Aberdeen to host finals of new initiative to promote the German language

Aberdeen to host finals of new initiative to promote the German language

The University of Aberdeen will host the final a ground-breaking event to promote German language learning for school pupils in and around Aberdeen on Wednesday (March 24).

The German Consulate General and KCA DEUTAG, the international drilling contractor, together with the Goethe Institute and the University of Aberdeen, has launched a German language competition boasting a week’s work experience at KCA DEUTAG’s offices in Bad Bentheim, Germany, as first prize.

Participating Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire schools have each selected two pupils to take part in the competition based upon the results of a questionnaire comprising both English and German sections.

The selected applicants will compete at a finale which will be held at the University of Aberdeen on Wednesday (March 24).

The winners will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony at the University that evening, in the presence of a selection of prominent guests from the education sector and local community.

The three winners will spend a week in Germany on work experience at KCA DEUTAG’s offices in Bad Bentheim. They will gain a unique insight into the workings of the company and even visit an operational oil rig.

During their trip, the pupils will stay with German families in order to learn more about German culture and traditions and will spend a day at a German school.

The competition is designed to open the eyes of young people to the true value of cultural diversity and languages, and provide a boost to German language learning in secondary schools.

It will also allow S4 and S5 pupils to engage with their peers in Germany, gain invaluable insight into the working world and witness first-hand the potential unleashed by languages.

Professor Gordon Burgess, Head of the Department of German in the School of Language and Literature, University of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the finals of the first competition of this kind in Scotland for S4/5 pupils.

“It demonstrates the University's commitment to modern languages, and to supporting foreign language learning in schools in Aberdeen City and Shire.

“As shown by this competition, German is the major foreign language for business, as well as culture (and football).

“Thanks to our strong links with the German Consulate in Edinburgh and the Goethe Institute in Glasgow, as well as with the Austrian and German Academic Exchange Services, we are well placed to ensure that our graduates have the knowledge and skills to equip them for a future career using their German, whether in the UK or abroad.”

Ross Richardson, KCA DEUTAG’s Director HR, HSE and Training, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this project as it will provide an excellent opportunity for the school pupils involved to experience life with a German family and, of course, to practise their language skills. The project demonstrates KCA DEUTAG’s commitment to supporting the local communities in which we work.”

The German Consul General, Wolfgang Mössinger, said: “We are delighted to have found such a committed partner and sponsor in KCA DEUTAG. Schools in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire have responded positively to this fantastic competition, despite their considerable workload. Furthermore, this pilot project demonstrates the commitment of Germany to supporting German language teaching in Scottish schools.”