In first person Education

Diversity in Deutschland

Waking up to a lush green landscape in a German historic town was a wonderful way to start the day during the three-week language course sponsored by Goethe Institute. It was conducted in June, this year at Schlitz, a small town in eastern Hesse.

With around 50 participants from 11 countries, it was a great opportunity to observe the diversity in Deutsche dialects and their culture. The Canadians naturally imbibed an authentic Deutsche dialect, while those from the Nordic countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland had traces of their regional dialects. With a Macedonian and a South African roommate, dialogues in our diverse dialects were a notable and fun exercise after class hours.

The activity-based learning of the German language with games and outdoor experiences taught us the principles of “learning to learn a language”. This methodology of experiential learning and application through activities that transform the classroom into a space with no black boards and back benchers, is the much needed change that we need to bring into India’s education system. High standards with regard to discipline, punctuality and commitment were expected from all participants, but the occasional sneak trips to the coke dispenser and breaking rules, made many of us feel at home.

The Pakistanis were warm, affectionate and patriotic, much like us Indians, while the casual mannerisms of the Mozambiques were a striking contrast to the Turkmenistanians. The entire camp — with amazing excursions, parties, and more — made it an experience to remember. At Schlitz, the meeting with the mayor (Bürgermeister) and the open forums made available to question him were noteworthy. Back home, I now dream of a citizen-centric Chennai, and a system that will constantly drive its all-round progress.

Simon Elias is a class XII student of Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai.


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Printable version | Jul 17, 2021 6:15:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/diversity-in-deutschland/article19565053.ece

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