News and Updates


NEW: Changes and updates for 2025


Houstonfest Scholarships: Winners Announced


Scholarships at State


NEW: Houstonfest history


Contest promo video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest promo video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


State promo video contest


Teacher-to-teacher tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Kingwood High School


Lunch options

Photo gallery


Daily log of changes to State-qualifier list


Important Dates


on a rolling basis but no later than Wed., Apr. 30, 2025 for payment during the 2024-2025 school year: submit Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications.


Mon. Jan. 13, 2025, 4:00 p.m.: (IF THEY ARE OFFERED AT ALL) Application for transportation grants from the Houston Saengerbund opens (teachers will be sent a link to a Google Form).


Tue., Jan. 21, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/27).


Mon., Jan. 27, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Feb. 1, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher).


Tue., Feb. 4, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Feb. 5, 2025, 10:00 p.m.Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 8, 2025 Houstonfest, Kingwood High School, Houston.


Fri., Feb. 14, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/19).


Wed., Feb. 19, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark your State payment.


Sat., Feb. 22, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get the link to a Google Form from your teacher). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship and Sandra Dieckman GTHS Memorial Scholarship applications due (to submit the application, get the link to a Google Form from your teacher).


Mon., Feb. 24, 2025, 8:00 p.m.: Entries in State promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 25, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Mar. 1, 2025 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 8, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


x., Mar. x, 2025Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.



Rules:  Oral Testing Events


Directed Dialogue:

Entry Limit:  2 contestants per level, per school (Levels 1 and 2 only).

The judges will ask the contestant questions on the contestant's level of understanding (things generally covered in first-year and second-year textbooks). Questions will be selected by a combination of students drawing 3 questions and judges asking the same 2 standard questions to all contestants. Judges will grade on pronunciation, degree of complexity and fluency, knowledge of topic, and grammatical correctness.

Download critique sheet.

Download Level 1 questions.

Download Level 2 questions.


Extemporaneous Speaking:

Entry Limit:  2 contestants per level, per school (Levels 3, 4, and Advantaged only).

Speech Time Limits:  Level 3: 1-3 minutes; Level 4: 2-4 minutes; Advantaged: 3-5 minutes.

The contestant will draw a topic at the beginning of his/her time slot. (At Regionals only, students may draw 2 topics and choose 1 of the 2 to prepare.) The topics will not be technical and will pertain to daily life. Different contestants will receive different topics, but the topics will be of approximately equal difficulty. After drawing a topic, the contestant will have a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare. They may write during this time, but no books or dictionaries may be used in preparation, and NO notes, even those made during the preparation period, may be used in the speech. 

Download critique sheet.


Oral Presentation:

Entry Limit:  2 entries per school (Level 4 and Advantaged Level only; EXCEPTION: If a school has no Level 4 students attending contest, Level 3 contestants may enter the Level 4 contest, but with the understanding that they will be competing against Level 4 contestants.)

Time Limit:  2-4 minutes

This is a "virtual event." You must submit your entry no later than one week before the contest. Specific instructions for uploading the entry will be published on the contest website and/or distributed to teachers each year.

The contestant gives a prepared presentation based on a provided picture prompt. The picture will be posted on the contest website by December 1 each year and will relate to some current cultural topic. The presentation must compare cultural perspectives between one or more German-speaking countries and your own region related to the topic suggested by the picture. Contestant may use notes (maximum 10 bullet points, maximum 5 words per bullet), but the presentation is otherwise memorized. The presentation may be accompanied by a visual component (picture cards, poster, photo story, images on a tablet or laptop), but the visuals cannot include any words. Note:  Contestant must remain fully in view of the camera for the entire presentation, so if close-ups of visuals are necessary, the contestant must make sure he/she is still 100% visible. The video may not cut back and forth between contestant and visuals.

  1. Record yourself (or have someone record you) giving your presentation. You may do as many "takes" as you want until you're satisfied with the result, but the submitted recording must be a single continuous unedited take, not a spliced-together compilation of the best parts of multiple takes. (See rules above regarding use of visuals.)

  2. If notes were used, hold your note card(s) up to the camera for at least 5 seconds (each) at the end of the presentation so that the judges can get a good look at it (them). The time it takes to display the note cards does not count toward the time limit.

  3. Upload the video of your presentation to YouTube or Vimeo.

  4. Create a single Word document or Google Doc with your name, your school, an image (or images) of your "visual component" if you used one, and a hyperlink to your YouTube/Vimeo recording. If you are concerned about privacy and want to password-protect your video, include the password with the hyperlink in the document.

  5. Convert this document to a PDF file and upload it according to the instructions provided. Do NOT upload the video itself; the judges will access your video via the link that you include in the document.

Download critique sheet.

Picture for Oral Presentation 2024. The picture for 2025 will be posted when it becomes available (December 1, 2024 at the latest).


Pair Discussion:

Entry Limit:  2 entries (pairs) per school (Level 3 only).

Discussion Time:  3 minutes (not including a 30-second reflection time).

A pair of contestants draws a topic instructing them to plan something (trip, purchase, celebration, etc.). Both are expected to make suggestions and voice opinions, to agree or disagree, and to make alternative suggestions. At the end of the discussion, they must come to an agreement. The topics will pertain to the daily life of teenagers. No contestant pairs will have the same topic. From the time the topic is drawn, the contestants may take up to 30 seconds to read the topic and gather their thoughts, but they may not speak to each other during this time. At the end of the 30 seconds, the contestants have 3 minutes to role-play the situation. The two team members will be scored independently of one another, but both scores will be added together to obtain the team score, i.e., contestants will be ranked and potentially advance to State as a team.

Download critique sheet.

Tips for Pair Discussion, with samples.


Sight Reading:

Entry Limit:  2 contestants per level, per school (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4).

Time Limits:  up to 1 minute preparation time plus 2 minutes to read the piece to judges.

The contestant will receive a copy of a prose piece that they have never seen before. The contestant may look at the prose for up to 1 minute before reading it for the judges. Contestants then have 2 minutes to read aloud the prose selection. The judges will stop the contestant after 2 minutes, regardless of how far they have read into the selection.

Download critique sheet.

Main Rules Page Arts Declamation Drama Music
Oral Tests Pass auf! Research Paper Scavenger Hunt Written Tests

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 8, 2025


Where is Houstonfest?


Kingwood High School

2701 Kingwood Dr.

Kingwood, TX 77339

(new location in 2025!)


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group