Silke Wehner Franco

 @Goethe-Institut NY

Born in Essen, I spent my childhood and college years in Germany. I received my Ph. D. in Volkskunde (Cultural Anthropology) from the University of Münster. My research focused on the emigration of German female domestic servants to the US between 1850 and 1914. I began my teaching career in Mexico City, where I lived for four years and taught German and English while also co-editing the book Mexiko: Das wohltemperierte Exil about German-speaking exiles in Mexico in the 1930s. 

After returning to the US, I worked as a lecturer in the German department at the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA, and at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. At Rutgers, I coordinated different levels of German language classes and trained new German teachers in the Teaching Apprenticeship course. I also taught in the Rutgers in Berlin Summer Program, and I have given workshops for German teachers at Rutgers University.

Since 2002, I have been teaching German in grades 8 through 12 in the East Brunswick school system in New Jersey. In 2017, our program was recognized by AATG as a German Center of Excellence.

My approach to teaching is informed by my close collaboration with my colleagues in the German teaching field; the dynamic exchange of ideas, the teamwork in writing curricula, and the shared feedback from class observations, all contribute to my continuous growth and professional development. As a coach, I look forward to both sharing and expanding my knowledge with other teachers of German. My hope is that, working together, we shall strengthen secondary and post-secondary German programs in the US.