German Institute for the Southwest the only Accredited Goethe Testing Center in Houston

pgiThe German Institute for the Southwest (GIS) is the only fully accredited Goethe-Institut Testing Center (Goethe Prüfungszentrum) in Houston, Texas. We provide qualified language classes to teenagers and adults on all levels – beginning, intermediate, and advanced – that lead to the highly-recognized Goethe exams from levels A1 to C2. These classifications are determined by the EU in its European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). An important part of our language instruction is to provide on-site language training to corporations and organizations that require or desire dual-language capability in their business. Our German language teachers have university degrees on a bachelor’s level or above, all are native speakers, and all are certified as examiners by our partner, the Goethe-Institut in Washington; more will be added.

Dr. Christoph Veldhues, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Language Programs for North America from the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C. inspected our class room facilities, met with the Board of Directors, and confirmed our partnership with the world-renowned Goethe-Institut on February 8, 2016.

The first Goethe-Institut was founded in 1961 to provide training in Germany for German teachers from abroad. The first textbook developed for teaching German as a foreign language, Deutsche Sprachlehre für Ausländer, by Cora Schulz and Heinz Griesbach became the legendary “Schulz-Griesbach.” The German State Department founded more institutes in other countries soon after. The Goethe-Institut became an independent cultural organization in 1976. It now operates in more than 92 countries, where it works alongside other civic organizations as a cultural ambassador for Germany.

The fall of the wall marked a turning point in the history of the various institutes. Numerous new ones were set up in Eastern European countries, and as a result the former Goethe-Institut in Houston had to close its doors. The closure left a void in qualified German language instruction in Houston, as the Goethe-Institut sets the standards in teaching and learning of German as a foreign language.

As a new partner of the Goethe-Institut, GIS offers various language courses that are designed to lead to proficiency in the language and capability to sit for the various Goethe Exams. These are internationally recognized and are accepted as proof of qualification by many employers and educational establishments.

Do check our website regularly for times and dates, as we are adding courses and tests often. Please contact us to arrange for a Learn-at-Lunch German class on your company’s premises, or for private tutoring. If you have any questions, please contact our Director for Language Programs and Tests at, or our Executive Director at