Germans say 'ja bitte' to Stockport

12th January 2001 at 00:00
A TOWN whose main attractions include Britain's first hat-making museum and a viaduct lauded as "western Europe's largest brick structure", has emerged as an unlikely tourist magnet for German pupils.

But the success of Stockport may say less about the town's guide-book potential, and more about contrasting attitudes to language learning.

Teenagers from Heilbronn, near Stuttgart, have overwhelmed the council with requests to visit Cheshire after an exchange between the twin towns was advertised.

Already, the German youngsters have lodged 85 applications to visit Stockport for the 10-day, 30-pupil trip in August.

But the reaction of their Stockport counterparts could hardly be more different. Only ight have shown any interest in a return visit, despite Heilbronn's brochure description as a picturesque settlement on the banks of the river Neckar, nestling in the heart of the wine-growing country of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

However, those organising the exchange are under no illusions that there is anything unique about the charms of the English town, which sits on the Mersey and is also home to...erm Stockport County FC.

Sue Shore, Stockport's international liaison officer, said: "German pupils are desperate to come here because of the language they will need for their future careers. That's not the case when the roles are reversed. I don't think it's ever going to change."

Warwick Mansell

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now