OLD BRIDGE – Linda Costa, teacher of German at Jonas Salk Middle School, is one of only three recipients of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG’s) highest honor, the K-8 Outstanding German Educator Award.
Frau Costa was selected from a group of teachers nationwide who recognize and support the education of the German language and culture. Along with only a handful of other award recipients from across the globe, Costa will be honored during an AATG virtual ceremony on Nov. 20, according to information provided by Old Bridge Township Public Schools.
The AATG promotes the study of German and prepares students as transcultural, multilingual participants in a global world. Costa creates an inviting environment for students to learn the German language, fosters an understanding of diversity in the world, and allows students to begin their love for the study of a new language and culture, according to the statement.
She has taught French and German at both the high school and middle school levels at Old Bridge, advancing student exchange programs at all levels.
The Old Bridge School District begins its study of world language in kindergarten, with 2021 marking the inaugural year for such an early start. Previously, elementary students were taught basics of Spanish in third, fourth and fifth grades only.
Aware that students acquire and retain language skills when exposed at much younger ages, the world language department at Old Bridge is committed to supporting early learner language programs, according to the statement. Students in all elementary schools are beginning exploration programs in Italian, Mandarin and Spanish this year, with focus on culture and foundations of communication.
Old Bridge offers five language programs to students (Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Spanish), with Advanced Placement options in all.
The annual German Exchange voyage with students from Steinbart Gymnasium in Duisburg, Germany, is on pause due to current pandemic travel conditions.