With over 4,000 members, the American
Association of Teachers of German is for teachers of German at all levels of
instruction and all those interested in the teaching of German. Founded in
believes that bringing the language, literature, and cultures of the German
speaking world to all Americans is a vital humanistic endeavor, which serves an
essential national interest.
With members in all 50 states and nearly 20 countries, the
American Association of Teachers of German is the only individual membership
organization in the United States dedicated to the teaching of the language,
literature and culture of the German-speaking countries. The AATG has
60 local chapters which support a variety of local projects
with activities focused on public relations, professional development, and
teacher and student immersion. Members represent elementary, middle-junior
high school, high school, college/university, community colleges, and heritage
language school teachers. 44% percent of AATG’s members teach at the pre-collegiate
level, 34% post-secondary, and 22% are currently not teaching.
The AATG is
governed by an Executive Council consisting of 10 members including a
president, vice-president, treasurer, presiding officer of the chapter
presidents’ assembly, and six regional representatives. The teaching level of Executive Council members
is balanced and alternates between post-secondary and pre-collegiate at each
election. The Executive Council meets in November during the AATG Annual
Meeting held in conjunction with the ACTFL Convention and World Languages Expo.
The AATG employs seven staff members in offices located in Cherry Hill, New
Jersey outside Philadelphia.
The American Association of
Teachers of German strives to:
- Promote the highest quality of the teaching and research of the language, literatures, and cultures of the German-speaking world, and expand teaching and research at all levels and in all settings.
- Define and promote the highest standards for teachers and learners of the language, literatures, and cultures of the German-speaking world.
- Emphasize the importance and obligation of providing increased access to, and equity in, all German program offerings at all levels for all students, including those from multiracial, multicultural, and multiethnic backgrounds, and for students in diverse geographic settings.
- Foster relationships within the language teaching profession, the teaching profession in general, and the educational establishment at large.
- Communicate to policy makers and the public the rationale, substance, and value of learning German, as well as the conditions for effective language teaching and learning.
- Strengthen the structure of the Association and its communication with its members.
- Continue to improve the quality of present services and to develop programs for a diverse membership.
The AATG was
founded in 1926 by college and high school teachers in the New York city area. On
December 18, 1926, the first meeting of the organizers took place at Columbia
University. Major work on the constitution took place in 1927, and the
publication of the first issue of the German Quarterly in January 1928. In that
first issue, AATG president Camillo von Klenze from the College of the City of
New York wrote: "…it becomes imperative for us teachers of German to use every
legitimate means of improving the position of German in our schools, colleges,
and universities. The first step …is the
formation of an organization embracing all teachers of German in every part of
the country. Only by enthusiastic
cooperation can we hope to accomplish anything tangible.” The AATG continues a
strong tradition of supporting teachers of German from pre-kindergarten to
graduate programs in American universities.
AATG is a key partner
to a number of organizations supporting the teaching and learning of German in
the US. AATG is a member of the American Council on the Teachings of Foreign
Languages (ACTFL), the Joint National Committee for Languages/National Council
for Languages and International Study (JNCL/NCLIS), the Modern Language
Association, the National Federation of Modern Foreign Language Teachers
Association (NFMFLTA), the National Standards for Foreign Language
Collaborative, and the Internationaler Deutschlehrerverband (IDV).