At OISE, the tutors have diverse professional backgrounds and a wealth of experience with the bilingual world. Anne Richter, tutor at Heidelberg, discusses teaching and authorship.
German language tutors have arrived at OISE Heidelberg from a range of professional backgrounds, which brings a clear diversity of experience with the German speaking world into the classrooms. Some of the tutors have practiced law, others have run their own businesses, and others, it turns out, are recognised literary talents in their native language. Anne Richter is one of around twenty freelance lecturers who practice at the Heidelberg school, part of a friendly and dynamic team supporting students in their aspirations.
We asked Anne whether she could talk about her background and her experiences as a freelance writer, editor and author in detail.
In 1973, Anne was born in Jena and eventually went on to study Linguistics and English, out of a love for language. Since 2003, Anne has lived in Heidelberg and has been a valued part of the OISE team for eight years. She has published widely, starting off with short stories and novel extracts and more recently in 2011 was nominated for the Ingeborg-Bachmann competition, one of the most important and prestigious German literary awards. Kämpfen Wie Männer (Fighting Like Men), her impressive début novel, was published in 2012. Since then Anne has been editing a new piece entitled Fremde Zeichen (Strange Signs).
Anne, why and when did you decide to become a German teacher?
After some time in France where I taught German as an assistant, I thought it would be interesting to continue teaching after my studies. I first started teaching migrants, and afterwards moved on to become a private tutor. Now, I have been with OISE since 2007.
What has been the most enriching experience at OISE for you so far?
Teaching can be enriching for many different reasons. It is wonderful to see my students develop confidence with their work and make significant progress. Personally, I enjoy following their class discussions and get very excited when they ask uncommon questions. Students come to us from all across the planet, so I get to learn about cultural boundaries and differences that would not have occurred to me on my own. You get to discover so many surprising aspects about the lives of those from different nations. My favourite course at OISE is the French to German translation course as many of my students produce wonderful, creative ideas, allowing us to analyse the use of language at very close detail.
What is your favourite German word and why?
This is a difficult question. My answer wouldn't be a single word, but rather specific lines from poems that are reminiscent of certain experiences. I like language to be able to say something special that couldn't be said in any other way.
For more on life at the Heidelberg school, click here.