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Polish your German

Children across Scotland will be putting their foreign language skills to the test at St Andrews University in June when it hosts its second German recitation contest.

The department of German launched the initiative last year as part of a drive to counter the decline in the study of foreign languages in secondary schools following their removal from the post-14 compulsory curriculum. It is hoped that the competition will increase interest in the German language among school pupils.

The contest, which will take place on June 15, is aimed at pupils studying German at all levels. The afternoon event involves a series of readings, recitations and role-playing in which performers will be judged on pronunciation, fluency, expressiveness, acting skills and originality.

Annette Zimmermann, a senior language tutor at the university, is organising the event. "The competition was extremely successful last year and we have had a lot of positive feedback," she says. "My colleagues and I were stunned by the students' skills and proficiency in German at all levels.

"Despite what the Government says or does, languages always have been and always will be important. We are happy to provide a platform to demonstrate that by staging the German competition again in June."

The German Consul General and representatives from the Goethe Institute of German culture and the Swiss Embassy will award the winning prizes on the day. There will also be consolation prizes for other contestants and certificates for all the participating students.

Prizes have been provided by three famous Germans sportsmen, Formula One motor racing drivers Michael and Ralf Schumacher and golfing great Bernhard Langer. The winners will have a chance to receive autographs from the racing brothers and a leather glove signed by Herr Langer, as well as books and cash prizes of up to pound;100.

For further information contact Annette Zimmermann, tel 01334 463664463656e-mail az@st-andrews.ac.uk

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