Each year Big Walnut High School second-, third- and fourth-level German language students join nearly 24,000 other students from across the nation when they take the National German Exam (NGE) which is administered locally, but is under the umbrella of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).
The NGE, now in its 55th year, provides individual diagnostic feedback, rewards students through an extensive prize program and creates a sense of accomplishment.
Big Walnut High School German language teacher Georgia Craig said the exam’s results provide a means of comparing students in all regions of the country; and are among the criteria used in selecting the recipients of chapter awards and the national AATG/PAD study trip awards, which are four-week study trips in Germany.
“This is a national achievement test that evaluates students listening and viewing comprehension as well as their reading comprehension,” Craig said. “Students are listening to and viewing authentic sources like actual weather forecasts, interviews and conversations. In addition they are reading authentic documents such as grade cards, menus and advertisements and magazine articles.”
Craig said the word “authentic” in world language means that the material use was designed or written by native speakers for native speakers, not for students learning German, evaluating the student’s real-life skills in German.
“The students were able to take the test using Chromebooks and headphones,” Craig said. “This is the third year for this new online format, allowing students to be immersed in more authentically accurate situations. In addition, I get feedback on their individual strengths and weaknesses in their listening, viewing and reading comprehension. This information helps to inform some of my future instruction and activities.”
Craig said six students who received a gold award are now eligible to apply for a scholarship to study abroad.
“Even though this a very competitive award, two of our students decided to pursue the opportunity,” Craig said. “To apply, students have to write a letter in German and submit their transcripts, along with a letter of recommendation from me. If they pass this phase, they are interviewed over the phone in both German and English.”
Craig said that, during past years, Big Walnut has had a winner and runner-up in the AATG national scholarship program.
“I’m very proud of this year’s students’ level of achievement; it’s a result of their hard work,” she said. “Many schools only have their very top students participate in this program. At Big Walnut, all our students in level II, level III Honors and in AP German participate in the National German Achievement Exam.”
Craig said the Big Walnut High School German language program has been recognized for the last 24 years for students’ high scores in the AATG NGE Test.
The American Association of Teachers of German National German Exam gold, silver and bronze award winners are:
• Gold achievement — Regina Goodrich, Nikko Amato, Fritz Pryor, Liesel Pendley, Marianna Byrnne and Annike Hager.
• Silver award level — Roland Wappenstein, Kristof Dunlap, Heinz Krist, Klaus Crenshaw, Johann Loeffler, Axel Cryan, Arno Muhlbaier, Dirk Ball, Basti Bryant, Natasha Rockett, Laura Schnipke and Nina Cummins.
• Bronze award level — Michael Paselsky, Sven Schnabel, Petra Heller, Viktor Trainer, Guenther Iezzi, Anne-Liese Renner, Viktoria Sena, Kornelius Mengel, Bettina Craig-Bowden, Georg Foster, Katja Germann, Gregor Houser and Bjoern Kelly.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.