News and Updates


What's new for 2018


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Houstonfest Scholarships


Scholarships at State


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Heights High School


Bubble Soccer


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list


Photo Gallery 2014


Important Dates


Wed., Jan. 17, 2018:  Regular deadline to submit registration spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/24).


Wed., Jan. 24, 2018:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Mon., Jan. 29, 2018 Proof sheet of entries sent to teachers for final verification and changes.


Tue, Jan. 30, 2018 Research Papers due to David Kniess by 11:59 p.m.


Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, 8:00 p.m. Deadline to submit changes (adds, drops, substitutions).  After this point, no more additions or substitutions will be allowed in individual events.  Substitutions in group events may continue in emergency situations.


Thur., Feb. 1, 2018: Videos due to Mark Johnson by 6:00 p.m.


Sat., Feb. 3, 2018 Houstonfest !


Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. in order to qualify for early-bird price of $10 per student.  Online registrations submitted after this point incur the regular registration fee of $12 per student.  Also, deadline to apply for the Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.


Fri, Feb. 16, 2018 State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. (regular deadline). Also, postmark deadline for State payment, regardless of whether you completed your online registration by the early-bird or the regular deadline.


Sat., Feb. 24, 2018 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 3, 2018 Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Fri., Mar. 9, 2018 Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.

Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


This is the place for teachers to share tried-and-true strategies for preparing students for Houstonfest.  If you have a tip you'd like to share, submit it to




The three chapters of AATG in Texas will hold a joint fall meeting at Westwood High School in Round Rock/Austin on Friday-Saturday, September 8-9, 2017. It will be a mini-conference and immersion weekend. Friday supper and Saturday continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. We plan to offer several strands of sessions for participants to choose from: one focused on AP/IB, one focused on Texas State German Contest, and other miscellaneous sessions on best practices and community-college and post-secondary topics. Registration cost is $30 for members and $50 for non-members. (Non-members, we encourage you to join AATG -- you will gain all the membership benefits and pay the lower registration rate at the same time! Members, please check to see that your membership is current.)


Friday evening will be a geselliges Beisammensein at the Comfort Suites NW Lakeline. 
Participants can arrange accommodations here at $89 for a king-size bed, $99 for two queen-size beds. We have a block of rooms reserved, so call early to reserve your room -- come with a colleague and share a room to save money!

Comfort Suites NW Lakeline 
13681 N. US Hwy. 183
Austin, TX, 78750-2209
(512) 219-1800

We will start at 6:00 p.m. Friday with Bratwurst and salads for supper and a film offering, as well as time to network with colleagues. On Saturday morning we will offer coffee, juices, and pastries during registration time at the host school:

Round Rock Westwood High School
12400 Mellow Meadow Dr.
Austin, TX 78750

The schedule will consist of an opening session, a half-hour time for contest updates (university-level colleagues may choose to have a separate meeting at that time), individual chapter meetings, and four 55-minute sessions. Lunch will be catered by Vert's Mediterranean Grill (Döner!). We are currently organizing an optional Saturday evening event at the German Free School for those who wish to remain overnight before traveling home. Professional development credit of 6 hours will be awarded.


To register, please complete this Google form. Registration fees can be mailed to Anja Jarboe by August 31 at this address:

Anja Jarboe
Marcus High School
5707 Morriss Rd.
Flower Mound, TX 75028


You can reach Anja with questions about payment at
For all other questions, contact Nella Spurlin ( or Sandra Dieckman (




Compilation of tips from fall 2012 TFLA session by Rustin Buck and Jennifer Christianson:

link to webpage on Sprachfest site

as PDF




Pass auf! Study Guides


The State director of Pass auf! has provided a Pass auf! Study Guide, a list of Pass auf! Proverbs, and a Vocabulary List for Erdkunde to guide contestants' studying.


As of 2017 there is a designated theme for each year. See more information on the Pass auf! Rules Page, Rule #7. There will be at least one question per round dealing with the year's theme. [The theme for 2017 was the Protestant Reformation (in honor of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517).] The theme for 2018 is The German-Speaking World 1914-1945 (inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in 2018).


Sign-Up List


I'm not sure how everyone handles having the students sign up for events, but here is a sign-up list that I use.  After talking to my classes about what Houstonfest is, I designate one morning a few days later when I hang up these lists around the room 30 minutes before school starts, and students can come in to sign up for what they want to do, first-come, first-served.  We continue filling them up during class throughout the day.  This is usually in October for me -- some may want to start earlier or later.


Even if you have a different method, the list may be useful for you because it has all events listed with the correct number of slots that are available for each.  For group events that have no maximum size (folk dance, play, skit, etc.), I included  a number of slots that I thought would be at the upper end of how many kids might want to sign up.


- submitted by Rustin Buck


Contacts for Polka Band Music



Box 162

Medina, TX 78055



The owner’s name is Herbert Bilhartz.  He is very helpful and asks about what type of instruments you have in your band, and then he finds pieces of music that fit your group.


- submitted by Heidi Kirby and Julie Schneller



TRN Music Publisher, Inc.


- submitted by Laura Dunn


Sources of Poetry/Prose Selections


- submitted by Laura Dunn


Source of Choral Music - lots of free PDFs of choral music; just look up a German composer by last name.


- submitted by Laura Dunn


Source of Poetry

My Ukrainian exchange student just showed me a great website for German poetry. As far as I can tell, every German poem ever written is on this site. There are just thousands upon thousands of poems with the names of the authors. It's definitely a good resource for contest.


- submitted by David Kniess


When is the next Houstonfest?



February 3, 2018,

8:00 a.m.


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School

413 E. 13th Street

Houston, TX 77008


Link to Texas State German Contest