Since Thilo Sarrazin, migration has been a hot topic in Germany. But while politicians keep their heads hot, there is a lack of basic training in the teaching of German for migrants, and the use of reasonable training material. Diana Bridde, a lecturer in German as a foreign language, writes about her first practice for migrants who want to learn the German language. And explains in the interview why this is urgently needed.
Diana Bridde studied political science, English literature, history and German as a foreign language and lived in Ireland for a long time. For her lessons, Bridde had looked in vain for texts that really interested learners and found: exciting, modern stories and really good professional material are not to be found. So Bridde said to himself: "Do it yourself!"
They are writing about a fantasy reading for the education of migrants. Why?
Now the last Harry Potter is making record sums in the cinema. The Little Hobbit by Tolkien is still on the bestseller lists under the top 1000, although the book was written over 50 years ago. Fantasy is simply trendy, because people like to immerse themselves in a fantasy world. Why should German learners be an exception?
Which book is the template for your practice texts?
The book is called “The Fianna Cycle: The Stone of Temair. A Celtic saga from Ireland ” the author Sophia West. The story takes place in Ireland before the Christianization.
Why did you choose this story from Sophia West?
A trip into mythological Ireland, a mysterious dead, a brave hero. I was touched by myself. I like the story simply and it fits also from the length perfectly to my purpose.
What about the rights?
The author was enthusiastic about the idea, so that was no problem!
Is there not already enough reading for German lessons?
Yes and no. On the one hand there is a large number of literary works for German students, but the subjects of these books are not very varied. Many literary texts have very classical texts as a starting point. You can already learn something about Goethe's Faust at a fairly low level, read the Schimmerreiter or the Broken Jug.
I think that young people, who want to study German studies in other countries, find this quite appealing. I doubt, however, that our immigrants, who should take precedence over them, can be seriously motivated by Goethe's Faust.
And there are no other texts?
Naturally. Another genre, which is often found in German literary lectures, is the detective romance. There are some quite exciting stories, which I have had quite good experiences with during the lessons. But as I said, I find the thematically somewhat thin: classic texts and detective romans. The repertoire should be extended urgently.
With fantasy reading?
Not only. Also in other areas there is a regular lack of texts. For example, there are also few really useful job-related texts. I have had the experience that for many professions there is simply nothing or that the texts are at a very low level and thus do not meet the requirements of learners of middle and advanced level.
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