The German Department at Roscommon Community College employs a variety of vibrant learning techniques as pupils grow in their acquisition of the German language. The four key skills involved in learning a language (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are structured through developing students' basic communicative proficiency, language awareness and their cultural awareness.
Roscommon Community College recognises the importance of learning a Modern Foreign Language. Acccording to the German Irish Chamber of Commerce, there are 2,000 vacant jobs for German speakers in Ireland. Speaking German is a life skill that will benefit our students in their life after school. It is a skill that will allow our students to to travel and secure employment across Europe and further afield. With this in mind, a Modern Foreign Language is a core subject up to the Junior Certificate Exam.
The main areas that are covered between first and third year include, inter alia:
- Meeting and getting to know people
- Engaging in and talking about leisure pursuits
- Making plans
- Visiting/staying in a home where the target language is spoken
- Talking about your own family and home
- Talking about animals
- Talking about the weather
- Talking about things you have done, things that have happened, and the way things were
- Talking about school and communicating in the classroom
- Coping with not feeling well or a minor accident
- Finding out and telling people the time, the day,the date
- Finding your way and helping other people to find their way
- Eating and drinking and talking about food and drink
- Using the telephone
- Writing a short note/postcard
- Writing for information or to make a booking
- Writing a short personal letter
- Listening for information
- Reading for information
In Roscommon Community College's German Department, we pride ourselves on all of our students making progress. Staff members work as State Examiners with the State Examinations Commission and as such, are best placed to secure the best possible results for our students. That said, the German Department also embraces opportunities for our students to engage with learning outside of the classroom. This entails providing students the opportunity to take part in our weekly 'Stammtisch' on a Thursday afternoon. Here, students discuss elements of German culture in the German language. An awareness of German culture, music and cinema is encouraged and all pupils are provided the opportunity to view a German film in Roscommon Arts Centre every year as part of developing their communicative proficiency.
In RCC, we nurture our authentic links with German schools. We are twinned with Schloss Bieberstein, a secondary school 15km east of Fulda in Hessen. ICT is used to sustain this partnership and letters to pen friends are exchanged frequently. We also have a partnership with St.Stefan's Gymnasium in Augsburg, Germany and every year, students are encouraged to spend time with their exchange partners and their families in Bavaria. These opportunities allow students to become fully immersed in German culture and to experience the day-to-day life of their German peers. However, if students would prefer to develop their language in a more local setting, Roscommon Community College also provides a language scholarship to a deserving student towards the cost of a course at the Eurolanguages college in Ennis,Co. Clare.
In order to reflect the German Department's commitment to encouraging student's communicative proficiency, we have elected to engage with the State Examination Commission's optional oral examination at Junior Certificate level. As a result of this, students are more fully prepared for senior level German and are well equipped to communicate effectively in the target language in a confident manner. This oral counts as 20% of their overall Junior Certificate German result.
At RCC, our German Department works closely with the Goethe Institute in Dublin and every year, we have visits from the Deutsch Mobile as well as taking part in a nationwide German debating competition that is run by the institute. In 2017, students reached the regional finals of this prestigious competition. We also invite a German Theater group to deliver a dramatic performance in the school every year. Our students thoroughly enjoy taking part in these performances.
We also invite a variety of guest speakers to the school in our commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. Staff and students were recently privileged to attend a lecture by Tomi Reichental, as he shared his recollections of the time he spent in Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
From September 2017, the Junior Certificate German syllabus will be introduced to first year students. This syllabus will be assessed by examination at the end of third year at Ordinary and Higher Level. It will consist of a common level paper and the German Department in Roscommon Community College are at the forefront of the role out of this new syllabus.Staff members are currently engaging with both the JCT and the NCCA in the development of this programme of learning.