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German Teachers' Day Barcelona 2008 (Spain)

Multilingualism and language acquisition are subjects which arouse particular attention in the Spanish-Catalonian context. This is why the Goethe-Institut Barcelona had made them central topics in the German Teachers' Day 2008.

What influence does bilingualism exert on acquisition of the first foreign language and how in turn does the first foreign language influence acquisition of the second and third ones? What are the chances for bilingual education courses in Spain? Where do they already exist and what are their prospects? Where are the limits and possibilities of the didactics of multilingualism?

To throw light on these questions in detail, experts from Germany and Spain had been invited:
The speakers included Prof. Dr. Karin Aguado from the University of Kassel, who dealt in her paper "Multilingualism and Foreign Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistic and Neurocognitive Aspects" with the special features of the Spanish situation with its minority languages. In his paper "From Internal to External Multilingualism" Prof. Dr. Jörg Roche of the Maximilian Ludwig University in Munich examined the language learning process. Dr. Nicole Marx of the Westphalian Wilhelm University of Münster concentrated in her paper, "German as a Tertiary Language" on learning processes which take place primarily in the constellation "German to English" when it comes to the acquisition of a tertiary language.

In Spain new bilingual branches with subject teaching in German are at present emerging in some regions. The paper of Paul Palmen from the district government of Cologne on "Bilingual Educational Courses - Opportunities and Prospects" took full account of this development. The concluding joint paper of Dr. Olga Esteve and Dr. Zinka Carandell entitled "Towards Multilingual Didactics: Limits and Possibilities" dealt with the special situation prevailing locally.

All papers were geared to current research while at the same time establishing a link with practice. In addition there were two specifically practice-based papers from Theo Scherling and Meike Müller, in which images and body language are central, extending the concept of multilingualism to cover non-verbal elements.
The papers were supplemented by workshops, book presentations and films. At information stands the participants were able to get information about new publications and study facilities in Germany.

The German Teachers' Day as a whole was intended to be a motivating experience for teachers of German. It included, alongside the specialist input, an exchange of personal experience. This was encouraged by the atmosphere on the campus, which is located near the sea, by the coffee breaks in the sunny interior courtyard of the university and by a common evening meal in the old harbour.
Copyright: GI BarcelonaFor participants who had arrived on the day before the event opened there was a cabaret entitled "Lying, but honestly" in the private library "Ateneu". The cabaret artist and actor Karsten Kaie had written a role specifically for himself of a charming lie motivator and communication trainer. In 13 chapters he covered the whole range of the endless possibilities of positive lying. In the course of the evening, strategies were developed for living honestly with one's lies.

The German Teachers' Day was organised jointly by the Goethe-Institut Barcelona, the University Pompeu Fabra and the Catalonian Germanists' Association, and was supported by the Catalonian education authority. It took place on 19 and 20 September on the Campus del Mar of the University Pompeu Fabra.

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