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Learning Online Safety in Year 12 German

17 May 2016

The IB Diploma language courses are really great to teach, because students and teachers can choose from a fantastically diverse range of study topics. Naturally, we also study grammar – indeed, you may have read my post a few weeks ago on the intricacies of the four cases in German – but the course itself includes three ‘core’ topics and then a selection of possible options, geared at provoking students’ thoughts and building an open-minded attitude.

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The Year 12 German students have recently combined two core topics – ‘communication & media’ and ‘social relationships’ – with a third option of ‘science & technology’. In order to draw on all three topics we are exploring the issue of online bullying, or Cybermobbing in German (the Germans borrowed a couple of English words there!). I built in an aspect of grammar, the subjunctive, so that the students could discuss what they would do if a friend were to suffer from online bullying. The students came up with suggestions in German as to who a victim could tell, how they should behave online, and what might be the harmful effects of an online bullying attack.

The topic generated a good German discussion amongst the students, who thought carefully and sensitively about how to protect themselves online. It has also enabled them to learn and practise the tricky subjunctive verb forms as part of their grammar studies.

Ms Sarah Ford
Head of Languages