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James Clemens students excel in National German Exam

MADISON – The Seal of Biliteracy for Madison City Schools continues to flourish, thanks to strong, language programs in Madison’s secondary schools.

German students at James Clemens High School represent one example of this talent, as shown by their results with the National German Exam.

Several students completed the exam during regular classroom time, Peggy Boynton said. Boynton teaches German and Latin at James Clemens.

Numerous students earned recognition:

* Gold Medal — Lilliann Markowitz, 90th percentile.

* Bronze Medal — Emily Boyle, Samuel Waddell.

* Achievement Award — Caleb Ellis, Oliver Krueger, Uzair Mohammed, Cody Steele, Owen Workman.

Each exam level is comprised of 100 multiple-choice questions divided into two parts with 50 questions each. The listening/viewing portion lasts 40 minutes with brief audio/video segments. Also 40 minutes, reading involves various print texts, graphs and images, according to American Association of Teachers of German that provides the testing.

Boynton’s students took the test in December 2022. The association announced the results in mid-February. Students, all in Level 3 German, represented grades 10-12.

The Level 3 exam targets student proficiencies from “Novice High” to “Intermediate Low.” These students understand themes and details of familiar topics in connected sentences, conversations, presentations and messages. They comprehend information related to basic personal and social needs, according to the association.

Gold Medal students score in the 90th percentile or higher nationally and can apply for the association’s National German Exam Scholarship, which includes three-week study in Germany. Students earn a Silver Medal for 80th to 89th percentile and Bronze for 70th to 79th.

For Achievement Awards, students rank in 50th-69th percentile nationally. “So, my eight students recognized with awards all are showing performance above the national average,” Boynton said.

“Participation in this national exam can be a big boost of confidence to students, (giving) them concrete, objective feedback,” Boynton said. In addition, students take the National German Exam on a laptop, as they do for Seal of Biliteracy proficiency.

Each year, Boynton takes pride in her students who take the exam. “They were competing this year against nearly 4,000 students nationwide. It says a lot about them and their perseverance that they are proving themselves highly competitive to their peers everywhere,” she said.

“Hopefully, they’ll consider continuing study and practice of language learning. Most of these students also began their studies of German during the initial COVID school closures . . . a difficult time for all. Yet, they have flourished, maybe even because of this added challenge. They continue to be a superb reflection of the James Clemens community,” Boynton said.

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