Thanks to its great success, Fulbright Germany in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) are bringing back Meet-a-German for a third round as part of Wunderbar Together 2020 USA.
Meet-a-German offers American schools the wonderful opportunity to have a native speaker or someone with first-hand experience of German culture join their classroom. It also provides speakers with the chance to contribute to international understanding and to connect with local communities.
Last year, around 8.500 students at 135 schools in 47 US states “met a German”. You can find the location of all the schools that participated here. This year, over 140 schools and speakers in over 40 states confirmed their participation. Check out this year's interactive map to learn more.
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, this year all Meet-a-German sessions will take place online via video conferencing platforms. We are excited to utilize digital tools to support cultural exchange in these difficult times. While we all are facing many uncertainties, the virtual classroom sessions will certainly be a fun way for speakers and students to engage.
Thank you to the many schools and speakers that registered for Meet-a-German 2020! The registration is now officially closed. To reach our goal to bring Meet-a-German to all 50 states we are still looking for schools and/or speakers in Delaware, Hawaii, and Maine. If you are from one of these states and would like to participate, please contact us at email@example.com.
In 2019, already 7% of classroom sessions took place online because speakers and schools were not close enough to travel for that one session. Both teachers and speakers gave very positive feedback regarding this virtual exchange:
“I was very happy to participate via the online format and felt that it worked very well. In terms of format, the teacher and I had a discussion beforehand about my background and interests in which I gave her some sample topics that I could speak about (e.g. being a POC in Germany, contemporary culture, majoring in German, etc.). The teacher then helped the students (9th and 10th graders) prepare questions in advance of our session. When I got to the session, I began by introducing myself (5 minutes or so) and then we had the q&a. This was all done in German. It was awesome to speak with the students and I hope they got something useful out of it.”
Fulbrighter Didem @ Swartz Creek High School, MI
“My students and I loved our Skype day with our very own German. He patiently answered what may have been over a hundred questions for four hours and played a game with my students. He even opted to miss his favorite college class to be with my German students after lunch! We very much appreciated the opportunity to meet him via Skype.”
To prepare your online sessions, we have downloadable materials available. Please keep in mind the age and German level (if applicable) of the students. The classroom sessions can focus on anything from history to German pop culture, language, or current affairs. Choose a topic that is meaningful to you and give students a chance to connect with you on a personal level. For example, last year Isabel, one of the virtual speakers, talked about the history of East/West Germany and reunification. This lesson was not only inspired by Meet-a-German taking place on German Unification Day, but also because her family is originally from the GDR, while she grew up in the West of Germany after the fall of the wall.
Furthermore, an optional interactive webinar in September provided you with ideas for ice breakers, warm-ups and other playful activities. You can download all slides of the webinar above. The classroom sessions should be interesting and exciting for the students. You can be creative in what you will do. Last year’s participants took students on a virtual trip through Germany using GoogleEarth, played games, did quizzes, sang songs or invited students to an “Ask-Me-Anything” exchange.
On October 6, you can share your experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #MeetAGerman #WunderbarTogether and tagging on Instagram @FulbrightGermany, @AATGOnline, @WunderbarTogether, on Facebook @FulbrightGermany, @AATGHQ, @WunderbarTogether, and on Twitter @fulbright_de, @AATGOnline, @Wunderbar2gethr.
As a speaker, you could take a picture of your “workstation”: Are you joining the virtual classroom from your kitchen table, your sofa or the balcony? You could also take a screenshot of the virtual session. Before you take images with/of students, please ask the teacher to make sure that you have the permission to do so. It would also be wonderful to see the teachers’ and students’ perspectives reflected on social media – no matter whether your Meet-a-German session takes place during an in-person class or as remote learning.
To celebrate the third round of Meet-a-German, we will select a winner (via lottery) from the #MeetAGerman pictures, who will receive a surprise!