• OVERVIEW OF THE GERMAN LANGUAGE PROGRAM

     

    YEARS OF STUDY: 
     

    Our school district offers the following German language courses: German I through German IV, which is considered our Advanced Placement course. After completing Advanced Placement German, students have the option to enroll in German Literature, our fifth year German course. As our school has a combination of middle and high school students, I encourage 8th graders to enroll in German as this affords the opportunity to complete the full five-year program.

     

    BASIC TEXTS: 

     
    German I:      Komm mit!, Level I HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON 
     
    German II:    Komm mit!, Level I HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON 
     
    German III:   Komm mit!, Level III HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON 1998
     
    German IV:   Rankin, Jamie. and Larry D. Wells.  Handbuch zur deutschen    
                           Grammatik,New York:  Houghton Mifflin Company 2001.
     
                           Scholl, Inge.  Die Weiße Rose.  St. Paul:  EMC Corp. 1995.
     
                           Strutz, Henry. German Idioms.  Barron’s Educational Series.
     
                           Teichert, Herman U. and Gabriele Hahn.  Allerlei zum
                           Besprechen.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Company 1998.
     
                           Tieck, Ludwig.  Der Blonde Eckbert.  Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam
                           jun. GmbH. 1996.
     

     

                           

    *Our school also has desk sets of Deutsch Aktuell  (levels I and II) and I often supplement Komm mit! with occasional chapters and various communicative and listening activites provided in the Deutsch Aktuell series.  
     

    PURPOSE AND GOALS:

     

    The purpose of our German Program is to develop proficient communicators of German through the course of five years, using a functional and contextual approach which emphasizes the following areas:

     

    Speaking:      
     
    Every German class from German I through and including  
    German IV is taught and conducted entirely in German from day one. Speaking
    topics and oral activities are level specific including but not limited to: descriptions, 
    class discussions, oral presentations, reports, debates, paraphrasing and speeches. 

     

    Listening:      
     
    Students improve their listening skills each day as they only hear the target
    language in class.  In addition to hearing “my German” each day, students are
    also exposed to and work with a number of outside listening sources including
    German television broadcasts, radio, short stories on CD, music, and various
    DVDs in the classroom. 

     

    Writing:         
     
    Students begin writing as soon as possible with simple responses initially at the beginning of German I. My favorite question that generates perfect level specific German is “Warum möchtet ihr keine Hausaufgaben heute bekommen?”  This question can be answered orally or in writing and must be error-free in order to count.  You can manipulate this or similar questions to meet the grammar point being taught. Responses are genuine and a pleasure to hear / read.  Impromptu writing is done on a daily basis, as well as journal writing on a weekly basis for levels I through IV. 

     

    Reading:        
     
    I use a variety of outside reading sources to enhance chapter content and 
    vocabulary.  I do my best to incorporate humor in the classroom, especially 
    when the material can be quite challenging. I begin exposing the students to
    comics and horoscopes in various German language newspapers published
    in the US (Nordamerikanische Wochenpost and Die neue Presse) to gradually 
    reading articles and want ads in Frankfurter Allgemeine.  Students also read
    various fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm as well as Der Struwwelpeter 
    by Hoffman and Die Struwwelliese by Teichmann. I also include short 
    stories and books.  I try to pick the works based on the personality and overall
    interest of the class.*

     

    *Occasionally, classes may require more practice in one or more of the communicative areas mentioned above and, for this reason, I alter the curriculum to meet students’ needs. For example, if I find that a class needs more practice with reading, I will spend more time with Reader’s Digest: Das Beste, short stories and newspapers.  If students require an intense grammar review, I may supplement our textbook with additional exercises from Schaum’s Outline of German Grammar or with exercises from A Practical Review of German Grammar by Gerda Dippmann.