On 21st March Year 13 students were treated to a whistle stop tour of the German Subjunctive delivered by a visiting expert in the field: Mr Paul Stocker. Mr Stocker came to visit King’s in his liaison role for Youthbridge, with the British-German Association. He previously worked for 22 years as Head of Modern Languages and Head of German at Uppingham School. However King’s 6th formers are already familiar with his name for a different reason: as the author of their German Wort für Wort vocabulary guides! Mr Stocker is a very successful author, having sold around 200 000 copies and bringing out his nineteenth publication. ‘A Student Grammar of German’ with Cambridge University Publications (April, 2012).
The Year 13 Germanists warmed quickly to his humorous delivery, and worked with enthusiasm through the tasks prepared for them. The time passed very quickly; by the end of the lesson Mr Stocker had given the students a number of useful tricks and succeeded in presenting one of the most complex aspects of German grammar as not only enjoyable but remarkably easy! Proof was in the plenary, as students were able to use their knowledge to report back a variety of activities in all three tenses, without referring to the lesson notes; remarkable!
After the rigorous teaching Mr Stocker was then able to sit back and enjoy Kaffeekränzchen with the 6th form students. This is a weekly break time club, led by Lisa Ostermaier, and provided a much-needed Kaffee and a slice of homemade Kuchen. Meanwhile the sixth form students had to invent a story, speaking for as long as possible in German before the ticking bomb ‘exploded’, designating the next speaker’s turn. It was a humorous quarter of an hour, as the Easter Bunny suffered a job crisis and looked for alternative employment.
Mr Stocker then spent time with Mrs Houghton, Head of German, discussing useful networking links and resources for German learners, before joining the Linguavox team in the lunchbreak to find out more about the forthcoming fourth issue, which takes legend and folklore as its theme. It was an interesting strategy meeting, considering how best to utilise the publication within the school.
It was a pleasure to have Mr Stocker with us for the day and we are very pleased with the input and ideas he was able to share with us. We look forward to working with him, and the British German Association in the future!