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Teenager training for football
© Martin Kosa / Helaga Lade
Teenagers learn German while training for soccer

July 09, 2008

The German national team is European Cup runner-up, FC Bayern is training under Jürgen Klinsmann and the ball is also rolling at the Goethe-Institut. Teenagers from around the world are at Leipzig from 6 - 26 July to learn German and play football.

Sixty 14 to 17-year old students of German from around the world will attend this unique German plus soccer teen language course at the Goethe Institut in Leipzig. Not only will there be soccer training in the afternoon, the curriculum in the German lessons will also focus on the sport. A newspaper article on the final match between Germany and Spain can serve as reading material or an interview with the German trainer Joachim Löw. Vocabulary games on soccer are also part of the programme: What synonyms are there for “run”? How did the final match of the European Cup proceed? What are the attributes of a good centre forward?

The summer course in Leipzig takes up 72 45-minute teaching units and 30 soccer-training units including theory. The course participants receive a practical introduction to the rules of soccer: offside, cross, penalty area and free kick. Theory is followed up on the pitch. The teens also apply the soccer techniques and German skills they’ve acquired in friendly matches with local clubs. They are instructed by the sport journalist Robert Mucha, who writes for the soccer magazine 11 Freunde, and by footballers from the second Federal League and the first league. The three-week teen language course German plus soccer first took place prior to the soccer fever of the World and European Championships in 2005.

Like the popular soccer course, Goethe Institute also offers a wide range of other courses of a similar kind. German plus music is one of the courses where the participants play their instruments together in workshops after their German lessons. This course is aimed at teens aged 14–17 who have already had basic instrumental or vocal training. Workshops permit them to pursue their musical interests under professional guidance, with the main focus on ensemble playing. The course offers an opportunity to make new musical discoveries in an international environment, and to rehearse a musical.

German plus winter sports is a three week teen course held at the winter sports resort of Grainau in January. It is the best opportunity for 14 - 17 year old boys and girls to combine learning German with skiing and other winter sports. Teens are accommodated in a youth hostel and are placed in groups with a maximum of 16 participants according to their prior knowledge of German. In the lessons they learn how to respond appropriately in German in everyday situations and use grammatical structures properly. Experienced instructors provide skiing and snowboarding instruction for beginners and advanced skiers after their classes.

The best way to learn German is to go to Germany. You'll do much more than just learn the language – you'll get to know the people who speak it. That's why the Goethe-Institutes in Germany also offer school classes the opportunity to do a German course as a class with their teachers in the course called German for school classes.

Experiencing German in a lively setting in its typical surroundings helps familiarise the pupils quickly with the language, helps them break down inhibitions to speak, and builds their confidence in their own abilities. Their rapid progress and the exciting intercultural experience are big motivators – and will keep motivating them long after the course is over.

© Goethe Institute / German Information Centre New Delhi
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