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Guiding young spirits

International PhD students of the English Department at the Chemnitz University of Technology teach primary students tolerance, positive attitude and knowledge about their countries

Vincenzo Dheskali, an Albanian student, and Jacinta Edusei, a student from Ghana, are PhD students at the English Language and Linguistic Institute. Both visit primary schools throughout Saxony to introduce their culture to the children and to enhance their understanding of tolerance, acceptance and an open mind towards different cultures. They usually start by teaching them simple words (weekdays, greetings) and by the end of the class the children are able to hold simple dialogues.

The purpose is to get children involved with unknown cultures and to show them the benefits of accepting and learning about other cultures. The project is led by the Pavillon Chemnitz and involves students from Mozambique, Russia, Ukraine, Cameroon, Iran, Turkey and China. The PhD students have already visited many schools in Chemnitz but also in Lugau, Zwickau and Lichtenstein.

By teaching children traditional dances or simple songs, they playfully show the differences to the German culture and still embrace the varieties of the new one. But not only are the children eager to learn about those new cultures, often the teachers participate as well. The children are always happy to participate in the singing or dancing lessons and show great interest for the new culture they are introduced to. At the end of the day short presentations of the newly acquired knowledge are held and summarized.

Over the course of the following months, Vincenzo and Jacinta plan to visit many more schools. They want the children in Saxony to learn more about interesting countries and their respective cultures and share a piece of their culture here in Germany. (Author: Vincenzo Dheskali)

Matthias Fejes

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