WINDHOEK, SEPT. 17 – The Goethe-Institut Namibia on Saturday welcomed more than 70 learners from 26 schools across Namibia to compete in the National German as a Foreign Language Competition 2018 (Nationaler Sprachwettbewerb 2018).
“This competition has existed since 1987 and we are proud to see how many young Namibians from different cultural groups are brought together by the German language. It is highly motivating to send young Namibians to Germany and give them the opportunity to experience the country, its culture and meet the diverse population,” said Daniel Stoevesandt, director of the Goethe-Institut Namibia.
This year saw the following learners rise to the top of German as a Foreign Language in Namibia: Justin Brandt (Namib High School), Max Titus (Rocky Crest High School), Panduleni Shatilwe (Delta Secondary School), Carla Vosloo (Private School Swakopmund) and Kauzemburukua Muikute (Academia Secondary School).
Learners from Grade 7 to 11 were chosen at their schools and entered into the competition that is also supported by the PASCH network.
PASCH – „Schulen: Partner der Zukunft“ (Partners in the Future) is an initiative by the Bundestag (German government) that through the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Affairs) supports the development of the German language at schools through pedagogical training
for teachers and equipping classrooms with relevant teaching aids.
“PASCH is this year celebrating ten years since its establishment in 2008 and we are proud to mark this milestone with the annual language competition and welcoming two Namibian schools to the international PASCH network that opens the door for learners and teachers to explore the world through the German language,”said Corinna Burth, head of educational cooperation for German at the Goethe-Institut Namibia.
She noted how traveling throughout Germany for four weeks is a life-changing experience for young Namibians. “The many winners over the past 30-plus years returned to Namibia with intercultural experience and more personal competence. They have made new friends from around the world and is rewarding for us to facilitate such personal development for young Namibians,” she said.
Learners completed a 30-minutes-long oral examination that gave them the opportunity to showcase their language skills in German. If not in an exam, learners had access to numerous activities such as dancing, making waffles, meditating, improvisational theatre and handicrafts making.
Two of the flights are sponsored by the German-Namibian Foundation DNG that also facilitates learners’ stay at several guest families in Germany. Another three flights are provided by the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) through the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia.
Speaking during the prize giving ceremony on Saturday, German Ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga commended the learners. “It is a pleasure to see how the German language brings young Namibians together every year and sends some of them to Germany for an authentic experience of the country. Learning German is an advantage, not only in Namibia but also on the global scale as it provides speakers with personal and professional opportunities. I wish the winners the best for their trip to Germany next year,” he said.
This year’s language competition was also made possible through sponsorships by the AGDS (Arbeits- und Fördergemeinschaft Deutscher Schulen in Namibia), the Craft Café, Swakopmunder Buchhandlung, Namibia Breweries and the Woermann Brock Care Trust.
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