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Berti Vogts kicks off German competition

Scotland’s best-known German, Berti Vogts will help the University of St Andrews launch an initiative aimed at increasing interest in the German language amongst Scottish school pupils.

The University’s Department of German will host its first annual German recitation contest for school children from all over Scotland and the national football team’s manager will be on hand to present the prizes.

The Annual German Competition for Schools in Scotland will be held in St Andrews today (Wednesday 18th of June 2003).

Annette Zimmermann, a Senior Native Language Tutor at the University is organiser of the event. She said:

“More than 100 million people around the world speak German and we feel very honoured that one of them, Berti Vogts, has made time in his busy schedule to promote the German language and to present the prizes on the day of the competition. What could be better than combine German and football when the key to both is passion.”

Mr Vogts said: “Of course it is convenient to get by with English anywhere in the world. But as a German, I am delighted to see that Scottish pupils realise the importance of German and take up the subject despite English being a world language. Therefore it is a great pleasure for me to have been invited to St Andrews by the German Department and to make a contribution in rewarding the efforts these pupils undertake in learning German.”

The competition is part of a drive by the Department of German to counter the decline in the study of foreign languages at secondary school level, following their removal from the post-14 compulsory core curriculum. This year, they have organised a series of outreach initiatives aimed at maintaining interest in the subject at schools, something which they believe is under threat due in part to competition from other more recently introduced subjects such as Psychology and Drama.

Earlier this year, as part of an initiative to stimulate and encourage interest in German at a local level, students of the German at St Andrews performed a free play for Fife school pupils. It is hoped that such outreach programmes will also encourage youngsters to consider studying languages at University.

The recitation contest is aimed at pupils studying German at all levels. The afternoon event will involve a series of readings, recitations and role- playing in which performers will be judged on pronunciation, fluency, expressiveness, acting skills and originality.

Professor Helen Chambers, Chair of the Department of German, said:

“The study of German is an important key to career opportunities and to social and cultural contact for young Europeans. We want Scottish school children to have the same opportunities as their European neighbours, 50% of whom speak German. The competition is a chance to find out that speaking German can be fun and we are delighted that Berti Vogts has agreed to be involved in the event.”

Over 100 entrants from 17 schools throughout Scotland are expected, including Hutcheson’s Grammar School (Glasgow), Fettes College (Edinburgh), St Saviours High School (Dundee), Buckhaven High School (Leven), Morrison’s Academy (Crieff) and Madras College (St Andrews).

Winners of the event, sponsored by Duden Verlagshaus, Goethe Institute Glasgow, Houghton Mifflin Publishers, Präsenz Schweiz (PRS) and the Swiss Embassy in London, will be awarded cash prizes of up to £100 and all participants will be presented with certificates.

ENDS

Weblinks:

Dept of German homepage – http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/academic/modlangs/ger man/index.html

NOTE TO EDITORS:

THE ANNUAL RECITATION COMPETITION WILL RUN FROM 2PM WITH WINNERS BEING ANNOUNCED AT APPROXIMATELY 4PM. BERTI VOGTS WILL AWARD THE PRIZES AND WILL BE AVAILABLE THEREAFTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHS WITH SOME OF THE WINNERS.

PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD GATHER AT THE BUCHANAN LECTURE THEATRE, UNION STREET, ST ANDREWS AT 3.45PM. WEATHER AND TIME PERMITTING, PHOTOS WILL BE DONE ON ST SALVATOR’S LAWN.

A FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS IS AVAILABLE – CONTACT GAYLE COOK (DETAILS BELOW).

DETAILS OF WINNERS WILL BE RELEASED AFTER THE EVENT.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: German comp pic call 160603 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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