Category Archives: German language

Modern Languages Teachers’ Conference 2021: All Welcome!

SRTS Teachers' Conference, offline version
The SRTS Teachers’ Conference, pre-pandemic version

We’re delighted to announce that our Oxford University Modern Languages Teachers’ Network, the Sir Robert Taylor Society, is holding its annual conference this year on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 September. If you’re UK modern languages teacher, or have an interest in modern languages teaching at school and university in the UK, you’re warmly invited to attend. Due to Covid, the conference will once again be online this year, with two evenings of roundtable talks and guest speakers.

On Thursday 23 September, from 19:30-21:00 on Microsoft Teams, the theme will be Modern Languages and Careers.

We’ll be talking about, among other things:

  • Career paths of modern languages graduates
  • Employability and demand for modern language skills in the workplace
  • Transferable skills from modern language study
  • STEM pressure and the value of humanities subjects

On Friday 24 September, again from 19:30-21:00, the theme will be Modern Languages and Diversity.

We’ll be talking about, among other things:

  • Revisiting the canon: diversifying and decolonizing the curriculum in language, literature and film
  • Race, gender and sexuality as topics of study in language, literature and film courses
  • Racism, homophobia and other prejudice in literary texts and film
  • Diversity in the student body: widening participation in modern language courses

If you’d like to attend either or both events, please email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk, and we’ll send you the link to join.

During the events, participation from delegates through the chat and live discussion will be warmly welcome. If you’d like a seat at the Round Table to talk more substantially about either of these topics in secondary or higher education, please let us know, and we’ll be very pleased to accommodate you.

Competition news from the Oxford German Network

Colleagues at the Oxford German Network have just launched Round 2 of this year’s Oxford German Olympiad; the competition features a choice of creative tasks aimed at school pupils in age groups ranging from Year 10 to Year 13.

Two of the new tasks are sponsored by the White Rose Project, which is investigating the story of the White Rose resistance group. The competition tasks focus on resistance member Sophie Scholl, who would have had her one hundredth birthday in 2021. The third task asks entrants to consider the parallels between the 1920s and 2020s.

There are cash prizes available for the winning entries. Full details of all Oxford German Olympiad competitions are available on the OGN’s website here.

Competitions for Language Learners in Schools

Colleagues across the university are currently hosting several exciting competitions designed to engage school pupils with language learning. First up is a topical competition from the team at the Modern Languages Outreach and Engagement (MLOE) project. Open to Year 9 students (Year 10 in Northern Ireland), ‘Rethinking Languages through COVID-19’ asks entrants to produce a poster reflecting on some of the ways in which COVID-19 has changed language use, or impacted on life, in another country. The closing date for this competition is Friday 18 December 2020: full details for teachers and their pupils are available here.

Alpes de Berchtesgaden (Image credit Wikimedia Commons)

Elsewhere the Oxford German Olympiad (OGN) is now open for entries. This year’s theme is ‘Die Alpen’ (The Alps) and there is a whole range of opportunities for age groups ranging right through from Years 5 and 6 in primary school to Years 12 and 13 to win prizes. The tasks to choose from include opportunities for creative writing and making art, and they don’t all require a prior knowledge of the German language – just an enthusiasm for engaging with the culture, language, and nature of German-speaking countries. Entrants have until Thursday 11 March 2021 to take part, and all of the relevant information can be found on the competition website.

Later this year we’ll also be launching our ever-popular French and Spanish flash fiction competitions. Watch this space for updates: in the meantime you can read the winning entries from 2020 for French here, and for Spanish here.