The reading-out-loud competition of the German Book Trade is under the patronage of the Federal President and is one of the largest nationwide student competitions. The competition is recommended by the Kultusministerkonferenz, and approximately 600,000 pupils across the country take part every year. All sixth school classes can take part, and those who like to read and enjoy books are invited to present their favourite book and read a short passage from it.
There are books for every individual and on every subject. Whether for excitement, entertainment, knowledge, the reading competition offers the opportunity to present your own favourite story and discover lots of new books. Over 600 event organizers throughout Germany hold the reading contest at the regional level. These can be bookstores, libraries, schools and other cultural or educational institutions. School winners are invited directly to the decision by the organizers and thus learn when and where the next round takes place.
The winners of the state elections compete against each other at the federal finals in Berlin. The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels invites all state winners to Berlin for three days. Here they are accompanied by an experienced team of supervisors, undertake joint activities and prepare for the grand finale.
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All sixth-grade students are eligible to participate. However, over 600,000 students participate and there only 7000 school winners.
There are no associated fees with participating in this competition - however, travel costs may have to be taken into consideration if competing in the Federal competition in Berlin.
While there are no prior skills that are mandatory for participation, the evaluation criteria for the reading contest are:
Reading technique: that is to say, reading it in an eloquent and fluent manner, with clear, well-understood pronunciation, appropriate speed, and meaningful emphasis.
Interpretation: capturing the mood of the text and pass it on to the audience. This includes putting yourself in the action and convincingly expressing it. This is not meant to rehearse a text by heart or to exaggerate it as an actor.
Text selection: selecting a suitable text excerpt with a coherent beginning and end that the audience can understand.
The actual reading performance only lasts 3 minutes - however, the amount of preparatory work dedicated to this competition beforehand is at the discretion of the participant.
As a student, you can not register for the competition yourself. The prerequisite is that your school participates in the reading contest. If this is the case, a school winner will be selected from all sixth-grade students and registered for the regional round.