The Midlands German Network was officially launched on January 21, 2015, at Aston University. Aston is one of six universities in the Midlands who joined up in the Network to build and deepen links between local schools, universities and employers. MGN also works with a range of partners from industry and academia in order to promote interest in German language learning and culture.
The launch event was attended by around 120 visitors representing local schools, the Network universities and other stakeholders. They were welcomed by Prof Simon Green, Executive Dean of Aston’s School of Languages and Social Sciences, and Network Director Dr Stefan Manz who officially launched the MGN website. At the following panel discussion with representatives from Network partners such as the German Embassy, UK German Connection, the Goethe Institute, DAAD, UK Trade&Investment, Routes into Languages and the German Honorary Consul for the Midlands, each partner briefly presented explained how they are promoting German and afterwards, the panel members answered questions prepared by students from local schools. The event finished with an interactive introduction to the activities of the Arsenal Double Club, a joint project by UK German Connection and the Goethe Institute.
The launch event also provided the perfect opportunity to thank the sponsors of the Midlands German Network for their support. The website was created with seed funding from the German Embassy, and our corporate partner E.ON, as well as the Institute for German Studies (IGS) at the University of Birmingham and Routes into Languages provided funding for the launch and the Network in general.
For more information about the Midlands German Network, please go to the website at: www.midlandsgermannetwork.org.uk.
From next academic year, Aston is offering a new undergraduate programme which combines a BSc in German, French and/or Spanish with Qualified Teacher Status within four years. After graduation, successful graduates will be able to apply immediately for modern languages teaching positions in secondary schools without undertaking a PGCE. Like all other MFL degrees at Aston, the new programme includes a fully integrated period of study abroad with extensive preparation and support offered by Aston’s award-winning placement team.
To find out more about this exciting new option for MFL students, please click here.
Connecting Local Schools, Universities and Businesses
Graduates with German language skills are highly sought-after on the British and international labour markets. The Midlands German Network (MGN) is a university-led initiative which fosters cooperation between local schools, universities and businesses. Its aim is to make young people aware of the manifold opportunities, increase the uptake of German, and support recruitment for local employers.
The Midlands German Network will be officially launched at Aston University on January 21, 2015. This launch event will be an opportunity for networking across all three levels. Organisations represented include the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute, and UK-German Connection.
For: Secondary and Primary school teachers, pupils from Year 9 onwards; local businesses and universities, including students; anyone interested in German culture and language.
To find out more about the launch and to register for the event, please click here. Please forward details of the event to interested parties.
Registration deadline: 10 December 2014, although later registration is possible by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions or comments should be addressed to this email address.
This week’s film is Hans Weingartner’s Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (The Edukators).
Jan, Jule and Peter are anti-capitalist activists of a special kind. They break into wealthy people’s houses, move the furniture around and leave notes saying “Your days of plenty are numbered” or “You have too much money”, signed “The Edukators”. One day the owner of the house they have just entered comes back early. They take him hostage and flee the country. But how will they get out of this situation? And how will they cope with rising tension and jealousy within their group as Jule falls in love with Jan?
For Aston students the film is accessible on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 13
Comments can be posted on our facebook page https://de-de.facebook.com/GermanAtAston or on Twitter @GermanAtAston
To kick off the New Year in style, German@Aston is introducing GERMAN FILM OF THE WEEK.
Watching foreign language feature films is an enjoyable way to practice your listening skills, learn more about other cultures and be entertained at the same time.
Students at Aston have access to foreign language dvds in our departmental video collection and in the main library. In addition, we subscribe to the streaming service Box of Broadcasts where students can access films that are shown on British Freeview and on a selection of foreign language channels. We have also made a number of off-air recordings available on our VLE.
To guide students who might now feel spoilt for choice, GERMAN FILM OF THE WEEK will each week recommend one German film that can be watched online. So have your popcorn ready, enjoying German cinema doesn’t get much easier than this!
We start this week with German-Turkish director Fatih Akin’s “Im Juli” (In July) a fast-paced road movie slash romantic comedy.
The film takes straight-laced German teacher-in-training Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu) from Hamburg to Istanbul, in pursuit of the beautiful Melek (Idil Üner). Daniel has to contend with various challenges and dangerous and hilarious encounters as he makes his way through Eastern Europe accompanied by easy-going street vendor Juli (Christiane Paul), who secretly carries a torch for him. Soon Daniel finds himself a long way from home without a car, money or ID – and even his nerdy glasses have been smashed. Will he make it to the Bosphoros to meet Melek?
To give you a taste of the film, here’s the trailer
To see the full film, Aston students should log into Blackboard and go to “LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week”.
Viel Vergnügen! And don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the film by posting comments on our facebook page or on Twitter @GermanAtAston.
Dr Uwe Schütte, Head of German at Aston, recently paid a visit to Solihull School.
He taught a revision class to the Upper Sixth German Class on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which students and staff found “excellent” and “highly stimulating“. Due to the success of the event, which was very inspiring for everybody who attended, further visits to Solihull School are planned. Outreach activities like cultural days, taster sessions, master classes and school visits are part of the German section’s ongoing commitment to introduce the benefits of language learning and of enrolling for a degree at Aston to pupils in and around Birmingham.
Speak to the future is a new campaign which is highlighting the importance of languages, language learning and professional language activities for the UK. Targeting the public, media and government, its initiatives are raising awareness of the issue – and aim to bring about a step-change in attitude and policy in favour of languages.
The campaign is backed by leading professional and business organisations who are convinced of the importance of language learning for the future of our society, our citizens and our economy.
Professor Pam Moores OBE, Executive Dean of the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston and former Chair of the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) writes about the campaign and about the many opportunities language study offers in the April/May edition of The Linguist (pages 8-9).