Live Action Role Play (LARP) in the German 452 Classroom

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
LARPing in the classroom (Credits: Jesús Hidalgo Campos)

After having explored the history of the German language for ten weeks, the students in History of German Language (German 452) envisioned the language’s future. As part of a week-long educational live action role play (LARP), each student was assigned a member of the German society. The fictional characters included a Turkish-German, an ardent Bayern Munich fan, an LGBQT activist, a Syrian refugee and many others. In the game’s scenario, each of them was invited by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache e.V. (Association for the German Language, Germany’s most important government-sponsored language society) as representatives of a heterogenous Germany who would develop a 5-point vision statement for the future of the German language. Thanks to our new graduate student Derek Wiebke, it was possible to split the class into two groups and thus to enable more intimate discussions. After animated but respectful debates, the students not only came up with excellent vision statements but also displayed that they had acquired a deep familiarity with the history of the German language.