Why Teachers Need to Promote German and Languages
Schools prepare students for life in the ‘real world’ which is a multilingual world.
All students can learn languages.
For schools to be registered in Victoria, they need to offer a Language program. [See Languages Policies]
However, teachers of Languages still need to advocate for their subject in both primary and secondary schools to counteract misconceptions and to inform decision-making bodies at each school about the literacy, cognitive and social benefits of learning languages, and the lifelong opportunities for speakers of more than one language.
Teachers often need to argue for Languages at forums where decisions are made in their own schools and present evidence for maintaining or expanding the Language program.
Unlike other subject areas, secondary schools have Languages as an elective after Year 7 or 8, which means young people (and their families) are making significant decisions for their learning pathways at the age of 13 or 14 without any counselling or enough time to make a considered decision.
Teachers of Languages need to actively work to make a strong connection to the students of each age-group to inspire their curiosity and confidence to choose German beyond the compulsory years as well as promoting the benefits of learning languages and opportunities for German to the school community incl. colleagues.
Teachers need to be mindful of when students are choosing their electives and take time before this to highlight some of the immediate and long-term benefits for learners of languages and learners of German.
It is important that all students are encouraged to continue with German as skills in languages is a key competency in our plurilingual community.
As a subject association, the AGTV is a source of support for teachers.
Please feel welcome to contact the Committee: agtv[a]agtv.vic.edu.au
Choose German: Deutsch für die Zukunft
The AGTV developed a promotional website with the support of the Victorian Government to build on a targeted poster campaign over several years to encourage students to choose German beyond the compulsory years.
It provides information and personal experiences of the benefits of learning German to the students of German and the general public.
The success stories show how a decision of choosing German at school can lead to opportunities during and beyond school regardless of which pathway you choose.
See also Resources to Promote German and Languages
Resources to Promote German and Languages
Look for opportunities to raise the profile of German in your school and beyond.
Promote opportunities for students to participate in exchanges, including virtual exchanges.
Certificates for Students
AGTV produce certificates for teachers to award students:
- Year 6 Achievement Certificate to award at the end of the year. Order in Term 4.
- Ein guter Start in Deutsch certificate to award during first year of students beginning German in secondary school. Orders taken in Term 1.
- Certificates of Participation for students entering AGTV Competitions for Students
- Certificates and Medals/Trophies for prize winners of competitions
The Goethe-Institut offer internationally recognised Fit in Deutsch certificates for school students for A1 and A2. Highly recommended!
Language and Literacy
Advocacy for Learning Languages
The Research for Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACC) at the University of Melbourne have a range of brochures about Languages to dispel myths and promote the benefits of learning languages.
The Modern Language Teachers Association of Victoria Inc. (MLTAV) has a section on Advocacy on their website.
International Advocacy & Materials for German
Teachers of German and organisations around the world have a common goal in promoting the learning of German. Teachers in English-speaking countries often have similar challenges in convincing students to learn another language.
Think German seeks to promote the German language and the culture of German-speaking countries.
American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
Der Internationale Deutschlehrerinnen- und Deutschlehrerverband (IDV)
Um Deutsch im Wettbewerb der Sprachen mehr Gewicht zu geben und DaF/DaZ im Rahmen der Fremdsprachenvermittlung angemessen zu positionieren, sollten verbandspolitische Aktivitäten heute klarer denn je bei der Mehrsprachigkeit als Rahmenkonzept ansetzen. Dies dient der Vernetzung zwischen Verbänden unterschiedlicher (Fremd-)Sprachen, die zunehmend zu einer vorrangigen Verbandsaufgabe werden soll.