English language teaching in German primary schools

Do you speak English? - ©iStockphoto.com/atakanWhen my daughter started school in Germany, I wondered how long it would be before she learnt something in her English lessons, that I did not agree with.  A piece of grammar maybe, or a translation.

Regular readers of this site may recall that she is being taught “school English”, which was defined as spelling “colour” with a “u”.  Whilst not exactly the words “British English” that I would like it to be defined as, I am at least happy that I do not yet have to explain that other countries leave that “u” out and in some cases even use other words for the same things.

It was whilst I was helping her revise for a vocabulary test a few days ago, that I suspected the time may already have come, and further inspection of her vocabulary book confirmed my suspicion.  In some cases, I found the translations to be unusual, but in some to be down right wrong.

And since there were some entries from her teacher in the book, I am assuming that she has seen the offending words and that this is not just a mistake that took place copying them from the blackboard. [Read more…]

German Schools and Modern Teaching Methods

School blackboard - ©iStockphoto.com/kyoshinoI suppose it was inevitable that once my daughter started school I would be comparing the school system in Germany with that in England – at least with the one I experienced at the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s.

But I wasn’t quite prepared for the cultural shock that followed, and am still often left trying to work out whether it is a difference between the national systems that I am observing, or whether times have just simply moved on.

When I went to to primary school in England… [Read more…]

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