Leaving a legacy
Following the German Pupil Courses, all participants take on the role of ambassadors, visiting their local primary schools in the UK to share their experiences. The aim is to widen younger pupils' cultural understanding and inspire them to learn the language and visit Germany.
Challenging preconceptions - a 'real' insight into German
All in all I loved delivering the workshop and it was so great to see all the preparation paying off and the children really seemed to respond well to it. The teacher contacted me a couple of days later to tell me that they had all enjoyed the session and were still practising their German which was great to hear.
I received amazing feedback from the teachers who said that I had done extremely well, and my confidence had improved greatly, as I was very shy when I went to the school. (...) I truly feel that I have had a positive impact on the children and the school as they are now more aware of the history and culture surrounding Germany.
My session gave the children an insight into German culture and language. I was surprised to see that the children did not know what the capital of Germany was, which reinforced my view that the project had educational value. At the same time, one boy in particular had a very in-depth knowledge of the Bundesliga. This showed me that the best way of interesting children in other cultures is to tap into their own interests. (…) The children were full of questions about Germany and learning German which was fantastic to see. I was very impressed by their attentiveness and enthusiasm for learning.
The pupils were given the opportunity to use the (German) vocabulary given to create short conversations in pairs. During these conversations, they greeted one another, stated what their names were, asked one another how they were and where they came from and said goodbye to one another). The session was received very well by the pupils, who maintained a high level of interest and focus and asked relevant questions throughout to broaden their understanding.
Inspiring the next generation
The highlight of the presentation was definitely at the end, when I asked if any of the kids could tell me what they had learnt, after a range of words repeated back to me, one boy at the back of the classroom, who had been actively involved throughout the presentation, put up his hand. When I asked him what he had learnt, he replied "that I want to do German". Needless to say, that boy received the applause he deserved.
I think that my session opened the children's eyes to a new language and culture that some of them had not come across before and through that I helped them develop their tolerance for other cultures and encouraged them to realise that experiencing other cultures is fun and also sometimes surprising. A couple of children even said that I had inspired them to study German at secondary school.
I would say that I increased the intercultural understanding of the pupils greatly. The fact that they hadn't learned anything about German or the culture and language helped me because I could work with a really broad spectrum and all of it increased the pupils' understanding. I felt that my session really sparked the pupils' interest in German and I hope the school will continue to give the pupils some insight into German culture (I'll help!)