Old Bridge School District congratulates Frau Linda Costa on her selection as the "2021 American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) K-8 Outstanding German Educator!" 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, Frau Costa will be honored during an AATG virtual ceremony on November 20, 2021. 

The AATG promotes the study of German and prepares students as transcultural, mutlilingual participants in a global world. Frau Costa has served to foster that mission throughout her career at Old Bridge School District. As the German teacher at Jonas Salk Middle School, she has played a critical role in the development and growth of the world language program.  Creating a need and an understanding of cross-cultural communication has become increasingly important in our world. With this in mind, Frau Costa creates an inviting environment for students to learn the German language, fosters an understanding of diversity in our world and allows students to begin their love for the study of a new language and culture. 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 - 2021 marking our inaugural year for such an early start. Previously, elementary students were taught basics of Spanish in 3rd, 4th and 5th 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. Students in all elementary schools are beginning exploration programs in Italian, Mandarin and Spanish this year, with focus on culture and foundations of communication. Authentic learning units of study are taught at all levels, increasing aural skills. The goal for our elementary program is to create a passion for the continued study of world language in the middle and high school. Old Bridge proudly offers five language programs to students (Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Spanish), with Advanced Placement options in all. 

Although our annual German Exchange voyage with students from Steinbart Gymnasium in Duisburg, Germany is on temporary pause due to current pandemic travel conditions, we hope to start the exchange again soon. In the interim, our teachers continue to plan rich virtual experiences for all students. 

We congratulate Frau Costa on her well-deserved award and wish her and her students continued success! 

AATG Awards Press Release 2021