News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

Kings students practise their German in Koblenz

13th April, 2018 by Jude Owens

Year 12 students Marcus Ham and Iona Neill put their recent Easter holidays to good use when they went on a work experience trip to Koblenz in Germany.

The trip was organised by Halsbury Travel, an organisation which provides placements in local businesses for Sixth Form students to improve their language skills. Marcus worked in an instrument repair shop, helping the technicians to service and maintain brass and woodwind instruments; whilst Iona worked in a children’s holiday camp, where she helped the children with their activities, such as making stop motion animation films.

The pair were also kept busy in the evenings using their German language skills; including a trip on the cable car to visit the Ehrenbreitstein fortress to see the light show, and visiting an ancient fortress built on a hilltop overlooking the Deutsches Eck, the famous corner where the Moselle River joins the Rhine part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Upper Middle Rhine Valley”. Ehrenbreitstein (the hill on which the fortress, numerous museums, cafes and beautiful gardens are located) has been inhabited since the 4th millennium B.C. and was first fortified in the 10th or 9th century B.C. It was later home to a Roman fort and the current structure was built in the 19th century by the Prussians, to guard against the frequent French attacks on the middle Rhine region. Marcus and Iona also enjoyed a boat trip along the river, a trip to the Eiscafe and went to the cinema to watch a German film.

Overall the trip was very beneficial for Marcus and Iona’s language skills, and they recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about a language or culture. Such language placements abroad allow young people the opportunity to grow by stepping out of their comfort zones, in every sense and Marcus and Iona benefited from meeting new people with similar interests and used their language skills, not only at work, but also in a variety of situations with native speakers.

Commenting on the experience they said:

“Our Work Experience trip to German tested what we already knew about its language and culture, but allowed us to fully experience what working life is like in that country. We also learned an incredible amount of vocabulary in a short space of time; words that we had not previously even considered we might ever need, but that turn out to be essential!”

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