EXPERIENCE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: THE WORLD’S TOP GERMAN LEARNERS VISIT THE GOETHE-INSTITUT IN FREIBURG
Everyone whose language knowledge qualified them successfully in the national preliminary rounds held in participating countries will be coming to Freiburg for the IDO 2018. From 15th – 28th July 2018 IDO entrants will be putting their German skills to the test at the Goethe-Institut in Freiburg, as well as their ability to compete fairly for qualifications in the international teams. They are improving their awareness of the cultural idiosyncrasies of contestants who have come from all over the world, making new contacts with students in German schools, and finding out more about the cultural side of Freiburg.
“It’s unbelievable how many people I would never have met if I hadn’t learnt German.”
Tara, England, IDO 2016 competitor
OFF TO A FLYING START WITH THE WORLD’S LARGEST GERMAN LANGUAGE COMPETITION
The Internationale Deutscholympiade aims to inspire young people from overseas to take an interest in German language, science and culture. The international German language competition organised by the Goethe-Institut and the Internationaler Deutschlehrerinnen- und Deutschlehrerverband e.V. has been held in different German cities every two years since 2008.
Smaller German competitions were already being held before 2008, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. The number of entrants has been steadily increasing since the first IDO in 2008, which was in Dresden. So far the event locations have been Hamburg (2010), Frankfurt (2012 and 2014) and Berlin (2016). This year’s event at the Goethe-Institut Freiburg has the most entrants, with more than 140 German learners aged from 14 to 17 from around countries.
“What I particularly like is that everyone works together. I’ve made lots of friends.”
Owen, Ghana, IDO 2016 competitor
THE COMPETITION – AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE
The winners of the national preliminary rounds travel to Germany for two weeks for the finals, and pit their wits against each other in individual and team competitions to test their verbal and written skills. They are taught in creative workshops and have numerous opportunities to get to know the city, as well as to incorporate their impressions and experiences into the language competition. In addition to language skills, spending time together as a group is important too: an international jury selects the best German students in the world to receive prizes for their language proficiency and communication abilities. City tours, school visits, leisure activities and a programme of cultural events with a nationally themed evening provide platforms for intercultural encounters. For many people the IDO in Germany means an opportunity to develop new perspectives for competitors’ future careers, and to learn more about Germany as a place to study.
“I’ve been learning German for four years, although I’ve been interested in Germany since I was a child. I’d like to do a degree in Germany – preferably medicine. So that I can bring what I learn here back to Georgia and use it there.”
Tsotne, Georgia, IDO 2016 competitor
TRAINING THE TEAM OF ACCOMPANYING TEACHERS
The young people are each supported by a teacher with special qualifications in teaching German using a methodology / knowledge and skills approach in their home country. These accompanying teachers, of whom there are around 70, attend a seminar programme at the Goethe-Institut Freiburg which is customised to their needs and includes a variety of advanced training and intercultural exchange opportunities. They participate in the cultural programme and social events together with the young IDO competitors.
“The German language is like a bridge between the cultures.”
Ahmed, Egypt, IDO 2016 competitor