Promoting German in Schools by connecting secondary teachers with German Studies at Warwick University
With the centrality of STEM subjects in the secondary curriculum, the perception of MFL as an ‘elitist’ subject area which remains less accessible to many school children and which can drag school’s grades down the league tables, and the seemingly unfathomable trend, in some areas, whereby the unrest shaken up by Brexit has made languages less popular, we, as language teachers in schools and universities, feel truly embattled. On this already shrinking ice-flow German, in particular, is going through a particularly steep decline. Certain pundits in the media even seem to be cheerleading this process, despite the economic and cultural advantages to learning German. But these things can be cyclical and we can come back. German, we feel, just needs a special shot in the arm.
Recent years has seen the launch of funded networks such as Think German and its regional affiliates, which run competitions, events and cultural programmes and connect teachers with local universities. Regrouping German does not seek to compete with or overwrite that activity, but to function in a more grass roots way. In the first instance we aim to collate information as to where German is being taught in schools. We also wish to engage with teachers asking them what they want to help deliver and enliven the German curriculum across Key Stages 3-5. We are based at Warwick University and aim to meet at key points throughout the academic year, starting in summer term 2019. We could start by running teacher-only events, inviting pupils to campus to shadow our students or attend bigger conferences and events. Most important, though, we want to work out how we can best collaborate in a way that helps you as teachers – and to have your voices tell us that. We can share the expertise and resources we have with you – and you get help in driving German back into the heart of the curriculum and sending us more students for university. Join the conversation, join us in #RegroupingGerman!
Follow the #RegroupingGerman hashtag on Twitter!