This course is designed for students who have successfully completed the basic level and the first part of the intermediate level of German and who have a sound knowledge of German at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This course is intensive and is intended for dedicated, highly self-motivated students who will take responsibility for their learning.
This course will help you to expand your competences in speaking and writing within four weeks, while emphasizing self-correction. Furthermore, it will help you to increase your vocabulary, to deepen grammar usage, and develop effective reading and listening strategies.
In addition, you will analyze and interpret cultural, political, and historical topics in German-speaking countries and compare them with your own cultural background.
Sicher! B2-Kursbuch, Dr. Michaela Perlmann-Balme, Susanne Schwalb, Hueber Verlag, 2014.
Literary texts and supplemental materials in consultation with the course instructor.
Monday through Friday are lessons. On two class days during the term you will go on a course-related excursion.
Each class consists of six teaching modules (45 minutes each). If you miss 13 modules (unexcused), your entire course grade will drop by one grade. Coming more than 20 minutes late counts as missing a module (this also applies to excursion days). If you come late to class six times (up to 20 minutes) your entire course grade will also drop by one grade. If you miss 34 modules, you will fail the class.
We expect committed and consistent interest in the acquisition of the German language. You will prove this by participating constructively and productively in the lessons and excursions, completing homework assignments and being prepared for every class. Every student is expected to respect the ideas and comments of his/her peers.
You will prepare a five-minute and a ten-minute oral presentation. In one of them you will introduce and explain a certain topic related to Berlin. It is important that you prepare and explain for your presentation relevant vocabulary beforehand (max. 10) and that you give your peers a specific assignment. Furthermore, it is important that you speak freely rather than reading the oral presentation and that you keep to the time allowed.
In this course you will write two essays (font size 12, double-spaced, 250 – 300 words). Your teacher will mark potential errors as such and you are required to correct your essay and hand in a second corrected version. For the first version of your essay you can obtain a maximum of 50 points; for the second version you will receive up to 50% of the missing points.
When writing your essay, you will strive first and foremost for clarity (organization and style) and accuracy (grammar and syntax). You are encouraged to incorporate complex constructions, but please concentrate on syntactic and grammatical accuracy.
Throughout the term you will write various journal entries – independently or on given topics – to reflect on certain aspects of your stay in Berlin. Your instructor will collect these creative exercises and comment the content. However, no corrections will be made. The aim of the journal is that you learn how to express a critical and self-reflective position in a linguistically creative way.
You will take a midterm and a final exam consisting of the following sections: listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension and composition based on course themes.
Together with two or three peers you will prepare a creative and linguistically demanding oral presentation of approximately 10 minutes about your impressions of Berlin (funny, bizarre, interesting facts etc.). The projects (sketches, parodies, PowerPoint presentations, movies, songs, poems etc.) will be presented on the last day of class. Most importantly, every group member should play an active role in the presentation, i.e. should receive an equal amount of speaking time during the presentation.
Maximum score: 1,000 points