News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarshipswinners announced!


Changes and updates for 2022 including procedures for online contest


State Promo Video Contest


"Texas State German Contest at 40" newsletter series (full of tips for contest prep and Pass auf! study material)


"Leidenschaft der Aussprache" Pronunciation Contest


Scholarships at State


Contest Promo Video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest Promo Video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Sat., Jan. 15, 2022, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/24).


Tue., Jan. 18, 2022, 4:00 p.m.:  Registration opens for pronunciation contest "Leidenschaft der Aussprache" (teachers who submit a Houstonfest registration by the regular deadline will receive a link to register for this special contest)


Mon., Jan. 24, 2022, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $12/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Wed., Feb. 2, 2022, 8:00 p.m. Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 5, 2022Houstonfest (virtual) -  submissions of art and recordings due by 9:00 a.m., some events conducted live via Zoom


Tue., Feb. 8, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote Houstonfest judging ends


Fri., Feb. 11, 2022, 4:45 p.m.:  Houstonfest results announced via live-stream (see Results page for a recording of the awards show)


Wed., Feb. 16, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for "early bird" price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/18).


Fri., Feb. 18, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for regular price of $12/student. Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship applications due. Deadline to postmark State payment.


Wed., Feb. 23, 2022, 8:00 p.m.:  Deadline extended: Entries in promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson.


Sat., Feb. 26, 202240th Annual Texas State German Contest (virtual) -submissions of art and recordings due by 9:00 a.m., some events conducted live via Zoom (ask your teacher for the sheet with all the links!)


Tue., Mar. 1, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote State judging ends


Sat., Mar. 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Houstonfest Scholarship applications due. State awards video released.


Fri., Mar. 11, 2022 Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Sat., April 30, 2022 Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.

The 2022 contest will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following rules are still in effect for the most part and are left here in their normal format for future years. Any tweaks to the rules and additional procedures for the 2022 online contest environment can be found by clicking "Changes and updates for 2022" in the column to the left.


Rules:  Oral Testing Events


Directed Dialogue:

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

The judges will ask the contestant questions on his/her 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.  He/she 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 only; EXCEPTION: If a school has no Level 4 students attending contest, Level 3 contestants may enter, but with the understanding that they will be competing against Level 4 contestants.)

Time Limit:  2-4 minutes

This is a "digital event." You must submit your entry no later than one week before the contest (exception for 2022: presentation is due on the date of 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.

Download picture for 2022.


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, & 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 he/she has 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 he/she has 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 4, 2023


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School in Houston


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group