Improving your spoken language skills - Part II

Traditionally in the UK, the new school year begins on September 1st or thereabouts. And it is also the time of year to enrol on evening classes and other activities to dispel the gloomy prospect of long dark winter evenings. Since I moved to Bath six years ago, I have been involved in the Bath German Society and have had the privilege of being Chair of the Society since April 2009. 

Bath German Society meets once a month and offers its members the opportunity to chat informally in German before engaging in the evening's main activity. The Society's members range from native speakers to enthusiastic learners of the language. It provides a forum for the latter to hear the language without being locked into the intricacies of grammar and for native speakers to speak their own language which they may not do very often as they live and work in an English-speaking country. There are benefits for all!

The committee endeavours to provide a programme covering a wide range of interests. In addition to lectures on topics from Engineering to Literature and Japanese culture, in recent years we have introduced a book group style meeting allowing everyone to read a specified novel in advance and then chat about it of lectures on a wide range of topics and for the musical amongst us we have assembled a small but enthusiastic choir to sing German carols at Bath's German Christmas Market.  This autumn, we are planning to visit the theatre to see a production of Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris, newly translated into English by Meredith Oakes - a rare opportunity to see a German play without having to leave the country!

In addition to our monthly meetings, the Society also hosts a Stammtisch on Wednesday mornings in the Strudelbar in the Hansel and Gretel shop on Margaret's Buildings in Bath. This conversation group is run on a "drop in when you can" basis. It starts at 11.30 am and often runs until after 2 pm. It is attended by a mixture of people ranging from shift workers with a morning off (nurses, catering staff, etc), to retired people (who often stay for the whole morning) to office workers using their lunch break to polish up their German whilst eating some delicious strudel and drinking coffee.

New members of all ages are always welcome to all our activities. We hope you will be able to join us!

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