Promoting German as a foreign language abroad is one of the foremost tasks of German cultural and educational policy. It makes a significant contribution to matters of fundamental importance to the future of German society, such as the internationalization of Germany as a locus of higher education, training and innovation as well as securing skilled labour for the future. Learning German abroad, moreover, opens a window on Germany and imparts certain social values.
Our partner and intermediary organizations in the German language network, which is coordinated by the German Foreign Office, have developed a correspondingly wide range of tools to promote German as a foreign language abroad. The focus is on schools since the vast majority of German learners, now as in the past, are still schoolchildren (87%). So the primary aim of efforts to promote the German language is to arouse and reinforce host countries’ interest in German as a foreign language and in multilingualism in their education system.
A modern and appealing approach to German teaching provides key motivation for pupils to choose German. So our efforts to promote German as a foreign language focus particularly on basic and advanced teacher training. German teachers’ associations in the various countries are key multipliers in this regard. In addition, our partner and intermediary organizations advise national education authorities on the elaboration of language-learning curricula, among other things. School twinning as well as scholastic and academic exchange programmes are another important element in promoting German as a foreign language, enabling teenagers, young adults and other target groups all over the world to enter into a direct exchange with one another, which, in turn, strongly fosters shared values and mutual understanding.
Furthermore, advertising and information campaigns serve to promote German-learning and arouse interest in Germany among the general public: our so-called Deutschmobiles and binational language years are high-profile examples of these ongoing efforts.