Thanks to its great success, Fulbright Germany in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) brought back Meet-a-German for a fourth round as part of Wunderbar Together.
This year, the initiative was also a main feature of the Fulbright Day we hosted on October 6 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the global Fulbright Program.
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 for one lesson. It also provides speakers with the chance to contribute to international understanding. We are happy to annouce that this year around 10.900 students at 218 schools in 46 US states and in Washington DC “met a German”!
To continuously mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Meet-a-German evenst took place mainly online via video conferencing platforms. That being said: If COVID-19 permited, the speaker was in the USA at the time and was matched in the school area (which we strived for), they could also meet in person by individual arrangement and at their own risk.
Around 10,900 students at 218 schools in 46 US states and Wahsington DC “met a German” during Meet-a-German 2021 - a new record! Check out our interactive map to find the locations of the participating schools and the names of the speakers they hosted:
In 2019, already 7% of classroom sessions took place online because speakers and schools were not close enough to travel for that one session. In 2020 all and in 2021 nearly all sessions were online due to COVID-19, whereby this year the students mostly met in person at their school with the speaker joining them virtually. Both teachers and speakers generally gave 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 (9 and 10 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.” (anonymous)
Did they join the virtual classroom from their kitchen table, their sofa or the balcony? What were the games played and topics discussed? It was also wonderful to see the teachers’ and students’ perspectives reflected on social media.
Please find the feed with #MeetAGerman posts below.