Texan Germans are the descendants of nineteenth-century German immigrants. The film shows to what extent German language and traditions have been preserved. Initially, German was the language spoken at home for many German immigrants in Texas, USA. The children often did not learn English until they started school. There were even many different dialects within the German spoken in Texas. During the World Wars they were discouraged from speaking German and it was no longer taught in schools, so from the 1950s it began to decline. Despite this, the film shows that the Texan Germans still have a German Society, a German choir. A number of the activities that they enjoy in their free time, such as polka and waltz dancing and nine pin bowling, originated in Germany. They are proud of their origins.

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Bitesize

Discuss the customs of Texan Germans (and other German communities in the US), especially what they do in their free time. Ask students to give the German words for these activities eg 'kegeln', 'im Chor singen' etc. This could be a prompt to create a spoken or written text about how students spend their own free time, possibly comparing it with how their grandparents used to spend theirs. Students could also be asked to supply the correct European German for Texan German sentences like 'die Kuh ist über die fence gejumped'.