useful resources.

National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL)
The NNELL advocacy page includes sample letters promoting early language learning and foreign language learning in general. Tips on building a program, saving a program in jeopardy, and general advocacy strategies and resources.

Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL/NCLIS)
JNCL/NCLIS represent the language profession in Washington, DC and shapes national policy for world languages, ASL, and international education. Their website features information on pending legislation, current activity on Capitol Hill, funding opportunities, and more.