This year, the 11th grade English class, taught by Ms. Trautmann, has focused a lot on special aspects of America. In particular, we spent a lot of time dealing with topics like gun policy, speeches by American politicians, crime, court cases and health.
As a follow-up, Ms. Trautmann organized a workshop with the German-American Institute Saarland e.V., a binational institution that serves to promote German-American relations through educational and informational work.
Last Friday, Dr Bruno von Lutz, executive director of the German-American Institute, visited us in our school and did an intercultural training with us on how America works.
At the beginning each student received an index card from him, on which we were supposed to write two terms that we directly associate with America.
Many of us wrote food related aspects, for example “burgers”, others directly associated America with famous celebrities, the gun policy, the political system in general or famous cities like Washington D.C. or New York. After a brief discussion of our terms, Dr von Lutz showed us an outline of all the aspects he intended to talk about: stereotypes, intercultural concepts, gestures and language, cultural standards, political correctness, diversity, guns, and finally, immigration.
To illustrate stereotypes to us, Dr von Lutz showed us several advertisements in which stereotypes of different countries were shown.