Und los geht’s! German (Deutsch) is offered as an optional language to First Years, following a survey of First Year students. Most students opting to study German do so as one of their core subjects up to Leaving Cert level but students may opt to study German as a second language with an option to continue the study of the subject until Sixth Year.
Over 120 million people worldwide speak German as their native language and it is also the most widely-spoken native language in Europe. It is the second most widely-used native language within science .Germany is one of Ireland’s leading trade partners and Irish companies need professionals with a good knowledge of German. As German companies are employing about 20,000 people in Ireland an ability to speak German is an invaluable skill in the marketplace. There are currently over 2000 job vacancies in Ireland for German speakers.
Students are encouraged to participate in exchanges and trips to Germany, Austria and Switzerland – not only do these opportunities improve the students’ language skills, they also serve as culturally enriching experiences bringing the classroom to life and needless to say are great fun. Students are brought on trips to films, concerts and exhibitions at the IFI and the Goethe Institut to keep them up to date with the latest in culture in the German –speaking countries.
In keeping with the syllabi of the DES the German Department at Cluny uses an integrated approach to teaching, involving as many aspects of the communicative approach to language teaching as possible. Classroom activities are conducted in German to give students confidence to participate in normal everyday situations and activities in the classroom and in those countries where German is spoken. Transition Year students who have not previously studied German have the option to select a module in German and German studies as part of their TY programme. This will include a language component, combined with an insight into German history and culture
The teaching of German in Ireland is very well supported by the German Embassy, the Goethe Institut and the GDI. The German Embassy has recently launched a website www.germanconnects.ie to promote the importance of learning German for Irish students.