This course is designed for students who have successfully completed the intermediate level of German and who have a sound knowledge of German at the B2 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.
The course aims to deepen your competence in speaking and writing and to expand and refine your vocabulary usage, so that you are able to express and discuss ideas, opinions and information at the academic level. Special attention is given to the consistent use of self-correction. Furthermore, the course helps you to develop effective reading and listening strategies and deepen your knowledge of grammar structures.
In addition, you will analyze and interpret cultural, political, and historical topics in German-speaking countries and compare them with your own cultural background.
studio: Die Mittelstufe. Deutsch als Fremdsprache C1, Christina Kuhn, Britta Winzer-Kiontke, Cornelsen Verlag, 2015.
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. You are also required to prepare a handout for your peers listing unfamiliar vocabulary (max. 20) and posing questions. Furthermore, it is important that you speak freely rather than reading the oral presentations and that you keep to the time allowed.
In preparation for your final paper, you will compose an essay in 12-font and double spaced (300-350 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 100 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.
In addition, you will write a journal entry reflection on your essay and the writing process. This reflection together with your instructor’s suggestions and comments will help you to expand your essay into a research paper for the final project.
Throughout the term you will write various journal entries – independently or on given topics – to reflect on certain aspects of your stay in Berlin, e.g. question personal impressions, compare historical or contemporary phenomena, reflect on certain topics discussed in class, etc. 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 exam consisting of the following sections: listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension and composition based on course themes.
The final project will be a four-page written research paper (font size 12, double-spaced) and a five-minute in-class presentation. The final paper has to meet the standards of academic writing. In terms of content this means that a certain topic has to be investigated systematically and the results have to be presented in a structured and logical way. In terms of form it means that you keep to one single citation style and that you include all the sources you used for your research paper in a reference-list.
You will complete your final paper by executing the following steps:
At the last day of class you will present your results in a five-minute presentation. It is important that you speak freely rather than reading your presentation and that you keep to the time allowed.
Maximum score: 1,000 points