Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The plea of a German teacher

The uptake of German keeps dropping. Year on year. Across the country. As the only German teacher in my school, I have been tasked with increasing our uptake and motivating our pupils or risk German being removed from the school altogether.

This is turning into a weekly grilling on what has been done that week to make the pupils fall in love with German. Please bear in mind that I only see KS3 pupils once a week, and these pupils have spent the past year being passed from one supply teacher to another.

Even when I started High School, I remember not wanting to study German, but I think it took me a year to fall in love! Yes, it sounds harsher than other languages. Yes, they have very strict rules to follow. Yes, three genders and four cases mean that there is a ridiculous number of ways of saying "the". However, behind all of that is a fantastic language, a fascinating history and a truly beautiful country.

So, here is my plea... Please do not give up on German! Such a useful language in the world of engineering, finance and science cannot and should not be pushed to one side. Even if the uptake is smaller than other subjects, that group (I'm looking at you scientist and mathematicians) shouldn't be neglected. There is a language that appeals to all of us, and it is our duty to offer all pupils the subjects that are right for them. Fine, a lot of Germanists are happy to sit quietly and get the job done, no big songs or dances; but that doesn't mean that we don't do the job well!

I didn't manage to keep that as short and sweet as I intended. Here endeth my plea, and my very first blog post.
Thank you for reading.