Helin Weekly Report
On Saturday, January 29, I went to the Wendemuseum in Culver City with Mrs. Schoeneich. There we had the opportunity to participate in an interview with attorney Kimberley Marteau Emberson and diplomat John Emerson. During the interview, the couple answered questions about life in Berlin after the Cold War. We first listened in on the interviewer’s questions, Joes Segal, the director of the Wendemuseum, and then had the chance to ask questions ourselves. It was a great opportunity to hear the expert opinion of the interviewees and get an insight into what role Germany plays here in California. There were many German guests and the discussion that took place was highly interesting.
On Monday, my first official internship day, there was an “open-house” day at the German School Campus, where everyone who was interested in learning German had the opportunity to observe classes, talk to the teachers, and enjoy homemade cake and coffee at the school’s beautiful location. With the A1 group, we then worked on station work that Mrs. Schoeneich had prepared. The children were allowed to work at seven different stations and learn vocabulary around the topic “animals”. The tasks included crossword puzzles, writing tasks, tasks where pictures and words had to be connected, and many more. It was particularly important to the school management that the children worked as independently as possible and that we teachers acted as advisors in the event of problems. This is because the basic concept at the German School Campus is to provide action-oriented teaching. The students had a lot of fun working alone on their tasks and applying their knowledge, which was advanced for their young age. At the same time, they also got a working sheet from us, which was signed by us as soon as a station was completed. In addition, the students were asked to rate how difficult they found the tasks. In case of problems or questions, we were there to advise them. When all the children had completed all the tasks, we sat down and reflected on the lesson together with the students. The feedback of the students and their results were very positive.
On Tuesday, classes were held at the school’s second location in Irvine. At 9:40 a.m., Ms. Kerstin Roche’s Spanish class began, which I was able to attend. The class was on track to reach the A1 language level, which is a great chance for me to learn a little Spanish myself while I’m here. After the break, we had 90-minute classes with two students per class learning German at the B1 level. First, we prepared a haptic table with materials that had something to do with schools, such as a school bag or a pencil case. Thus, the newly learned vocabulary of the students was repeated and consolidated. To strengthen them in grammar, Mrs. Schoeneich provided books with many tasks, which we worked on together. Finally, we played short games with the students that were also related to the German language. One involved them standing in a circle with us and jumping inward, outward, or left and right on command. This also gave the students a chance to move around and get active. The second game involved naming an adjective and then throwing a ball to someone and the person who caught it had to say the opposite of the word. Afterward, we went back to the classroom to continue working on the grammar exercises.
After the lessons in Irvine, we went home, and it went directly on with the online lessons. From 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., it was the turn of a pair of siblings at B1 level, with whom we went through various grammar exercises. After that, we discussed the topic of media and media consumption with the B2/C1 students from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., where we also worked on many grammar exercises.
On Wednesday, I participated in an hour of online instruction with a high school student who is at the A1 level. This one was learning the difference between separable and non-separable verbs. After that, I had the day off to do things for my studies and write my weekly report.
On Thursday, my schedule is almost parallel to Tuesday. The only difference is that Mrs. Roche’s Spanish class consists of very young children (5-8 years old). Just watching this class was a great joy and the playful way they are being introduced to the language is an excellent way to teach children a foreign language.
Afterward, the German lessons took place again. In the first lesson, I worked on different tasks with two students, in between I repeated the numbers, months, and days and at the very end the 16 federal states of Germany and their capitals. In the following lesson, the topic was “writing an invitation”. First, we worked together to understand the requirements for writing an invitation in German, and then the students wrote their own invitations. In between, we also repeated the numbers, months, and days of the week in this lesson.
In the B1 online class afterward, we reviewed and repeated the first chapter of their course book and then we started to move into the topic of chapter two (also media, but on an easier basis than with the B2 group). With the B2 group, we then deepened the topic of media and worked on the first exercises on the topic “the passive voice in German”.
The first week of my internship gave me an insight into what to expect in the coming weeks and was filled with many interesting impressions, funny moments with the students, a lot of fun, joy, and anticipation for my time here in Newport. It was especially interesting to get an overview of the different language levels of the students and to learn how to best deal with which level.