Please see below for details of a new essay prize competition just launched by the Oxford German Network. We would be very grateful if you could forward this advertisement to local schools in
TO ALL STUDENTS OF GERMAN IN UK SCHOOLS
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new prize as part of the Oxford German Olympiad:
A German Classic: Goethe’s Faust, part
Essay Prize for Sixth-Formers
The Prize is designed to be the focus of an annual celebration of a classic text of German literature, providing resources that will remain available via our website
for the future. You will find a rich array of material including podcasts and YouTube links on Faust, Part I, here:
Candidates may also request a special reader with extracts from criticism on the work (see contact details on the website). They are asked to write a 3000-word essay in English, independently
and unsupervised, over the summer holidays between Lower and Upper Sixth.
The prize, and funding of resources for the annual celebration of a literary text, have been generously donated by Jonathan Gaisman, QC, a highly distinguished commercial
barrister who was introduced to German literature at school and still finds German literature and culture the most intellectually rewarding part of his life. He would like to give young people the opportunity to be inspired as he was when he first encountered
German literature – including Faust.
Students willing to have a go at undertaking this challenge have the possibility of winning a glittering cash prize worth £500, £300 or £100. All participants will get a certificate of
The prize is aimed at German learners in the UK. It does not assume that participants will be taking English beyond GCSE or that they have a prior interest in literature. We realise of
course that an essay in English might seem irrelevant to students of Modern Foreign Languages. The rationale is that we want learners to engage with a linguistically and intellectually highly challenging work in the foreign language in an extended essay through
the linguistic medium they are most comfortable with. While participants may want to use a translation to support their understanding, we recommend reading the text in the original in order to get the most out of the work and take advantage of the immense
opportunity it offers for expanding and enriching German competence. All quotations must be in German.
As with all the Oxford German Olympiad competitions, our aim is to create a maximally level playing field for students from different backgrounds, schools, and levels of linguistic competence.
We therefore ask for comprehensive information on the submission form. This must be signed by the participant’s teacher, who is also asked to submit the essay online. All sixth-formers in UK schools who have a GCSE or equivalent UK qualification in German
are entitled to take part, including students who are not taking a German A-level or equivalent qualification. Native and near-native speakers of German are not excluded but are required to declare their linguistic status on the submission form. Our prime
criterion is the quality of intellectual and imaginative engagement with the work evident in the essay while taking account of prior opportunity.
We hope you will want to take part if you are eligible, and please tell others about this prize!
Professor of German
Faculty of Modern Languages
University of Oxford