IWLP German: Talking to native speakers for the Stage 3 Project

In this post we hear from Bee, an IWLP German Stage 3 student. Students on the German Stage 3 module complete a short research project as part of their Spring term assessment, which includes the opportunity to interview to German native speakers. Students prepare in classes beforehand and then use the interviews to feed into their findings for the project. This is a great opportunity for students to really use and develop their language skills authentically.

Hi everyone! My name is Bee and I’m excited to have got the opportunity to write this blog post. I’m a first year studying Creative Writing & Film, however I am currently taking a German module due to a general interest in learning languages and the fact that I took German for both GCSE and A-Level. I hope to do my best in learning as many languages as I can in the future, but German seemed like a great place to start. I definitely needed to brush up on it as I spent the year I took out before uni not using it at all.

As a part of the module, we got the opportunity to interview some native German speakers in preparation for a project that we have to write. It was a really interesting experience – although I have to admit I was a little nervous for it as I’ve never had to utilise my skills in German in front of those who speak it natively. I’ve met a few native German speakers before, but have always been so scared to speak it to them.

Throughout the experience, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I got through it with mostly no issues! I’m sure my German wasn’t perfect due to nerves, but I feel like that’s something that is bound to happen in a situation like that. Learning a new language can be really scary, but I feel like you’ll never get anywhere with it if you don’t put a little bit of trust in yourself, and this is something the experience with the native speakers taught me. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you recognise them, correct them and are ready for further learning. Overall, I can say that the experience was very beneficial and I felt very accomplished afterwards.

See below for some pictures from the interviews:

two people stand opposite each other in a corridor two groups of people sit at tables and speak to each other a group of three people sit around a table and talk to each other

IWLP German: “It did so much more than teach me a new language.”

Hallo, mein Name ist Bella. I began my German Stage 1 module a young woman stands in front of boats in a harbousin my final year of studies as a Film, Theatre and Television student. As someone who always struggled learning languages in school, I was determined to try again at learning a language before I completed my time at university. But deciding to learn a whole new language in my final year was a risk, knowing how much work third year demands of you. I was definitely nervous walking into my first IWLP lesson; however, after just a couple of weeks I began looking forward to my lessons as an enjoyable change from everything Film and Theatre.

It got my brain working in a different way, which I think really aided my entire studies. I would absolutely recommend taking an IWLP course as soon as you can, because after just one year, I wish I had more time to continue my studies in German… and I never thought I would be wishing for more time at uni!

The introduction of German TV and film was as a useful resource to practice listening skills, but as a film and TV student, it had a much bigger impact on me and my work as a student. This influence is something I did not think of when choosing to learn German alongside my main studies. As a result of taking my IWLP module, I selected a German documentary (Die Unsichtbaren: Wir wollen leben, 2017) to discuss in my final essay. Now my list of German TV and film is only growing, as I aim to one day be able to watch German speaking film without the aid of subtitles. I really feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to take this IWLP course because it did much more than solely teach me a new language. I am looking forward to travelling to Germany and Austria in a few weeks to be able to put my language skills to the test. Though I am not sure any beginner in German can be expected to use all the variations of the word ‘the’ correctly… 😉

If you are on this page and thinking of taking an IWLP course, do it! And choose German, you’ll have the most fun!