Jan 12, 2019

Learning from each other

By Dylan Severino

Dylan Severino at a visit to Hamburg

My name is Dylan Severino and I am a Fulbright grantee in Rendsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. I have been living with a host family and working as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at the Christian-Timm-Realschule (CTR), which has students from grades 5 through 10. My volunteer work has centered on coaching a group of children ages 6 through 12 in basketball.

In my spare time and on weekends I often go traveling; in the two and a half months that I’ve been in Germany and I have been all over Schleswig-Holstein, down south in the Pfalz, to Cologne, and up to Copenhagen in Denmark. The duration of my stay and my work here has also allowed me to form lasting relationships with people with whom I work and live, something that was extremely difficult as a tourist just passing through a country.

My ability in German has vastly improved since I’ve been here and my goal is to be fluent by the time my scholarship is up. Another goal of mine is to improve in pedagogy: I have taken a few teaching practica, but I’m not yet very good at time management in the classroom. To this end, my school is very supportive: they help me set up projects and exercises for the students.

Dylan Severino with his students at the Christian-Timm-Realschule in Rendsburg

Currently I am working on a project between CTR and a high school from my home town of Lincoln, Nebraska. The project is an exchange of videos between a team of eighth graders at CTR and a team of students learning German at the American high school. I have set up the premise of the video: a tour of the school in German and a description of an average day at school, but I have left it up to the students how they want to make the video and exactly what they want to talk about. The goal of this project is for my students to hear English from people their age and discover how American high school differs from German school, and likewise that the American students can hear German from people their age and learn about German schools.

This project will allow my students to improve their English once the American video arrives, but in the process I am also teaching them how to frame shots with a camera, how to conduct interviews, how to pre plan shots, and how to edit videos on the computer. Some of the teachers at the school were so impressed with the student’s work that they contacted the local newspaper, who want to write about the students and their project. It is my hope that this project is just the beginning of a long relationship between the two schools, and now that the students have the idea and the understanding, the English and German clubs in the two schools may be able to continue on with their correspondence.

Das internationale Filmteam aus Rendsburg und Lincoln (Quelle: Landeszeitung, A. Lange)

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