Dr. John Goodyear: „Auf Wiedersehen, Deutsch?“

Einladung zu einem Vortrag in englischer Sprache

The decline of German as a Foreign Language in the
English education system“
Tuesday, 26th January 2016 at 7 pm
RüKONTOR (5. Etage), Rüttenscheider Str. 144, 45131 Essen
“The Headteacher wants to see you,” said Mr. Newson, John’s secondary school German
teacher right at the beginning of a lesson on the German dative case in 1996. As opposed to
being reprimanded for any wrongdoing, John got to the Headmaster’s study only to be
praised for his “excellent” skills in German. It was a prep talk by the school’s headmaster
which motivated John to embark on a remarkable and increasingly rare journey for a white
working class boy from the West Midlands: after a GCSE and A-Level in German, a Bachelor,
Master and PhD degree in the subject followed.
Today, white working class boys from non-selective state schools are least likely to take a
foreign language as an exam subject at secondary school. In fact, in 2013, just 28.1% of
students in Sandwell, where John went to school in the west of Birmingham, took the
secondary school leaving qualification in one foreign language. It ranked in the bottom three
on the table of modern foreign language take-up in England and Wales: 149 out 151.
With regular national headlines of German “declining rapidly” (BBC, June 2015) and
university courses in German in “freefall” (The Telegraph, 2013), the questions of why this
decline has happened and how it was precipitated will be at the heart of this talk. And how
does this “dramatic decline” (Telegraph, 2015) in German take-up in England and Wales
square with the more favourable and positive reception of all things German in recent times
(Dittert, 2013)?


Dr. Goodyear is Director of Studies of the Academy of English, Vice Chairman of the
Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft and presenter on the local English TV show BIGBITE in
Oldenburg. As an Anglo-German intercultural practitioner, he is also involved as a volunteer
motivational speaker in the Inspiring the Future and the Speak to the Future campaigns in the
UK, successfully touring English secondary schools in England promoting the benefits of
learning German as a Foreign Language. John has recently established the Graham Newson
Travel Memorial Fund in his late German teacher’s name to give school children, aged 14-19,
valuable work experience in Germany.

mit freundlicher Unterstützung
des L O R E N Z KG – Café – Restaurant – Bar – Hotel
Rüttenscheider Str. 187, 45131 Essen
Der Eintritt ist frei. Spenden sind erwünscht

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