I like to give my students the tools to continue building their German skills outside the classroom. Throughout the semester, I show my students ways of practicing their language skills through the use of German films, music, podcasts, or newspapers. Moreover, I involve them in language related activities in the community and on campus. In the past, I have organized a weekly German movie night as well as multilingual poetry reading events to get my students involved in language and culture outside the classroom. Importantly, by encouraging my students not only to attend, but to help organize these cultural events, I am successful in getting them engaged in the German community on campus, which has a lasting effect on their motivation to pursue German beyond the classroom.
Below you can find a description of some of the events I have organized or volunteered for.
Poetry without Borders
In 2015 and 2016, I organized Poetry Without Borders, a university-wide poetry reading forum where students and faculty expose the audience to different languages and cultures. The event aims to bring together people with different backgrounds, sharing a passion for poetry from various cultures and languages. We had contributions from languages such as German, Chinese, Mongolian, Kazakhs, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Turkish, Hebrew, Dutch, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish and Portuguese.
In 2016, this event attracted 25 participating readers, an audience of 110 people, and a funding budget of over $1000, which allowed us to host a large reception following the main event.
German Filmabend (movie night)
In 2017, I organized a weekly German movie night with classic and modern German movies. This event was generously supported by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State.
I frequently volunteer for Bilingualism Matters, an organization that seeks to provide advice and information to community members who may be interested or involved in learning a second language or raising multilingual children.
Events that I have helped with included face-painting at the Children's Festival, an intercultural pot luck at a local daycare, a stand at the local high school's science fair, reading in the library's weekly multilingual reading corner and many more.
High School German Day
Every year, I volunteer for Penn State's High School German Day, a day of German language activities, including a poster and movie competition, a spelling bee, poetry recitation and a German trivia game.
I have participated by teaching sample German classes and by serving as a judge in the German spelling bee, poetry recitation and movie competition.