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Promoting German

Teaching - Promoting German

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Australia has always been a plurilingual society and languages education has been a priority of successive Australian and Victorian governments.

The AGTV is committed to promoting the learning and teaching of German in Victoria and encourage teachers to remind school communities of the many personal, social, career and economic opportunities available for those who speak German.

The ideas and links below are provided to assist you in promoting German in your school community and beyond.


German is a Language of Opportunities

Be proactive in making your students, colleagues, school community and friends aware of the many opportunities for German.

Students and adults can sit for internationally recognised certificates through the Goethe-Institut Australia

Websites for Promoting German

See also the Why German section on this website for information about opportunities for students in the Australian community and beyond


Resources to Explore or Download

Deutsch ist cool!

General Promotional Materials


Foster Positive Attitudes for Learning German

Smile! We are teachers of DaF: Deutsch als Freundsprache.

Welcome all comers to your classroom. Everyone can learn languages. Some will learn faster than others, and everyone can learn something.

The teacher's demonstrated passion, knowledge and interest in the subject they teach impacts on the attitudes of students towards learning.

Teachers of German are lucky to have the opportunities to travel as part of their work through scholarships and school study tours.

The AGTV is passionate about German and through our local and national networks you can find support for your situation. Teachers of German across Australia share similar experiences.

First Impressions Stick: Start the year off on a positive note

Do something memorable. For example:

Acknowledge the importance of the students' learning journey with German with this cultural tradition of celebrating going to school.

Grade 5 or 6 student could make Schultüten for the Preps and present them in the first week at assembly. Older students might perform a song as well.

Year 7 students could make their own in the first week and then ask the Principal or Coordinator to come in and present them with a 'Gratuliere!'

Take photos, put in the newsletter and display in the classrooms to show learning German is important and worth celebrating.

The Best Promotion is a Quality Learning Program

The Victorian DET has identified six key principles of learning and teaching.

1. The learning environment is supportive and productive

2. The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence and self-motivation

3. Students’ needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning program

4. Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application

5. Assessment practices are an integral part of teaching and learning

6. Learning connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom

Design a Brain-Friendly Classroom to Promote Learning

Learning and learning German can and should involve fun. Having fun and using humour is brain-friendly and promotes learning.

Create the conditions for learning with a brain-friendly curriculum program.

Start from Where Your Students Are

Find out about the students interests and incorporate these into the learning.

Find out what they know about German and D-A-CH-L and build on this knowledge base.

Du bist gut in Deutsch

Praise your students often and tell them how well they are doing. Be specific about what they can do.

John Hattie places high value on the power of quality feedback.

Notice and acknowledge the ''sparkling moments', the positive learning behaviours, the attempt to have a go.

Share good news with the families of the students.

Nobody's Perfect

Learning is doing. We learn by our mistakes. Learning takes time.

Pointing out the mistakes too soon will stifle creativity and their willingness to have a go at attempting to communicate in German.

We understand ESL speakers in our community, even though they make mistakes - and they are immersed in the language.

Self-Assessment: Crucial for the Ongoing Selection of German

One of the biggest hurdles for students continuing on with German is the lack of confidence or self-belief that they are achieving in German.

We need to tell them and let them see the steps they are taking from dependence towards independence. They - and their families (and colleagues at school) - need to understand the progress they have made and how to move forward with their learning.

Ask students to regularly reflect on their own learning and track the progress they are making.

From Dependence to Deutsch-Profi

Teach students how to use models provided to express their own ideas and opinions, and how to transfer that learning to other topics and situations. Increase their range of expressions over time.

Raise the bar as they master a set of skills. This will be different for each individual student. Some students need to master good learning behaviours before they can master skills in German.

The European Global Scale of A1 to C2 can be also used to reflect on progress. Intercultural language skills are implied. This also demonstrates to students that all levels of skills in languages are valued in Europe.

One model used in the US for self-assessment, again without explicit mention to intercultural skills.

Tell the Students What is Expected for Assessment Tasks

Show them an example of what you mean. Use rubrics so students (and families) know what they have to do to be successful.

Invite the class to develop the criteria and assess each other's performance. It focuses their attention on the details.

Music and Language: a Natural Partnership

Music is brain-friendly and aides memory. Use it to engage students, to learn how to express ideas, feelings and opinions.

Model Language Learning and Use in Class

Use German in the classroom as often as possible.

Expect increasing contributions from students in German as their skills develop.

  • Tips and Tokens - Encourage positive learning behaviours and language use by awarding tokens to cash in for prizes.

Talk to your Principal about applying for or funding a German assistant at the school.

Think out loud to demonstrate the steps in thinking and strategies used to solve problems. 

Get inside the head of a good thinker and ask students to share how they learnt something.

Provide opportunities for students to be creative with their language skills. It can be a great motivator.

Expand General Knowledge of D-A-CH-L Communities in Europe and Australia.

Demonstrate the contemporary Vielfalt in Europe and challenge stereotypes.


Intercultural Exchange

The Bei mir - bei dir: Our Place project was an intercultural exchange project developed by Goethe-Institut Australia, AGTV and Kathrin Schmieder, a German-born photo journalist living in Melbourne. It involved the electronic exchange of photos and stories between students in Victoria and German-speaking countries comparing aspects of their daily lives. This could also be used to exchange experiences in German between schools in Australia e.g. city and country, Victoria and Queensland.

The ultimate exchange of course is visiting a German-speaking country. Encourage students to apply for scholarships and tell them about the AGTV-BJR Exchange.


Connect students electronically under a theme or topic and/or let them ask their own questions.

Many students of German participate in electronic exchanges with students schools in Germany and other countries learning German.

Various opportunities exist. One explored by teachers of German is ePals.


Radio Exchanges

Sister Schools and Exchanges Contacts

Connect students so they can ask their own questions through Sister School or electronic exchanges.

Contacts are also made by teachers who have received scholarships to German-speaking Europe, where they meet teachers from around the world. It provides an additional intercultural opportunity to communicate in German with other learners of German - Deutsch als Verbindungsprache.


Other Strategies to Raise the Profile of German

Have a notice board to display articles, flyers for events, advertisements etc and invite students to contribute what they find.

Have a regular brief  Info-Spot to break up a topic and ask students to take turns presenting what they find.

Bring in an artifact such as a postcard, object, magazine or video clip - just for fun!

Run a German Club for one class a month or a term or at lunchtime if you have the energy.

Watch Deutsche Welle or listen to SBS German Program to see what is making the news.

Take students on an excursion, is worth the extra work and gives you a chance to get to know the students outside of the classroom.

Find traces of German in your local community and point this out to students or let them discover it through a project e.g. Photo Competition.

Develop Positive Attitudes to German at School and at Home

Consider how you could celebrate a cultural event or tradition in class or across the school or beyond. It is worth the effort to let people see what goes on in German classrooms.

Invite your Principal and local Councillors or politicians to be involved. Don't forget to take photos and report in the Newsletter and SZENE.

Praise students often and tell them how good they are in German. They need constant encouragement to persist and to see the steps they are taking towards proficiency.

Post an AGTV  'Gut gemacht' postcard home for each student over the year to acknowledge progress in personal or language learning.

Drip feed information, opportunities for German, and reports on what you are doing in the newsletter or on the school website.

Invite parents to special events where the students demonstrate their learning.

Take photos of student activities in class to display at parent evenings.

Cater for a staff morning tea to celebrate a significant date, event, birth date of someone famous.

Teach your colleagues some German. Have a 'Phrase of the Week' on the staffroom notice board.

Run a quiz for staff on significant days - or just for fun. Have little prizes e.g. a Mozartkugel - just one: Schokolade macht dick! (Aber schmeckt!)

Join in with special events at school and make connections to German e.g. Science Week, Harmony Day. Make a display, make connections to D-A-CH-L

Keep records of retention rates and what happened to former students of German, to demonstrate a pathway for German.

Promote Opportunities for Students Now and in the Future

Tell your students and school community about the scholarships and exchanges.

Don't make the decision for them and assume they won't be interested or can't afford it. You won't know until you ask, and in asking, the families learn about the opportunities for German.

Participate in competitions and events beyond the classroom. Let your students be acknowledged for their efforts and shine the light on your school German program. Give your students an authentic purpose to learn and use German.

Your Principal loves good news stories about successful students.

Tell your school community about the opportunities for German beyond school.

Find out what happened to past German students and ask them to come back and talk to the class; video them (with permission) or get a testimonial to show future classes and families.

Have a selection of photos of students working (with appropriate permissions) in your class ready to supply a newspaper when they visit or for other opportunities

Ask students back to talk to younger students, ask older students to talk to younger students at the school.

Primary and Secondary Partnerships

Make connections between Primary and Secondary schools to attract enrolments to the school and your program. It does not matter if the school does not have German. Learning is transferable across languages.


Participate in the Learning Community for German

Building personal relationships with colleagues and updating skills is a professional responsibility. We all share the same challenges, you are not alone.

German has a comprehensive support network and professional development opportunities.

Join the AGTV to become part of our Networks, attend, PDs and conferences to build supportive partnerships and to share experiences, ideas and inspiration, and advice and support for your situation.

Apply for a scholarship to update your language, culture and methodology skills.

Attend the Goethe-Institut Summer School to practise your language skills and meet enthusiastic learners and speakers of German.

  • Victorian State Conference - in Kilmore in 2008: Log on - Passwort Deutsch & celebration of the Bei mir - bei dir: Our place intercultural project - Download the PPTs of the Keynote Speakers: Wolfgang Malik and Claudia Riehl
  • AGTV Primary Teacher PD - in 2005, Primary teachers enjoy the focus on their needs

See also Teaching: Professional Learning

German in Schools

Check out the web presence of the German program in these AGTV member schools.

Forward a link to show what goes on at your school during the week.

See also Why German: Where to learn German for links to Community Schools

And some interstate promotion:



Featured Links