Vorsprung durch Deutsch
German recognised as a focus for new language initiative in English schools
03 March 2023
The Goethe-Institut London is proud to be part of the nationwide Language Hubs programme and the newly formed National Consortium for Languages Education to implement the German Promotion Project (GPP), a scheme that will champion German as a subject in English schools.
The Language Hubs programme is a huge investment in education, led by University College London (UCL) and funded by the Department for Education (DfE) with £14.9 million over three years. It aims to boost the number of pupils taking modern foreign languages, as well as overhaul the approach to community languages. The initiative will support the DfE’s ambition that 90% of Year 10 pupils in state-funded schools study a combination of the core academic subjects as part of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) by 2025, which includes a foreign language. EBacc subjects are considered essential for many degrees, providing opportunities and a sound basis for a wide range of careers.
The German Promotion Project (GPP) is one part of this new initiative, set up with the specific goal to raise the profile of studying German in-depth, up to GCSE and A-level exams.
“We are particularly delighted that learning German has been identified as a focus area of the programme. The Goethe-Institut already supports Modern Foreign Language teachers across the UK with professional development opportunities and teaching materials and promotes knowledge exchange between schools. We look forward to bringing our expertise to the German Promotion Project and to working with UCL, our long-standing partners at the British Council and others on this initiative over the next few years,” said Dr. Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Director of the Goethe-Institut London.
"As the German cultural institute with a long history both in the UK and across the world, we very much welcome this significant announcement. By encouraging language learning in state-funded schools across England, the Language Hubs programme will widen opportunities for many young people and contribute to fostering cultural exchange in Europe and beyond. In addition, the Goethe-Institut will continue to work with the British-German Association and UK-German Connection to support learning German for more young people in England.”
Peter Barnes, Chairman of the British-German Association, said: “The British-German Association has been active for many years in promoting and supporting the teaching of German in British schools. We have long argued for greater Government support for the teaching of German, and we are delighted that the Government has taken this forward with the German Promotion Project. We look forward to exploring with the consortium what direct or indirect support the BGA can provide to this project.”
Ute Paetzig, Director, UK-German Connection said: “We are delighted to support this welcome new initiative through opportunities for international engagement for schools, teachers and pupils. UK-German Connection funds and facilitates partnerships, exchanges and peer-to-peer connections between young people, which offer unique opportunities for applying and enhancing language skills in an authentic intercultural context.”
Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said: “The creation of the National Consortium for Languages Education is an important and welcome step towards strengthening language teaching in England. The decline in the numbers of pupils studying German is dramatic. I am hopeful that the German Promotion Project can reverse this trend, incentivising and encouraging language learning across the school sector. Learning languages opens gateways into other cultures, fostering friendship, trust and understanding across borders.”
The other consortium partner, the British Council, recently identified German as one of the top priority languages to advance the UK’s skills and influence in the world. Advocating for a better understanding of the role that languages play in diplomacy, security, international relations and economic growth, the British Council concludes that all young people in the UK should have the opportunity to gain an international outlook through their education, including exchanges with other countries.
Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser, British Council said: “The British Council is delighted to be part of this exciting new initiative that prioritises language learning across the UK. The importance of language skills and knowledge and understanding of other cultures cannot be overstated. Language learning can open doors for young people embarking on their careers and brings new opportunities for cultural understanding in a globally connected world.”
The British-German Association (BGA) is the civil-society hub for British-German issues in the UK. The BGA promotes mutual understanding and friendship between the UK and Germany, and aims to educate people in the UK about Germany, its culture and its language. The BGA is a UK registered charity.
Notes to Editors:
Established in 2005, UK-German Connection is a bilateral government initiative dedicated to improving contacts and understanding between young people in the UK and Germany. As a coordinating agency for UK-German activity at school and youth level, UK-German Connection offers advisory services for school and youth partnerships, funding for UK-German school and youth exchange activity and a range of bilateral programmes, trips, youth events and networks.
The Goethe-Institut, Germany’s cultural institute, operates worldwide, promoting knowledge of the German language abroad and fostering international cultural collaborations. Its cultural and educational programmes offer an opportunity to engage with themes and questions relevant to contemporary German culture and society. Faced with the challenges of globalisation, it aims to strengthen intercultural dialogue and a global civil society.
There are currently 158 Goethe-Institut branches operating in 98 countries around the world. Combining their cross-cultural expertise with the experiences of their local partners, they support and collaborate with cultural institutions and artists, universities and schools, local authorities and businesses with an interest in Germany and its language and culture. With their networks and collaborations, they also address and promote the European idea, a shared European cultural space and diversity.
The Goethe-Institut London has been operating in South Kensington since 1962.
Find out more about the GIMAGINE project, which is one part of the new NCLE Language Hubs programme, set up with the specific goal to raise the profile of studying German in-depth, up to GCSE and A-level exams.
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