International language learners gather each year to compete in a German language competition: the Internationale Deutscholympiade.
The competition takes place in a different German city every two years. Last month, it was held in Berlin, where 125 learners ages 14 to 19 from 64 countries challenged for medals. The competition comprises various fun language tests that challenge learners in novel ways. The linguistic games were created by the Goethe-Institut in order to boost interest in learning German. Olivier Kouadio, a German teacher from Ivory Coast, told Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW) why he came to the event: “I’m in love with the German language. I am fascinated by its structure and the composition of sentences. And I also have a passion for the German mentality and culture, the way of life, and German history.” His teaching methods mirror the language games of the competition. “German is a very difficult language,” said Kouadio, “which is why I try to teach it to my students in a fun way with songs, lyrics, and music. When I ask them, say, to interpret songs by Xavier Naidoo, they are very enthusiastic about it.” The Internationale Deutscholympiade is organized by the International Association of German Teachers and the Goethe-Institut and is sponsored by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. It serves as an example of a creative idea to get young people interested in learning languages.