Teaching German in Russia

The day I arrived in Novosibirsk my host Larisa introduced me to her friend Olga, the German teacher at School 29. We chatted for a while (it was funny to speak German again) and she had me agree to join her for her lessons the next day. I was supposed to prepare something Germany-related. OK.
Me in SchoolWhat I ended up doing was introducing myself to her lovely students, talking about the most important sights in Germany, about the school system and a little about politics in the higher classes. It was really enjoyable and I didn’t even notice how time flew by until I had to leave – six lessons later!
The student’s German level and also their active participation varied quite a lot, but I tried to speak slowly and to find as simple words as possible, and they at least gave me the feeling that they understood what I said. They probably did not learn many facts or new words in my lessons, but in my opinion it was more about meeting a native speaker and about showing them a practical application of their language studies – being able to talk to a foreigner.

It was a really nice and enriching experience also for myself – to see a Russian school from the inside. There were many small surprises and differences to what I am used to from Germany; starting with the security checkpoint at the entrance, to the modern presentation technology in the classrooms. But also the students were different: smartly dressed, eager to learn and interested in the subjects, thus quiet, and very respectful towards their teacher. Maybe just my experience? I think not.

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