Launceston Grammar is thrilled to share that Grade 11 student and Learning Hub Captain Emily Schipp is the recipient of the Goethe-Institut Australia’s Scholarship for Students of German, an all-expenses paid German language summer camp in Austria. The Goethe-Institut is a cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany that promotes cultural exchange, education and societal discourse in an international context and supports the teaching and learning of the German language.
Our language teachers always keep an eye out for opportunities for students to have an immersive language experience and when Mrs Sheehan forwarded Emily an email about a scholarship opportunity for participation at the German language summer camp, it sounded interesting to Emily. She set about preparing her application, a two-minute video in German and one in English explaining why she wanted to go to Austria. Mrs Sheehan wrote a reference to go with the submission and Emily was pleasantly surprised to receive an email to say that she had been shortlisted. The next stage was an interview with a panel from the Institut before it was revealed that she had been successful.
During the two-week camp in Obertauern and the mountains around Salzberg, Emily will take part in many leisure and sports activities in the beautiful landscape and directly at the youth hostel. Students at the camp must complete regular German lessons during their stay, which consists of two blocks of lessons in the morning and three to four times a week, one block in the afternoon.
Emily’s journey to learning German has not always been straightforward, she spoke to us about her studies and upcoming trip. In Grade 7 she had to pick a language and at that time, the options were to study French, German or Japanese. She had learned French previously but didn’t want to continue it because it was not interesting to her at all. She lost interest and because it was the only language that she had learned and didn’t love, she was very hesitant to learn a language at all.
The decision to choose German came from having ancestors there and with that family link, she thought that she might as well give it a try. As it turned out, Emily found learning German very interesting and she fell in love with the language and the culture. She also realised that she was reasonably good at it and that gave her the motivation to keep going and keep studying.
This will be Emily’s first visit to a German-speaking country, and she is looking forward to putting her skills into practice and communicating with others in German. Emily will be joined by people from all over the world and hopes to make lots of friends during the trip.
Musing on her own challenges with learning a language, she hopes that others realise that even though it can seem hard, a way to approach languages is thinking of it like a sport. There are so many different languages, it may take a while to work out which one suits your learning style so maybe try a few and see how you get on!