German - Term 3, 2021

Weihnachten im Sommer – upside down - alles auf dem Kopf - Christmas feeling in July

Die Tatsache, dass meine Tochter, die immer ein “Sommerkind“ war, da im August geboren - , nun ihren Sommergeburtstag plötzlich im Winter feiert,

die Tatsache, dass wir Kastanien zum Osterfest sammeln, hat nach wie vor etwas sehr Besonderes. Die Jahreszeiten stehen für uns als deutsche Familie in Neuseeland Kopf. Von vielen Deutschen höre ich immer wieder, dass ein Weihnachtsfest im Sommer sich immer noch sehr ungewohnt anfühle.

Eine ganz neue Erfahrung war es auch für mich, einen Weihnachtsmarkt im Juli zu besuchen!

Und - ich war begeistert!

Mehr vom großen Erfolg des German Christmas markets, der am 17. Juli 2021 in Christchurch stattgefunden hat im Text weiter unten.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen - und nochmals einen herzlichen Dank für den Einsatz, Christchurch Girls High School! Ihr wart großartig.

Photo 1(Left): Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Adviser and Carol Currie, Burnside High School. Photo 2: Santa, Photo 3: Treats at the Christmas Market.

German Christmas Market (Saturday July 17th 2021) 

A behind the scenes review of the market

On Saturday July 17th, Ōtautahi, in conjunction with the Riverside Market and Deutsch in Christchurch, the city experienced its first ever German Christmas Market! It was a wonderful celebration for the winter season where a little bit of Germany was brought to our front door. From the markets selling authentic German food and stalls full of German crafts, there was something for everyone to enjoy and take part in. For Christchurch Girls' High School it started with weeks of preparation prior to the Market working on a nativity play in German with Marie Schwarzinger from Deutsch in Christchurch. Some of the comments from the students included:

"The play has been the highlight of my year so far!",
"It was great to use the language in a real-life situation",
"The play helped me in my German language and it was great to be able to use it outside of the classroom".
"I met so many German people, they all spoke to me in German and told me how well I spoke the language, I was pretty chuffed at that".
"I love art and I love German and combining them both at the stall was so much fun!" "So many people were speaking German at and around our stall, I loved hearing the language, it was almost like I was in Germany!!"
"So many people chatted to me at the stall while I was helping them with their tote bags. They asked lots of questions about Germany and the culture and I liked the fact that I could tell them a lot!"
"It was the next best thing to travelling to Germany. This year, we would have been going on a German Tour but due to Covid we couldn't, so it was great being able to experience the German Christmas Market in Christchurch."

Some other highlights that the students commented on were:

"I loved the atmosphere!" "It felt really authentic hearing people walking around you speaking German". "I picked up some new vocab". "The decorations wee amazing!" "I really hope that Riverside do this again next year and that we can perform again in a nativity play."

Christchurch Girls' High School German department and German students also ran a stall all day. At the stall the public were able to come and try their hand at making German Christmas stars, decorate a tote bag with their favourite German saying, make a bracelet with their favourite German word and purchase beautifully baked Christmas stars made by one of the students. The stall remained extremely busy from 9.30am - 7.30pm and it was a great way for the students to connect with the public and talk about their experiences learning the German language and culture. Once again many students commented on how much fun the stall was and how it provided another opportunity to use the language.

All in all, it was an absolute success for the German students at Christchurch Girls' High School. We really hope that it will continue on next year!


By Christchurch Girls' High School German Department.

Photos 1 and 2: German treats at the German Christmas Market, Christchurch. 

Goethe Society Auckland im Schulterschluss mit der Goethe Society Wellington/Goethe Oral Exams 2021 in Auckland and Wellington

Time flies.... Die Zeit vergeht wie im Flug. Schon war es wieder soweit.

Auch in diesem Jahr wurden die etablierten Goethe Oral exams in Auckland und Wellington durch die jeweiligen Goethe Societies vor Ort abgehalten.

Am 7.08.2021 trafen sich wieder Deutsch Lernende der High schools in Auckland auf dem Epsom Campus der University of Auckland, um ihre Kenntnisse und ihren Spaß an der Deutschen Sprache unter Beweis zu stellen. Am 14.07.2021 taten es ihnen die Deutsch Lernenden der High Schools aus Wellington und Umgebung nach und kamen im German Department der Victoria University für die Goethe Oral exams zusammen.

All dies wäre nicht ohne den großen Einsatz von den tatkräftigen Deutsch Lehrenden möglich.

In der nächsten Ausgabe werden wir mehr von den Siegerehrungen und von Erfahrungsberichten erfahren.

#Weiter so#Super#Spitze#Prima#Toll

In this competition, German students from all over Auckland and Wellington are tested in their interactive German skills. Participants were examined by members of the Auckland Goethe Society committee and their counterpart the Wellington Goethe Society, many of whom are either native speakers of German or teach German at the University of Auckland/ Victoria University in Wellington - or both.

The Goethe Society exams have been a mainstay for over 50 years, and a number of students participate and represent schools in Auckland and Wellington each year. It is a great opportunity to meet and exchange experiences for learners of German, teachers and the German community. On each occasion the panel was deeply impressed by the high-level performances they came to experience.

It is great to see how the German community in New Zealand is flourishing and equally how the interest in the German culture and the German language is ongoing. 

We are looking forward to the prize giving ceremonies that will take place in a couple of weeks.

Article written by Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Adviser

German Film Festival 2021

Good news - eleven movies, three countries – from the 13th of August to the 26th of September, film lovers can watch the newest movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In cinemas and online (Note: screened in cinemas prior to lockdown in N.Z).  All films will be presented in their original language with English subtitles. Special times require new formats, therefore, there will be offered a hybrid festival again with screenings in seven cities and cinemas as well as an online festival from Friday 17th to Sunday 26th of September.

Goethe-Institut is delighted that, in spite of the challenges these times have brought, they are able to bring excellent films, cost-free to film lovers all over New Zealand - thanks to the generosity of their partners and sponsors.

Further information will be soon published about the ONLINE FESTIVAL 17-26 September 2021. Keep your eyes peeled!

More info here:

Article written by Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Adviser

NZALT Conference and German Immersion Day 2021

One always says that pictures speak louder than words. But listen and see for yourself. Make up your own mind. We would like to take you with us on our virtual journey to Germany.

This was the topic of the Immersion Day 2021.

More than 40 teachers of German got together at the Goethe-Institut on Cuba Street in Wellington to celebrate the active and lively community of German teachers in Aotearoa.

But listen for yourself to what teachers experienced throughout their journey. Suitcases had to be packed, cakes had to be taken care of and contemporary German music was in the air as well.

Without revealing too much – it was quite a trip and no one was left behind.

Es war wie immer schön mit Euch! Bis bald!


The immersion day 2021 in Wellington in a podcast –

Eine Klangcollage des Tages

Audio file

Photo 1: Black Forest Cakes

This was a first joyful day with two more to come. NZALT conference was a great way for teachers to get inspired, exchange experiences, meet new people – and indulge the moment. How special to be able to come together in this way – considering how different times still are.

Photo 1(Left):Ice Cream workshop, Photo 2(Right): Handball workshop

I found this Immersion Day to be quite possibly the most enjoyable day I have experienced to date at the Goethe-Institut! If that is even possible as I have always found these opportunities to meet and share with other German teachers very enjoyable. It was great to catch up with familiar faces and meet new people, starting with an icebreaker task. You know the kind of thing, ‘Find someone who …’ While many participated in a relaxed manner, I reflected that I really can be competitive at times as I felt such a sense of satisfaction when I had found someone for each category!

An ‘Einführung in Podcast-Erstellung‘ with Alex Falk was fascinating. I learnt some interesting ways to warm up our voices. Although a little nervous to be recorded (as I suppose many people are), it was fun to make our group’s contribution to the podcast. I’m very impressed indeed with how the final version turned out to sound so professional!

After enjoying a very delicious German lunch together we tasted our ‘Schwarzwälderkirschtorten’ that we’d assembled as the ‘Nachtisch’. Who would have thought that there could be such a variety of intriguing Black Forest Cherry cake designs! From traditional designs and themes such as Swabian attire and ‘Gummi Bären’ climbing a tree in the forest, to intercultural designs representing Matariki, from cakes representing current events such as a certain recent loss in ‘Fuβball’ to a Taranaki Berg cake. So much talent! This gave me a fresh determination to let my learners loose in the classroom with the ingredients and allow them to use as much German as possible to co-create a cake.

We heard about the Deutschlandreise für Schüler*innen und TalkFest Otago, which Alexandra Töniges has reported on.

Always a pleasure. Always language and culture to learn. Vielen Dank to my colleagues at the Goethe-Institut Wellington and Centre for Languages at Future Learning Solutions for making this day possible.

Article written by Janelle Wood, Faciltitator, FLS - Centre for Languages.

Interculturality – Breaking the Stereotypes!

Cast your minds back a few weeks to the NZALT conference dinner. Once it was confirmed we could dance (thank goodness for that!), something remarkable took place. Why, I asked myself, was there a random German dancing in the middle of our circle? Was she not aware that NZers safely stand and dance in a circle? What on earth was she doing? And why was there another German spinning in crazy circles in one corner of the dancefloor? These Germans were breaking the “rules”! And apparently stereotypes...

This started an animated discussion and keen observation of what was happening around us on the dancefloor. Not only were the Germans dancing surprisingly wildly, but the Spanish teachers had assembled in lines and were all doing the same actions at the same time! Where had our stereotypically flambloyant and unpredictable Latin colleagues gone?

It appears that there is no better place than on the dancefloor at a conference of language teachers to observe whether the typical cultural traits we assign are in fact true! Multicultural to the extreme, with a great mix of linguists available to smash cultural tropes. Look out teachers of French, Japanese, Chinese etc - next year in Dunedin we’ll be on the lookout to see where you fall on this spectrum!

Note: no offense was intended in this tongue-in-cheek piece! There was some amazing, well-coordinated salsa going on amongst the staunch Kiwis and crazy Germans that generated some hilarious conversations.

Photos 1 and 2: Dancing at the NZALT Conference Dinner.

Article written by Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Adviser

Photo: Dr Michael Taylor (L) Stratford High School and
Robyn Grundmann(R) Waikanae Primary School

Immersion Day

This July I attended the German immersion day hosted by the Goethe Institut in Wellington. It was my first time attending an immersion day and I was a bundle of nervous excitement in the lead up to the event. My Deutsch is far from fluent as I continue my German-learning journey and I was anxious about keeping up throughout the day without any English! As a Primary School teacher, I didn’t know any other German teachers and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But I needn’t have worried as everyone was really welcoming and it was a fun, warm, and inclusive atmosphere.

The day was broken into three sessions and my favourite activity was definitely the Schwarzwälderkirschtortenwettbewerb (Black Forest cake competition). I loved the hands-on, competitive nature of the challenge. I was very lucky to be part of a team that came in as runners up with our cake inspired by the Bollenhut (Black Forest hat) although full credit needs to go to our unofficial team leader for pulling it all together!

Other highlights from the day include the delicious German lunch and the opportunity to network with other German teachers from around New Zealand. It was an inspiring and motivating day, and it was really great to see the level of passion and dedication within the German teaching community. I would definitely recommend future events for all German teachers!

Thank you to the wonderful teachers who took me under their wing and helped me out throughout the day. Thank you to the Goethe Institut for the excellent activities on offer in a wonderful setting. And finally, a huge thanks to FLS for
the conference scholarship that helped me attend this year. I will definitely be back.

Bis zum nächsten Mal!

Article by Robyn Grundmann, Teacher at Waikanae Primary School

German Open Day at Canterbury University 2021

Am Freitag den 30. Juli, lud das German Program der University of Canterbury Deutsch Lehrende und Lernende aus ganz Canterbury an den Campus ein.

Die Idee von Dr. Andi Dorrer, dem Program Coordinator der dortigen Germanistik, war es, Schüler und Studenten mit Vertretern von Universität und Industrie ins Gespräch zu bringen, für deren Arbeit die deutsche Sprache und Kultur unerlässlich sind. „Es ist mir wichtig“, so Dorrer, „dass Schulen und Universität eng zusammenarbeiten, und dass Schüler und Studenten sehen, dass Deutsch nicht nur für angehende Germanisten oder Historiker wichtig ist. Sprachen werden in fast allen Professionen immer wichtiger und gerade Deutsch ist in Bereichen wie Wirtschaft, Diplomatie, Medizin oder Ingenieurwesen eine wichtige Umgangssprache.“ Und das Ziel wurde erreicht. Denn an diesem Nachmittag sprachen zum Beispiel die Geschäftsführerin der AHK Neuseeland, Monique Surges, Mareike Schmidt vom DAAD Neuseeland, Judith Geare vom Goethe Institut in Wellington oder die aus Deutschland stammende Stefanie Gutschmidt, Associate Professorin für Medizintechnik an der UC zu fast 90 gebannten Zuhörern von High-Schools und Universität. Die Anreise, die Schüler bis aus Ashburton an den Campus brachte, hatte sich also gelohnt und so verwundert es nicht, dass sich alle Beteiligten in regen Dialogen austauschten. Eine rundum erfolgreiche Veranstaltung also. Abschluss bildete eine Campus-Schnitzeljagd, zu der National language advisor Alexandra Töniges eingeladen hatte. Studierende der Germanistik unterstützten die Schülerinnen und Schüler auf spielerische Art und Weise sich mit Örtlichkeiten und dem Campusleben vertraut zu machen.

Eine wunderbare Zusammenarbeit.

Photos 1 and 2: Students at the Open Day

Article written by Alexandra Töniges, German National Language Adviser