The Goethe-Institut Namibia is this year executing the German is a Plus project that aims to promote the German language in aspects of career, study and travel on numerous platforms – from schools to the local media in Namibia.
Phase One of the project runs during September 2018, during which more than 20 schools across Namibia that offer the DaF (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) subject are visited by a dynamic team. The German is a Plus team spend one week along the Namibian coast, another in Windhoek and a few days in Tsumeb to interact with more than 1300 learners in total.
Learners from Grades 4 to 9 are every morning welcomed with a series of fun and educational activities in the German language. Each session kicks off with a song in German and as expected, is the favourite activity of almost every learner. German culture of music is great way of familiarising oneself with the language.
The classes are then split into groups and have the task to complete at least four of the more than 5 activities to earn stamps. At least four stamps entitle each member of the group to a well-earned prize that consists of a draw-string bag and pencil bag filled with environmentally friendly stationery.
The series of activities were carefully selected and structured in a way that learners are exposed to the fun and interesting side of the German language that is very often seen as difficult to learn. Some are more challenging than others but the most important is to encourage the learning of the German language.
Phase Two of the project kicks off in December 2018 and runs until February 2019 on various platforms. Aiming for maximum visibility, local taxis are branded with a bumper sticker created in different colours that correspond to the three aspects of life than can benefit when proficient in the German language: Studies – Goethe green; Travel – Goethe Blue; and Career; Goethe orange. A total of 250 taxis in Windhoek are branded with a German is a Plus bumper sticker.
Running concurrently with the bumper stickers is a radio campaign that promotes the learning of the German language through challenging non speakers to pronounce some of the easiest and hardest German phrases that are also part of a social media component of the campaign on Instgram and Facebook.
The radio campaign presents listeners with a word or phrase in German and whoever pronounces it best wins a course to learn German at the Goethe-Institut Namibia. The words and phrases are also used for the social media campaign. Firstly, the words and phrases used on the radio station are posted on social media platforms, after which videos of the general public attempting to do the same as the radio listeners are also posted online. Videos of German language teachers and students at the Goethe-Institut Namibia are also posted online for the public to familiarise themselves with the Goethe teaching staff and see first-hand testimonials of how much of a benefit it can be to learn the German language. The Goethe-Institut’s dynamic approach to teaching using the latest technology is also explained to the public.
Last but not least is the printing aspect of the campaign that places adverts in local newspapers to introduce the German is a Plus campaign. The bumper stickers and language course adverts for the Goethe-Institut Namibia feature in a supplement that is included in at least three local newspapers. A series of posters featuring Namibians who have benefitted from their proficiency in the German language through positive developments in career, study or travel is also visible across Windhoek and at local schools offering the DaF subject.
Altogether, the German is a Plus campaign is one that has the potential to become an annual project if funding is available. From middle-school learners to young adults and seniors in society, everyone has the opportunity to engage with the German language in various ways and have access to information on the benefit of proficiency in the German language when studying, traveling or investing the development of a career.