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Adapting to Language Education Challenges with KLASSE!


In this case study, we delve into how the adoption of the KLASSE! textbook series offered practical solutions that transformed German language education at Elder High School.

Instructor Profile

Karin Albrecht is an experienced German and Spanish teacher at Elder High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. With over 9 years of teaching experience at the school, she has been dedicated to providing quality language education to her students. In addition to her role at Elder High School, Karin served as the Treasurer of the German American Citizens League (GACL) for a decade, demonstrating her commitment to promoting German-American heritage and culture.

Karin has been using the KLASSE! textbook series for over two years.

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Institution Profile

Elder High School, a college-preparatory institution in Cincinnati’s Price Hill neighborhood, was founded in 1922. The school has a rich history, having graduated over 22,000 students since its inception.

Elder offers a comprehensive curriculum, including an Honors Program with Advanced Placement courses.

It has been recognized as the Best Private High School in the Greater Cincinnati Area by Cincinnati Magazine.

The Challenge

In her role as a German teacher at Elder High School in Karin Albrecht faced a series of challenges that are common in the field of education.

  • Evolving Language Education Landscape: The dynamic nature of language education demanded innovative solutions to meet students’ evolving needs and maintain the relevance of German education in a country where enrollment is declining.
  • Engaging Digitally-Oriented Students: In an era where students are increasingly digital-focused, keeping them engaged in traditional language learning presented a significant challenge.
  • Limited Timeframe: Karin faced the challenge of teaching German effectively within the constraints of a four-year high school curriculum.

These challenges required practical solutions to ensure the success and engagement of her students within the constraints of the educational environment.

"Teaching within a limited high school timeframe while engaging digitally-oriented students demanded innovative solutions."

The Solution

Karin Albrecht discovered practical solutions with the integration of KLASSE!, the program which best addressed these obstacles as well as revitalized the way German was taught at her school.

One of the first noticeable benefits was the comprehensiveness of KLASSE!. It offered a well-rounded approach to language education, adequately addressing all of the essential skills while engaging students with themes relevant to their personal realities and aligned with Advanced Placement® content. This breadth ensured that students received a comprehensive education in German, even with the limitations of a high school curriculum.

“KLASSE! is a solid base. It covers all aspects needed in learning a language by providing excellent listening as well as reading opportunities. It is [also] nice to see the AP correlations on the six themes, which you start incorporating in your teaching from very early stages of KLASSE A1 throughout KLASSE B1!”

One of the most significant transformations was the change in student engagement through KLASSE!’s modern content and its digital learning resources. It introduced contemporary topics, cultural insights, and real-world comparisons, making German more relatable and engaging for students.

“Students enjoy reading about contemporary topics like YouTubers… that are mentioned in the book. After Unit 3, KLASSE! B1,  they wanted to organize a cooking show, which we ended up doing. Students filmed themselves while they were cooking and sharing the instructions on the preparation of food in German.

Suddenly, learning German wasn’t just a traditional, academic exercise; it became a bridge to understanding life in German-speaking countries and beyond. The series’ blend of traditional and digital learning methods also allowed for flexibility that meant students could engage with the material in the way that suited them best.

KLASSE! also streamlined curriculum preparation, allowing Karin to dedicate more time to instruction and less to creating her own materials. The structured curriculum could be adapted to the specific needs of students and the school, simplifying lesson planning.

“Teachers spend way too much time preparing every single lesson. When you teach all levels of a language you need a solid foundation to base your lessons on. KLASSE! gives you this. You can go page by page or selecting which exercises you want to do, but you know that these will provide you with a balanced teaching experience and practice all skills needed in the learning of a language. The research and work behind these books is excellent and provides teachers with the necessary tools for every day teaching!”

In summary, KLASSE! proved to be a pragmatic solution to real challenges by simultaneously revitalizing the wavering student engagement, adapting to 21st century learning needs, and mitigating limitations of time.

"KLASSE! helps me in the preparation of my lessons. It is a great base to build your curriculum on. Students also enjoy reading about contemporary issues, YouTubers, etc., that are mentioned in the book."