Foreign Language students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull welcomed visitors from Solihull’s German twin town last week, as they took part in an exchange with a partner school from Main-Taunus-Kreis near Frankfurt.
Our A Level German students visited this German partner school, the Albert-Einstein-Schule in Schwalbach, back in December. This return visit was part of the 24th exchange in a partnership that goes back to 1982. Our students hosted their German counterparts, just as they had accommodated our students back in December, and both sets of students enjoyed a range of activities, all aimed towards helping the visiting students improve their spoken English and their understanding of the language and the culture.
It was a busy week-long visit, which included a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon with their partners from College, where they visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and then took part in an interactive workshop on Othello at the Royal Shakespeare Company. As the German students will have to study Othello as part of their English studies at school, this was a particularly useful exercise.
The German students went on a trip to the BBC at the Mailbox where they enjoyed creating their own mini-radio play and playing ‘Copy Cat’ in a studio mock-up. They also had an evening trip to the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham to see “Cirque Berserk” and spent a day at the Black Country Museum. There was time for an evening meal in Shirley with both sets of students and they were able to catch their flight back to Frankfurt before the recent snow fell.
As well as the visits and external activities, the students spent some time working together in College. This included talking about the differences between the British and German school systems and some practise of speaking German spontaneously for their oral exam which will take place straight after Easter.
German teacher Deborah Smail-Ross commented:
“It was great to see our friends from Main-Taunus-Kreis again. Everyone seemed really happy with the week here and hopefully a lot of friendships have been formed that the students will continue to nurture in years to come. Both this visit and our trip to German in December have been beneficial to both sets of students in developing their language speaking and comprehension skills.”
23 March 2018