Marshall McLuhan Salon Newsletter 01/2014

Dear Friends of Canada,

In this newsletter, we would like to update you on a number of topics and inform you about events connected with the Marshall McLuhan Salon. New teaching materials for English classes are available for download on our website. There are also new films waiting to be discovered in the Marshall McLuhan Salon.We look forward to welcoming you to the McLuhan Salon soon and wish you a pleasant spring.

The Marshall McLuhan Salon Team
Embassy of Canada


Collaborative learning with the SMART Table ® 442i

We are now pleased to be able to present material on Canada on two SMART tables. This new product developed by the Canadian company SMART Technologies features a 360° interactive, multi-touch surface with a brilliant HD LCD display. The SMART Table allows up to eight persons to learn simultaneously. It has a tip-proof frame, also enabling access for wheelchair users.

New: Introduction to the McLuhan Archive

The introduction to the McLuhan Archive is based on McLuminations, a series of “illuminated screening” events conceived by Baruch Gottlieb to mark the McLuhan anniversary in 2011 and since then implemented on several occasions with various McLuhan experts such as Derrick de Kerckhove, Richard Cavell, Martina Leeker and Steffi Winkler. The text was co-written by S. Winkler and B. Gottlieb and refers to McLuhan’s original texts and quotes. As with the event format, the aim of the introduction is to allow the viewer to experience the rare videos of the archive.

Visit the Marshall McLuhan Salon between 10 am and 5 pm on Fridays and browse our unique McLuhan Archive. 



In November 2013, the Marshall McLuhan Salon offered two teacher training sessions for English teachers at secondary level.

In her lecture entitled “French-Canadian Stories in Foreign-Language Courses”, Dr. Sabine Heuser of the Philipps-Universität in Marburg presented an educational approach to integrate the popular Canadian story “The Hockey Sweater” / “Le Chandail” into foreign-language classes. The story is based on childhood memories of the author Roch Carrier and is a humorous portrayal of life in rural Québec and the passion of Canadians for ice hockey, their national sport. The worksheets created are suitable for secondary level 2 (English level B2), but could also be used to set creative writing tasks for grades 9-10. The objective of the teaching unit is to explore the understanding of Canada’s bilingual and bicultural (English and French) heritage. It is also easy to make comparisons with the students’ own culture.

This training event took place during the Berliner Märchentage (Berlin Fairy Tale Days) in 2013. A bilingual country, Canada was patron of the 24th Berliner Märchentage, the theme of which was “Around the world in 18 days: Fairy tales and stories from the French-speaking world”.

The Canadian band Arcade Fire on youth culture and life in a North American suburb–a teaching project

In his lecture entitled “Brave New Suburbia: Youth, War, Dystopia in Arcade Fire’s/Spike Jonze’s Scenes from the Suburbs”, David Rose of the Humboldt University in Berlin presented an analysis of the short film Scenes from the Suburbs, which was produced as an accompanying film to the music video of the Canadian band Arcade Fire. The film shows the social dynamics of a group of teenagers–a typical coming-of-age story, but in which the setting, a North American suburb, plays a decisive role. In addition, masters students of Humboldt University from the media seminar of PD Dr. R. Isensee developed educational approaches to integrate the film into English classes. The worksheets they prepared are suitable for use in the 1st or 4th semester of the upper secondary level in the subject areas “the individual and society” and “challenges of the present” (“urban, suburban and rural lifestyles”).

On request, the students would be pleased to present or teach the lesson in a class. If you are interested, please contact info@mcluhan-salon.de. Based on these lectures, we offer teaching material for English lessons at upper secondary level, which registered users can download from our website: teaching and learning material.

The Marshall McLuhan Salon regularly welcomes school students of English and French and offers many possibilities for sharpening linguistic and intercultural skills using selected Canadian films.


Focus: The Arctic

The Arctic, the living environment of the indigenous peoples of northern Canada, continues to be a key topic this year. Several films with German subtitles can be seen in the Marshall McLuhan Salon. The reports encourage discussion on the changed living environments in the north of Canada and the influence of the globalized world on the culture of the indigenous peoples.

People of a Feather

© 2011 Sanikiluaq Running Pictures / 90 min.

Over a period of seven years, the Canadian documentary filmmaker Joel Heath observed the social and ecological changes on the Belcher Islands in the Arctic and shows the impact on the local Inuit community (English).

Growing Up in Nunavut

© 2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / 13:58 min.

This TV documentary illustrates the diverse challenges faced today by the Inuit, the inhabitants of Canada’s newest territory.

If the Weather Permits

© 2003 National Film Board Canada / 27:55 min.

This documentary by filmmaker Elisapie Issac is a sort-of letter to her deceased grandfather about the survival of Inuit culture in the modern world. 

Media Centre search

All new films, teaching materials and texts can also be researched in our online Media Centre.


Arctic film week at the Embassy of Canada (June 23-27, 2014)

We invite interested school classes to register for a film screening on the subject of the Canadian Arctic, followed by a discussion in the Embassy Auditorium. Towards the end of the school year we will be holding film screenings, including the films described above. What we will be offering fits very well with the curriculum topics: ‘living environments and coming-of-age stories’, ‘multicultural society and ethnic diversity’, as well as ‘the life and culture of the Canadian indigenous peoples’.

The event is free, but as seating is limited, please would you preregister at info@mcluhan-salon.de to fix a suitable date and time.

Inuksuk–Workshop for primary school classes

We are pleased to inform you that the Marshall McLuhan Salon has extended its offer for primary schools. In general, guided visits related to regional studies, geography and Canadian indigenous peoples are suitable for grades 1–6. The new Inuksuk workshop includes a short introduction to the life and culture of the Inuit, the indigenous people living in Northern Canada. Then, under guidance, children can make their own model of an Inuksuk, the stone structure resembling a human figure primarily used by the Inuit as a signpost. Participants are welcome to take it home with them.


Up-to-date information on all upcoming events can be found under News & Events on our website.


Cornelsen English Network national conference at the Embassy of Canada

On March 21, 2014, this year’s national conference of the Cornelsen English Network (CEN) took place at the Embassy of Canada in Berlin. Around 100 participants from across Germany were informed about Canadian topics and teaching materials.

Fête de la Francophonie in Berlin

On March 26, 2014, the embassies and delegations of member countries and regions of La Francophonie represented in Berlin celebrated the Fête de la Francophonie with over 600 guests. This year, over 500 Berlin students from over 20 schools also took part in the “March–Month of Francophonie” educational program, either visiting an embassy or representation, or themselves welcoming one of the 20 representatives from French-speaking countries or regions.