German History through Mirrors of the East: International Students from Carpe Diem Private School Experience the History of Germany since 1945 at the Museum “Haus der Geschichte” in Bonn.
Since the Carpe Diem Private School in Bad Neuenahr first opened its doors to students from China in 2014, other international students from Russia, Turkmenistan, Korea, Syria and Afghanistan have followed in their footsteps gracefully enriching the school’s established German student body. In 2016/17 the German as a Second & Foreign Language teachers (Deutsch als Zweit- und Fremdsprache – DaZ/DaF) Sabine Fanselau and Anne Laaredj-Campbell embarked on their first trip to the Museum “Haus der Geschichte” within the framework of activity-oriented instruction (handlungsorientierter Unterricht) to experience Germany’s history firsthand.
After a two week long unit on the history of Germany since 1945 the German DaZ team revisited the Museum’s permanent exhibition on December 11, 2018 with the DaZ classes from grades nine and ten. Once again, we were greeted by a member of the museum’s academic staff, who engagingly led our students through the documented events that have paved the way to contemporary German life as our students have come to know today.
As students made their way through the exhibition they were able to sight connections with their own backgrounds and realize how all of our histories are somehow surprisingly linked together. The valuable reflections our international students made outside of the classroom not only benefitted their intercultural communicative competence but are what will accompany them in their future, whether that be in Germany, back home or beyond.
(Anne Laaredj-Campbell, Bonn 21. Dezember, 2018)