6th April 2017
There was a real treat in store for students of German this week as Mr. Desmond Kenny, a Roscommon native who has been living and working in Germany for many years, paid a visit to the German classroom. Desmond spoke to the students about the day to day reality of living and working in modern day Wiesbaden, while highlighting to students the importance of language acquisition in a world which is constantly changing. The key message of his address to students was no matter how the world changes through the use of technology, good communication skills will always be central. Students were reminded that the mastery of foreign languages provides a competitive edge in career choices as one is able to participate more effectively in a multi-cultural world, while also improving our marketable skills in the global economy.
Mr. Kenny regaled students with anecdotes surrounding the German way of life, all the while outlining ways in which German society is both similar and different to Ireland. The boys in particular were fascinated to learn more about the infamous Autobahn in Germany upon which cars can travel without a speed restriction! Students gained more of an appreciation of cultural diversity as they realised that dealing with another culture often enables people to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture. Everybody present enjoyed the opportunity to bring the language to life, as they were reminded of why they study language in the first place. At the German Department at Roscommon Community College, students are consistently reminded that we learn language in order to experience differences in culture and traditions, while also preparing for the opportunity to live and work in a country using the target language. Students had a good laugh as their attention was drawn to the bewildering nature of some German idiomatic language, while some of the more memorable phrases will surely be popping up on German summer tests in the not too distant future, zum Beispiel, “Lass die Kirche im Dorf!”
Students certainly left the talk with the sense that one is at a distinct advantage in the global market if one is as bilingual as possible. We were reminded that the study of a foreign language study is simply part of a very basic liberal education, with the verb “to educate” meaning to lead out of confinement, narrowness and darkness. All agreed that this was certainly a very enlightening talk, during which the time flew by! Frau Cullen and the students at Roscommon Community College are very grateful to Mr. Kenny for taking the time out of his busy schedule to spend some time with us. Schöne Ferien in Roscommon Herr Kenny!