‘Willkommen’ to Welsh school pupils keen to learn about German
1 August 2016
This July we welcomed over 100 school pupils to Cardiff to celebrate all aspects of German Life at our ‘Wales Think German’ Conference.
The conference, which took place on 7 July, promoted German to school pupils and gave the young people who attended the opportunity to find out more about German culture and language.
After a welcome speech from Dr Monika Hennemann, Programme Director of German, pupils began their day of varied activities, covering topics including German short films, German history (Berlin’s Rosenstrasse Protest), business (German and the World of Business), Football, translation (text types), linguistics (register in German) as well as living in German and Austria.
Pupils were given an insight into German Studies at university level, with the staff drawing on their areas of expertise and on-going research projects. The day was complemented with a visit to the ‘War’s Hell!’ The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art’ exhibition at the National Museum Wales, which captured many of the pupils’ imaginations and led to one of the day’s final sessions examining WW1 postcards.
Keeping the programme up-to-the minute and competitive, the pupils also attended a session entitled ‘Anyone for Fußball’ in which they were quizzed on German football, past and present. The pupils learned essential terminology before pitting their skills against each other in a Mini-European Table Football Championships. Pupils from Brynteg School, Bridgend were the prize winners for the number of goals scored and German vocabulary used while pupils from Howells School, Cardiff won the prize for best team name with TOR-nado!
Feedback received after the event has been very positive with Brynteg School reporting that their pupils were “still buzzing” from their day. Staff from Howells School also said “Our students had a fab time and were really upbeat on the way home. Thank you so much for making it fun and stimulating. They loved all the workshops and the way you tied in the WW1 exhibition at the museum. Thanks again.”
Organiser Elke Oerter said, “It was heartening to see such enthusiasm for learning German from so many students in South Wales. The day was thoroughly rewarding for all involved and we look forward to building on this positive momentum in future events.”
The Conference was sponsored by the School of Modern Languages, the Goethe Institut, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Cardiff University’s interdisciplinary ‘Commemorating WW1: Conflict & Creativity’ Network, and the National Museum of Wales’ ‘Cymru'n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918’ cultural engagement project.
The organisers of the event would like to thank all involved including Alex Pickering (Goethe Institut, London) Dr Wini Davies (Aberystwyth) Dr Dorota Goluch, Helga Eckart, Marion Heuchert, Prof David Jackson, Dr Hilary Potter, AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow Dr Rachelle Barlow (all Cardiff University), as well as our fabulous student ambassadors Rosanne Towle, Sam Furse, Lucy Owen and Alex Corrigan and the staff at the National Museum Cardiff (especially Emma Routley, Johanne Langley, Heidi Evans, Eleri Evans, and James Thomas).