Thursday, October 22, 2015

The "Being German" Channel?

A new state-run channel in teach people how to be a German?

Well....the CSU Party (our Bavarian conservatives) came to suggest yesterday that ARD and ZDF (Channel One/Two) need to utilize funding in their reserve account (currently in excess of one billion Euro) and draw up the idea of an integration channel.

What the CSU suggests is that this network would demonstrate German values and introduce Basic Law (the German Constitution) in the form of lessons.  They would throw in history, culture, and anything related to the idea of 'being German'.

ARD/ZDF comments?  None.  I suspect they've received the letter and are reviewing it.  From the description, it was a simplified letter and probably didn't go past two pages.

The issues?  There are dozens.

Normally, ARD/ZDF will spend months and months on research and development before they proceed on a new network. The mere suggestion that this could be set up and running by summer of next year would shock most of the management people within the state-run network.

The themes?  You'd have various parties among the governing board sitting above ARD/ZDF who would want to have input and control over the topics and how this functions.  Both the Greens and Linke Party would probably have various problems on the structure of such a network.

A language class via such a network?  You'd have to couple the idea with a work book and thus drag a bidding process into the mess.....from the dozen-odd companies which currently market training manuals and work-books for the German language.

From my prospective, it's a great idea with a relatively low cost point.

You could start a simple kid's language course at 6AM for 30 minutes, than add an adult 'quick' language piece at 6:30.  Toss in some cooking lectures, how to shop, how to travel via the mass transit system, and toss in some lectures in the day on public responsibility.  Run a 90-minute language course in mid-morning and another by early afternoon.

You could take the Sesame Street concept and just expand.

You could package 500 different language modules into a tidy piece....each with German-only introduction and simple exercises.

The Basic Law introduction?  You could have hundreds of 20-minute lectures lined up by the university professors around Germany and each centering on one single feature.

It least in education value.....a remarkable idea.  So remarkable.....that I think both ZDF and ARD will freeze and try to spend two or three years developing it.  The sad thing is that they probably already have 300 hours of material that relate to the topics required and could easily start this in the spring.  If I were them....I'd go hire some young energized team.....all people under the age of manage this.  No, I wouldn't base the group out of Berlin....nor out of the current ZDF or ARD studios.....I'd go find a different atmosphere in some town that has a fair amount of foreigners to use as the background of the landscape.

Finally, I'll end with this.  The concept might be so interesting....that Germans themselves start to watch different the Basic Law modules, and get interested in their own culture.  

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