Visiting Germany, or another German-speaking country, is the best way to both boost your pupils’ level of German and encourage a passion for the language. Of course, the hope is that once they’re in Germany, your students will use their German to speak to locals. But the reality can be different, especially for those pupils who are a little shier or lack confidence.
So, how can you ensure that all your pupils get the most out of the trip? Make sure you add in some activities that encourage them all to use their German, whether it’s speaking or listening. Here are just a few ideas to inspire you:
Challenge your students to buy some key ingredients for a picnic!Lots of our groups visit markets, but how do you encourage slightly shy, nervous pupils to use their language skills with the market stall holders? Make it into a game!
You could challenge them to buy all the items on a shopping list for their lunch, or set them individual challenges. It’s a good idea to set a strict budget – as well as ensuring they don’t spend all their spending money in one go, it could mean they’ll have to ask the stall holders for small discounts. And make sure you give them a strict time limit!
- *Where could we do this? **
Any local market will do! But two of our favourites are Marheineke Markt in Berlin and Viktualienmarkt in Munich.
Watch a film in German!Unless you’ve shown one in class, it’s unlikely your pupils will have ever watched a film in German. Obviously, you’ll want to choose something that challenges them but isn’t too difficult for their level – you don’t want them to get bored and switch off!
Of course, like the UK, almost every large town and city in Germany has a cinema. You could make this a real event in Berlin though by visiting the Cinemaxx, where the Berlin Film Festival is held every spring.
Explore your surroundings with a town trailA town trail is a great way to encourage your pupils to learn more about the town or city you’re staying in. Although these are usually in English, to ensure they understand the content, you could encourage your pupils to ask locals the answers to the questions they are unable to answer themselves!
We have town trails for Aachen, Berlin, Bonn, Boppard, Cologne and Koblenz!
Interview the locals!So, one of the main reasons to visit Germany on a school trip is to encourage your pupils to use their German to engage with the locals. But how do you ensure this happens? Well, you could challenge your pupils to conduct interviews! They could ask people about themselves, the local area, or on any topics you’ve recently covered in lessons!
In reality, you could do this anywhere – all you need is some accommodating locals! However, we have put together a pack especially for groups visiting the Black Forest, as the friendly nature of the locals means this is the ideal place for this activity.
Learn how to make some traditional goodies!We offer several foodie experiences, many of which can be provided completely in German to continue your pupils’ immersion in the language. This is a great option, because the pupils will love learning how to prepare these tasty treats and will look forward to the opportunity to try them.
We offer these foodie experiences all over Germany. For example, you could learn to make stollen in Dresden or Black Forest Gateau in the Black Forest. And for a slightly different spin, the Chocolate Museum in Cologne is, understandably, always a hit with pupils.
Take a guided tour in German!Whether it’s a city or museum tour, most guided visits offer a choice between English and German. Opt for the German – although it will be more of a challenge for your pupils to understand, it will be of huge benefit for them to hear a native speaker talk about what they are seeing in German. You can always check they’ve understood the main points as you go along. If they have questions, you can help them to ask them in German – they’ll feel really pleased with themselves for having a go!
Anywhere where you can do a guided visit, whether it’s a city or museum tour!
Looking to arrange a school trip to Germany that gets your students talking? Contact us.