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Goethe Institut, Colombo says,

Guten Tag!

Providing a personal approach to teaching the language

"Tag" (Hi!) or "Guten Tag (Hello), "Guten morgen! (Good morning) or just Morgen (morning), said the staff with warm smiles at the Goethe Institut, Colombo on May 6, 2006 when they literally opened their doors to the public, introducing the new TV language course "Redaktion D" sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany as part of its tsunami relief programme - as well as providing an intimate glimpse into life in Germany - with German music, a cultural programme called "Komm Lieber Mai", German films and a dance performance by Kapila Palihawadana.

An innovative language course created by Deutsche Welle and Goethe Institut, Head Office, Munich, "Redaktion D" is a TV programme which teaches not only the German language but also offers an insight into German culture and every day life in Germany.

The twelve episodes, each 15 minutes long will be boradcast by Rupavahini Channel Eye every Saturday afternoon starting from May 20 at 4.15 pm. Apart from the TV broadcasts, the institute offers special courses related to "Redaktion D", which are available either for distant learning via email, or in a more traditional way at the institute, where the episodes will be screened again and where the teachers will assist the students in the learning process.

At the end of the courses, those who wish to do so, will be able to sit for internationally valid examinations conducted by the institute. The broadcasting of "Redaktion D" and all teaching material for the courses related to "Redaktion D" will be given free to the students as the project is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.

Even though the main focus of the day was the introduction and the screening of the TV programe,the biggest cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe Institute, which has been operating worldwide and acting in Sri Lanka for almost fifty years, also opened the doors of their other departments on this day to the public; the Language, the programme and the information & library departments each presenting a series of diverse events from 10.30 a.m to 8.00 p.m at the spacious, colonial mansion on Gregory's Road, Colombo 7.

The Language department had courses to suit the needs of everybody; from beginners who knew only the meaning of Tag to those studying for the world recognized examinations offered by the Goethe institut.

According to the officials of the department the general language courses will teach the standard German spoken in Germany today, at a space of your choice; you can learn on an intensive basis or spread your learning over a longer period.

The courses also include classes designed for the needs of teenagers and business people while the special courses offer the students to study special topics such as German literature, music or cultural history.

Apart from conducting free trial German classes, the Institute also offered information booths like DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service) with details about study abroad programs, and information about language courses from the German language department of the Kelaniya University together with GAASL (German Alumni Association of Sri Lanka) where members spoke about their experiences in Germany.

Visitors also had the choice of takeing part in a guided tour through the library or of sitting in the Goethe Hall where movies like "Good Bye Lenin" and "I'm Juli" were screened.

All in all, the day proved to be a fruitful one where everyone learnt about what goes on behind the beautifully carved oak doors of the Goethe Institut, Colombo, the only place in the country where you can study German at all levels, sit for internationally valid examinations in German as a foreign language, and above all encounter teachers prepared to provide you with a personal approach to the language.

The result? An improvement in my own limited vocabulary in German. Auf Wiedersehen. Know what that means? Be there the next time they have an open day at the Goethe Institut, to find out.



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