Barton Peveril’s Helen Wheelwright has been recognised in the annual national German Teacher Awards for her achievements in making language learning fun.
Together with her Barton Peveril A Level students, she organised an entertaining German Day for a hundred secondary school pupils, with support from the Goethe Institute in London and undergraduates from the University of Southampton.
“We challenged the German GCSE students from The Gregg School, Brookfield Community School, Swanmore College and Wyvern College to come up with their own advertisements for several soft drink brands and make videos of them, all in the German language of course. Everyone had a great time and we will repeat the day in 2018,” she says.
The awards were presented at the London residence of Germany’s Ambassador to the UK, Peter Ammon. He said: “Never before has your mission to teach languages as a gateway to another culture encouraging friendship, trust and understanding across borders been more important than today.”
Helen was awarded a ‘special mention’ for her initiative. “Language learning is more important than ever as we prepare to leave the European Union. We must understand other countries’ languages and culture if we want to trade with them successfully,” she says.
The keynote speaker at the Awards was David Cornwell, better known as the novelist John le Carré. He explained his relationship with Germany and the German language which started with a dedicated teacher, and observed: “… learning a foreign language is an act of friendship. Teaching a foreign language is an act of heroism.”