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STV-German Language School

Which adult course should I choose?

Please read the course descriptions on the website under "Classes for Adults" before you choose a course. If you took German over 10 years ago, and have not used it since, you should start at the beginning level (1A or 1B). However, if you have continued to maintain your knowledge of the language, we recommend that you enroll in the 1C or 1D class. Our intermediate class would be appropriate for those students who possess a basic understanding of German, are able to follow easy conversations and feel fairly confident about speaking. If you are still unsure about the appropriate class, please feel free to get in touch with the Assistant Director ( or use the online contact form.

I do not have any prior knowledge of German – which course is right for me?

If you do not have any prior knowledge of German, we recommend you choose German 1A, which is the course for complete beginners. German 1A is offered every Early Fall (September-November) and Winter (February-April) session.

I will travel to Germany and want to learn some basics of German – which class is right for me?

If you do not have any prior exposure to German, you should start in the German 1A class. If you want to freshen up your knowledge of German, the beginning or intermediate conversation classes might be a good fit. At each spring session, we offer a specific class for special needs: "German for Travelers." Combining basic language instruction with cultural information, it has been very popular in past years.

Which class should I choose for my child(ren)?

Our children's classes are ranked by age: Krabbelgruppe is for 1 to 3 year olds. Following that is a class for 4 to 7 year olds, and one for 8 to 12 year olds. Children should attend the class that is appropriate for their respective ages, regardless of whether they are beginners or already have some knowledge of German.

I am a teenager. Which class can I attend?

In the moment, we do not offer specific classes for teenagers, even though that is something we are working on. If you are 13 or 14 years old, you may still want to attend our oldest children's group (8 to12 year olds). If you are a little older, or feel ready for it, you can attend our adult classes. If you attend an adult class, there is no need for your parent or guardian to stay in the classroom with you, but we require a parent or guardian to sign a "hold-harmless" agreement.

I am a minor under 18 years old. May I attend the adult classes?

Yes, you may attend adult classes if you are under 18 years old. There is no need for your parent or guardian to stay in the classroom with you, but we require them to sign a "hold-harmless" agreement. We also require that you be picked up, at the latest, 10 minutes after classes end.

Is there a placement exam?

Students do not need to take a placement exam, but rather they choose the course they consider right for themselves. However, if you would like to assess your current knowledge of German, you can take an online assessment test on the book companion website:

There are three different tests, one for each class level: "Menschen A1" refers to our beginning 1A-D classes;  "Menschen A2" to our intermediate 2A-D classes; and "Menschen B1" to our upper intermediate 3A-D classes. Please take the test that is appropriate to  the current level of your ability in German. If you are not sure, start with the A1 test and work your way up through all three tests or as far as you get. Please send the results to our Assistant Director ( for help in choosing the right course.

Which textbooks do you use?

Please refer to our "Instructional Materials" page for adult classes ( or  for children's classes (

Are textbooks included in the course fee?

No, textbooks are not included in the course fee. For the cost of textbooks, please refer to the next question.

Where can I purchase textbooks?

We have a number of books for the beginning, intermediate and advanced adult classes available for purchase on a first come, first served basis. Because our books come from Germany, their price can fluctuate depending on the € to $ exchange rate.  As of August 2018, we sell the Menschen A and B series textbooks for $17 and the workbook and glossary for $16 each. Thus, a complete set consisting of textbook, workbook, and glossary costs $49 for Beginning German, for example. Each set of books is used for three consecutive courses.  Books may also be purchased online at booksellers such as Amazon or IBIS.

For the children's classes ages 1 through 7, there is no textbook, and all teaching material is included in the class fee. Regarding books for ages 8 through 12, please ask the teacher in your first class about the textbook needed.

Do you offer official proficiency exams?

We do not offer official proficiency exams at this point. If you would like to take an official proficiency exam, please refer to the Goethe-Institut in San Francisco:

Do your classes adhere to international standards of foreign language learning?

Yes. Our classes and textbooks adhere to the standards described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Our beginning 1A-D classes take students to the A1 level of the CEFR; the intermediate 2A-D classes take students to the A2 level; and the upper intermediate 3A-D classes take students to the B1 level. The advanced classes 4A-D correspond to the CEFR level B2 and above.

How can I register for a course?

You can register for a course online at any point before the course starts, or in person on the first day of the course. We encourage you to register online, as that is the best way to secure a spot in the course you have chosen. Please go to the registration section under Classes for Adults or Classes for Children on our website. Please fill in the online form, and click "Submit." On the next page, please again select the class of your choice from the drop down menu, before clicking "Pay Now." The payment is processed by PayPal; however, you do not necessarily need a PayPal account to pay for a class, but you can simply pay as a "guest" using a credit card.

How do I know if my online registration was successful?

When you complete online registration, you receive two emails: a thank you note from the German Language School, and a payment receipt from PayPal. You can be sure that our your online registration was successful if you receive the payment receipt from PayPal; this receipt is also proof of your registration.

I tried to register online for a course, but the website said "Sold Out." What does that mean?

This means that it is no longer possible to register online for that class, as all online places have been taken. However, we always reserve a few places in each course for walk-ins, so please come about 30 minutes before your class starts, and register in person to sign up for one of those places.

My course starts this week, but online registration is closed. Does that mean the course is full?

No, this does not mean that the course is full. We close online registration in the first week of classes to consolidate student rosters. We always reserve a few spots in each course for walk-ins, so if online registration is closed, please come about 30 minutes before your class starts, and register in person.

I registered and paid for a class, but I was not able to attend any or only very few class meetings. May I get a refund?

In general, we do not give refunds. If you have special circumstances, for example, a severe illness, please contact our Assistant Director (

I would like to take a class, but I will miss the first few class meetings. May I still attend, and will you prorate tuition?

You may still attend, even if you miss some class meetings. Unfortunately, we cannot prorate tuition, regardless of missed classes or late registration.

I do not see all class levels on the schedule. When do you offer certain classes?

As a general rule, we offer German 1A, 1C, 2A, and 2C in Early Fall and Winter sessions, and German 1B, 1D, 2B, and 2D in Late Fall and Spring sessions. The upper intermediate courses 3A-D, and advanced courses 4A-D start in Early Fall and run through Spring. Usually, we offer a culturally oriented class in Late Fall ("German Holiday Traditions"), and Spring ("German for Travelers").

How big are the classes?

Our classes are scheduled with a minimum of 8, and a maximum of 20 students. Typically, the beginning classes 1A and 1B are the classes that are closest to the maximum amount of students. At the higher levels, a typical class size would be closer to 10 or 12 students.

Where can I park my car?

You can use the private parking lot for STV members and guests behind the building. It is accessible via "I" Street.