Discussing election poster slogans in German class

In the run-up to the general elections on 24 September 2017 German parties have started putting up advertising posters to the lamp posts everywhere in the streets. While moving through the city you get to read a lot of more or less inspiring slogans. They are supposed to inform voters about the parties‘ respective topics and goals.

Well, in terms of information they are actually widely disappointing. Instead you get the impression that they are not even trying to inform, but that the professional advertising agencies which designed and texted these posters for the parties have only one goal: to attract the attention. Information is secondary.

It’s fascinating. They seem to have become a new literary genre, coming up with the most creative plays with words, provocative pictures and sometimes so difficult to understand that you wonder, even being a native speaker, if they are meant to be serious or ironic. Some slogans are so empty that it’s hard to tell which party it’s coming from.

But while the slogans in terms of information are mostly empty, sometimes also shocking or amusing, they actually do provide a lot to talk about in German class. Analysing the plays with words and figuring out what a particular slogan is trying to say can be interesting and fun. Also, it’s a good opportunity to talk about the different political parties in Germany, their history, their policies and to exchange opinions. So if they don’t provide information, they at least provide stuff to talk about in German class.

Digital First

One of the many bland election poster slogans to discuss in German class.

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