Airport Project-Speaking English in the Trade Fair City of Hanover

If you want to experience Hanover as a city with metropolitan flair, go to the city centre, the fair ground – or the airport in Langenhagen. The latter is what Form 7D of St Ursula’s School did in the week from 16th– 20th March 2007 (the time when the industrial fair took place).

In the context of a foreign language project we wanted to find out who the international guests visiting Hanover are, using the global village’s lingua franca, English.

In real-life situations the pupils were able to experience the value of English as an instrument of international communication when holding interviews with foreign travellers.

Some of the questions asked were:

  • Which country are you from?
  • Why did you come to Hanover?
  • How do you like Hanover?
  • Can you tell us a joke from your home country?

In their English lessons the pupils had prepared the activity by developing interview questions and acting out interview situations in role-plays. The interviews were held on four afternoons after school. The pupils “operated" in teams of three, one of them asking interview questions, another one controlling the recording, while the third one took photographs and occasionally looked up vocabulary in electronic dictionaries provided to St. Ursula’s School by Casio.

The recordings made at the airport will be turned into multimedia shows and an online radio programme scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer term.

Special thanks go to the airport authorities for the permission to hold the interviews. We would also like to express our gratitude to the international travellers interviewed by us for their kindness and readiness to answer our questions. We appreciated that very much.

(Rudolf Schneider)