Pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy in Orkney have been turning their hands to journalism to keep parents and their local community up to date with what they have been learning at school.
With the assistance of their German Foreign Language Assistant Kirsten Liebke, the budding writers and reporters produced a supplement called Deutschland Today that gave an insight into different aspects of German culture and language.
The supplement which was distributed by Orkney Island's local newspaper The Orcadian covered a wide range of topics including Germany’s plans to tackle climate change, economic issues, overview of its political system, music and a fascinating insight into the thoughts and observations of Scots living in Germany.
The project is further evidence of the contribution Foreign Language Assistants can make to schools at a time when local councils face severe financial pressures on whether to take part in programmes such as the British Council’s Foreign Language Assistant’s programme.
German Consul General in Scotland, Wolfgang Mössinger praised the project by saying: ‘The pupils have created a stunning and exciting piece of journalism. I congratulate all the contributors, the writers and all those who supported them.
‘The supplement is evidence of the important role that foreign language can play in schools and the extraordinary contribution they can make in encouraging a motivated group of pupils. We will proudly present these articles across Scotland as an example of successful cross-curricular learning.’
Kirsten Liebke, stressed the importance of the wider aspects of the project by saying: ‘Learning German goes far beyond learning grammar and vocabulary. It is equally important to gain insights into the (six) countries in which the language is spoken and to develop an openness and understanding towards other cultures.’
‘This type of employment with a language means extending one’s perspective, or broadening one’s horizons by looking beyond one’s limited perspectives – in short, new horizons are opened. Language and culture cannot be separated and language alone is not enough to successfully mediate in globalised contexts.’
Alistair Hibbert a pupil at Stromness Academy said;
‘I enjoyed writing the article for the Orcadian. I could use my imagination and creativity in something lots of people could see. I liked the visit to the Orcadian offices and watching it being printed. I learned interesting things about German food-my favourite topic of course!’