The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 16th successful year. The winners will receive a personal prize and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony during the “Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache” in early summer 2019. The winners will be announced on the day of the ceremony.
On this occasion the Goethe-Institut’s Peter Boaks Prize, which recognises outstanding young(er) teachers of German, and two special prizes donated by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Embassy of Switzerland will also be awarded.
Impressions from last year's GTA
And for those being honoured today, I offer my most sincere congratulations. And sympathies.
Teaching German is a special challenge. There is a view that if you were teaching loop quantum gravity your task might have been easier. Certainly, Mark Twain would have thought so in his famous comic essay on the difficulty of the language, with its three genders, its word order, its split verbs, its compound nouns in official documents, its inflections across different cases of its definite and indefinite articles, nouns, pronouns and adjectives. I’m reliably informed that Twain’s German was mostly his own hilarious construction.
In my own attempts to speak the language, I have discovered a simple rule, a shortcut to effortless plausibility. Whenever a German speaker clutches your arm and lets loose a fast, complex, incomprehensible sentence, you must look her confidently in the eye and gravely say, ‘Genau’.
(Ian McEwan CBE, GTA Award 2018)