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Adult German language learners on the rise

The Local · 4 Mar 2012, 11:26

Published: 04 Mar 2012 11:26 GMT+01:00

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The institutes reported a nearly eight-percent increase in its students last year over 2010, according to figures released Sunday by Der Spiegel. There are Goethe Institutes in 93 countries.

The biggest adult demand for German classes was reported in southwestern Europe, with Spain leading the way with a record 25 percent increase.

People want to learn German "not so they can read Goethe and Schiller in their original language but because they want to advance themselves in their profession, president of the Goethe Institutes Klaus-Dieter Lehmann told the magazine.

There have been numerous press reports about well-qualified Spanish workers leaving Spain, due to the double digit unemployment there, and moving to Germany for its booming economy.

But high school students are not as impressed. In a report published February 10, the magazine said German language instruction in high schools is declining nearly everywhere in Europe.

One reason German has lost ground is because it was taught extensively in eastern Europe during the Cold War, as English was not promoted for political reasons. Since the opening of the Iron Curtain in 1989, English has gained ground.

Story continues below…

But the decline in high school German language learners has been somewhat offset by increases in Africa and Asia, the report said.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:19 March 4, 2012 by Englishted
Germany for its booming economy.

Where? all jobs where I am are agency jobs ,poor pay ,shift work ,no security so stop being a propagandist for the government.
17:31 March 4, 2012 by blackboot11
Why is this article referring to the 2011 increases in enrollment for language classes at the Goethe Institutes and the header pic is a woman holding a catalog for the Volkshochschule from Herbst 2008? Are you trying to say that they are one in the same?
18:37 March 4, 2012 by McM
Desperate people grasp at anything. If a bit of provincialism , er ... Deutsch is required to get a job sadly the spin doctors will push it down their throats and pretend it makes the language relevant to shore up the collapsing cultural walls in the little kingdom. OK so I am stirring but it is a sad indictment on the cultural cringe in Germany.
22:09 March 4, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Now it's just a matter of making employers not look on foreign qualifications and work experience as if they were inferior, and everybody will be happy!
09:16 March 5, 2012 by MaKo
Good! Good for you, adults. Learning German is critical if you want to live in Germany. My German is pretty decent, and I have used it on a number of occasions to intervene for friends and visitors whose German is still improving. I have found that stepping in and using German can very often diffuse a situation and steer an interaction back to the realm of civil discourse.

Plus, it is a beautiful language, and fun to learn. I can only recommend it. I just hope that after all of the business basics, maybe people will get on to Goethe and Schiller and learn some poetic German after having commited to memory the English imports with their seemingly randomly assigned genders.
09:57 March 5, 2012 by wood artist

Maybe these folks can some in and take all those jobs that the people on strike don't seem to want. A perfect match of supply and demand...and, if these folks actually want to work, so much the better.

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