Englisch am WGG

“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.”  (Frantz Fanon)

Wer möchte nicht die allerneueste Comedy-Serie aus den USA auf Netflix oder Amazon Prime im Original sehen, weil Humor und Wortwitz sich nun einmal einfach nicht übersetzen lassen, die englischen Texte seiner Lieblingssängerin oder seiner Lieblingsband verstehen oder eine Unterhaltung im Urlaub – ganz gleich in welchem Land – mit Einheimischen oder Urlaubsbekanntschaften aus anderen Ländern führen?

Unsere Schüler*innen wachsen in einer von Mehrsprachigkeit geprägten Welt auf, und ohne Englisch geht in unserer technisierten Welt und im Zeitalter von Globalisierung nichts mehr. Die englische Sprache ist omnipräsent in unserem privaten und beruflichen Alltag. Gute bis sehr gute Englischkenntnisse in Wort und Schrift sind auch für ein Studium und für das spätere Berufsleben unerlässlich.

Englischunterricht am Städt. Willi-Graf-Gymnasium möchte diesen Gegebenheiten Rechnung tragen und ist mehr als nur Grammatik und Vokabeln pauken. Die Schüler*innen sollen mit einem Repertoire an Kompetenzen und Strategien ausgestattet werden, die sie befähigen, aktuellen englischen Texten, Filmen und Hörsequenzen Informationen zu entnehmen und sich mündlich und schriftlich mitzuteilen. Interkulturelle Kompetenzen, d.h. wie man sich in einem englischsprachigen Land angemessen verhält, und die Beschäftigung mit Literatur kommen im Englischunterricht ebenfalls nicht zu kurz.

Da die Schüler*innen nicht nur im Unterricht mit der englischen Sprache in Berührung kommen sollen, bietet das Städt. Willi-Graf-Gymnasium in der Unterstufe eine „spelling bee“ an. „Spelling bees“ sind Buchstabierwettbewerbe und haben eine lange Tradition in englischsprachigen Ländern. Der beste Buchstabierer oder die beste Buchstabiererin eines Jahrgangs wird in einem Wettbewerb ermittelt.

Außerdem haben die Schüler*innen der 6. Klassen die Möglichkeit, an einen englischen Vorlesewettbewerb teilzunehmen.

In der Mittelstufe findet in einer hoffentlich coronafreien Zukunft zum ersten Mal ein Englischaustausch mit einer Schule in Helsinki statt und in der Oberstufe können die Schüler*innen einen englischen Konversationskurs belegen.

Das Buchen einer englischen Theatergruppe für eine Aufführung mit verschiedenen Theaterstücken für Unter-, Mittel- und Oberstufe soll ebenfalls als Tradition fortgeführt werden.

Let’s make learning English fun!

 Teresa Marques Montanhas

Book of the month

Demon Dentist by David Walliams (Students 11-14 years old)

This is a classic horror story. It’s about a boy with really bad teeth named Alfie, who lives with his dad in a rotten bungalow. They are very poor and Alfie’s dad sits in a wheelchair and is getting older and older, so he decides to hire a social worker, Winnie. Winnie is loud, intrusive and annoying, everything Alfie hates. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a really spooky dentist, Miss Root, visits his school and at the same time strange things start happening in the dead of night. Children who put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy wake up in the morning to find disgusting things like dead slugs or an eyeball wriggling under their pillow.

Alfie and his friend Gabz decide to catch the thief, who is terrorising the children of town with evil surprises, and as they get closer and closer, they get caught up in a scary drama with lots of teeth, blood and skeletons involved. Get ready for the spookiest and most terrifying book you’ve ever read! 

Greta O’Donovan, 6h

Here are some more recommendations for books:

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher (Students 11-13 years old)

This is a book about the boy William Trundle, Santa Claus and a blue dinosaur called Christmasaurus.

William is a boy in a wheelchair, who has lost his mum and lives with his father Bob, who is crazy about Christmas. But William’s only wish for Christmas is a dinosaur.

In the story William meets the Christmasaurus and they become best friends and help Santa and the elves save Christmas.

What I like most about this book is that it brings you the Christmas feeling. At Christmas wishes can come true. 

Jakob Muggleton, 5b

Refugee by Alan Gratz (Students 13-16 years old)

Three different stories of three different children and their families on their way to a new and safer home. That’s the plot of the book “Refugee”, which was written by Alan Gratz and published in the year 2017. One of the refugees, the book talks about, is Josef, who is fleeing from Germany during the Nazi regime. The second storyline is about Isabel who’s escaping from Cuba and Fidel Castro’s regime. And lastly the book talks about Mahmoud and his family who are fleeing from Syria because of the civil war.

The topic of the book – escaping from your home country because of war or political persecution – is not only very interesting and important, but also still a highly topical issue: You can often read newspaper articles about refugees who are trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea and have to be rescued by boats. Another aspect I really liked was that the characters were so well developed that you could really empathize with every single person. That way the book makes you think a lot about the issues in the world and makes you realize what horrible things most of the refugees have to go through. This is also supported by the fact that the plot is not just made up, but actually based on several true stories. Furthermore, I really liked that the three stories were parallel stories and were connected at the end which made the book really interesting to read. Even though every chapter the novel wasn’t confusing at all. The author’s writing style was really good, but still easy to read, even for a non-native English-speakers.

The plot was very exciting I almost couldn’t stop reading and really enjoyed the book. Since I also think that the storylines completely made sense I honestly have nothing to criticise about the book and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Sarah Kittel, Q12

Murder most unladylike by Robin Stevens (Students 12-14 years old)

At Deepdean School for Girls, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have set up their own detective agency. But they are struggling to find any real crimes to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie, which they don’t.) Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. To add to the mystery, when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve… They have to prove one happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test? 

Christiane Robinson-Porsch

Educated by Tara Westover (Students 16-18 years old)

Most children and youngsters in America go to school. But Tara Westover and her brothers and sisters didn’t!

She and her siblings were born into a survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho. Her parents were religious fanatics that were preparing for the apocalypse and didn’t believe in mainstream education. They also wouldn’t send their children to see a doctor even when they were seriously ill.

Tara eventually went to college and earned a doctorate from Cambridge University. In her gripping and inspiring memoir she writes about her journey to get an education.

Teresa Marques Montanhas

The Hate you give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old girl, moves in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. At a party in her neighborhood, Garden Heights, she runs into her childhood best friend, Khalil Harris, whom she hasn’t seen in a long time. On their way home Khalil and Starr are pulled over by a police officer. The situation escalates and Starr witnesses her friend`s death.

Soon after the fatal shooting, things are getting out of control. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family as Starr is the only person who knows what really happened that night. But Starr knows that what she says will not only have a major effect on her community. It could also endanger her life…

Katharina Bachmann

Series of the month

Derry Girls (Netflix)
(Students 14-18 years old)

The comedy “Derry Girls” is set in Derry in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, a period of conflict in Northern Ireland that cost more than 3,500 lives and lasted from the 1960s to 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

“Derry Girls” follows a group of students at the Catholic Our Lady Immaculate College through the problems of adolescence. The characters are bonkers but you will find yourself falling in love with Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle and James. “Derry Girls” focuses on typical teen problems like crushes, gossip, problems with the parents, but is set during a difficult time for Northern Ireland.

You might need to switch on the subtitles as everyone apart from the English cousin James speaks with an Irish accent. But I am sure you’ll love it!

Check out the trailer on YouTube.

Teresa Marques Montanhas

Here are some more recommendations for series:

The Good Doctor (Amazon Prime)
(Students 14-18 years old)

The series follows Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgeon from Wyoming with a troubled past. He moves to San Jose, California, to work at the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Shaun is alone and has difficulties connecting with those around him, but is an incredibly talented surgeon, who uses his medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues at the hospital.

Check out the trailer for Season One on YouTube.

Teresa Marques Montanhas

Anne with an E (Netflix)
(Students 14-18 years old)

Anne with an E is based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables.

It is a coming-of-age story about Anne, an orphan and outsider who after an abusive childhood spent in the homes of strangers and in orphanages ends up with the elderly siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. They want to adopt a boy to help Matthew around the farm but end up with Anne. Over time, 13-year-old Anne, who has a fierce intellect and brilliant imagination, transforms not only their lives but also the lives of the rest of the community.

Check out the trailer for Season One on YouTube.

Film of the month

Moxie (Netflix)
(Students 14-18 years old)

Moxie tells the story of Vivian, a shy 16-year-old girl that finds inspiration in her mother’s girl power memorabilia. She decides to anonymously publish a pamphlet at her high school to fight against the sexist and toxic environment there. This pamphlet ignites a feminist movement at her school as the girls are just fed up with being treated as sex objects and with not being heard. Very enjoyable and a talented cast of young actors!

Check out the trailer on YouTube.

Teresa Marques Montanhas