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Here are some questions you may have, and our answers...

  • When and where do you meet?

The evening meetings are once a month, usually on the 15th, at 7.30 for 8pm start and last for one and a half to two hours. They are held at various venues in Burley-in-Wharfedale (between Otley and Ilkley). See individual meting details on the "What's on?" page for exact venue deails. Student events take place approximately monthly from October to May, sometimes during the day at the weekend, sometimes on weekday evenings.

  • What do you do at the meetings?
  • At the monthly meetings we quite often have talks, given by outside experts or by club members. There are also film evenings, music evenings, quizzes, visits, walks and social events. Our aim with the student events is to show them various aspects of life in the UK, including the countryside, history, food and traditions.

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  • How much German will I hear / speak?

We try to ensure our monthly meetings have a fair amount of German in them, but we ask speakers to give occasional summaries in English and there are usually visual aids too. There is always the opportunity to chat in German before and after the meetings.
Our student events are in English, because the German-, French- and Spanish-speaking students are here to learn English!

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  • Is everyone German? How well do I need to speak German?
  • Some of our members were born in a German-speaking country. Others have lived there or have studied the language a long time, so speak it well. Others can speak some German and are attending evening classes. Some speak no German. But all have a keen interest in the countries where it is spoken and in German culture, current affairs, sport, etc.

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  • Can I be or bring a visitor?

Yes, visitors are always welcome to attend our monthly meetings for a fee of £3 (full-time students free). If visitors join the WGC at the meeting, they get their visitor fee back.

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  • How much is the yearly subscription? How do I join?

The subscription is due in May each year and is £10 for individual membership.
Full-time students arefree at our monthly evening meetings, but we do charge at some student events when catering or travel costs are involved.
New members joining after mid-November pay half the above fees.
Just come along to one of our meetings.... If you wish, you can be a visitor for a while before you become a member.

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  • How many members do you have? What is the age range? Geographical area?

We have over 40 paid-up members and around 30 students each year. There is wide range of ages from early 20s to late 80s. Many members live in Ilkley, Otley, Burley, Menston and Guiseley, but others come from as far away as Leeds, Bradford, Pudsey and Skipton.

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  • How long has the club been running?

We were founded in 1988 as the Ilkley Anglo-German Friendship Society (IAGFS), but when we were 10 years old we changed our name to Wharfedale German Circle to better reflect our catchment area (and because it's a bit less of a mouthful!)

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  • How often do you take trips to Germany?

Every few years. The most recent as a trip to Weimar in 2012. There were earlier trips to Dortmund, Minden, Dresden and Berlin.

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  • Do you have links with other clubs and societies?

We are a member of the British-German Association. We distribute our newsletter to seven local German clubs and twinning associations and sometimes attend their meetings (and they come to ours).

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  • Can I learn German through the club?

We don't organise lessons, but you can certainly practise your German! You'll hear it at our monthly meetings and you can chat in German to members, including native speakers who live locally and German students who are in the area for a year. There is also an active Reading Group, which meets one evening most months (in addition to our regular meetings). Some of our members, and those from other German clubs in the area, also speak German at the "Sprachcafe", which take place on the first Monday morning of the month at The Lawnswood Arms on the outskirts of Leeds.

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  • What are the main reasons people join the WGC?

They have an interest in German and/or the countries where it is spoken, perhaps because they are German, or they lived there for a while or they have relatives there or they are learning the language (or studied it in the past).
Some of our members attend mainly the student events, helping them enjoy their 9-month stay in the UK.
Members find our club is a good way to keep informed about Germany, to make like-minded friends, to practise speaking German and have contact with Germany.

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  • What is the link with Leeds University?

We maintain close links with Leeds University and especially with their committee for foreign-language assistant teachers in West Yorkshire (FLAC). We liaise with them to ensure that we each provide a varied programme of student events, without date-clashes etc. Although independent of each other, we often attend each other's events.

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