Our German Curriculum
Learning a new language means embarking on a journey into a new world. These worlds do not consist of words and structures alone – they also open up vistas to different ways of life. Our language program endeavors to make this journey into the German language and German-speaking cultures a fascinating and enjoyable one!
We aim to help our students become competent speakers of German who know how to purposefully use the language, who are aware of linguistic structures and can use them to appropriately express their own intentions, who can understand other speakers and repair misunderstandings in interaction, and who can perceive and appreciate cultural differences.
This means you will learn:
- to pronounce German words, and to arrange, modify, and use them correctly;
- to connect those words appropriately to form meaningful utterances and texts;
- to say what you mean and mean what you say in different communicative contexts;
- to listen to and understand speakers of German;
- to read and understand written texts in German;
- to solve communication problems;
- to develop intercultural awareness.
German 100 is an introductory course for students who have not previously studied German. The course aims to help students become communicatively active in German from the very first lesson! The course book, Netzwerk Deutsch A1, covers topics as diverse as personal lives, friends, family and colleagues, city life, fashion, and vacations. Grammar areas include nouns and pronouns, most cases, word order in main clauses and questions, present and perfect tenses, imperative, and most prepositions. Students will learn to use German to perform day-to-day actions like asking for or giving directions, making an appointment, ordering in a restaurant, inviting people, talking about past occurrences, and more. By the end of the course, participants should be able to pass the official A1 exam of the Common European Framework of Reference (recognized world-wide).
German 150 is the follow-up course to G100. Its course book, Netzwerk Deutsch A2, presents topics like food and festivals, sports, media and entertainment, work life, and public transportation. Grammar areas include word order in subordinate clauses, the genitive case, the subjunctive, declination of adjectives, comparisons, reflexive verbs and relative clauses. Students will learn to use German to perform actions like making suggestions, formulating guesses, talking about preferences and feelings, talking on the phone, and more. By the end of the course, participants should be able to pass the official A2 exam of the Common European Framework of Reference.
German 200 and 250 are lower-intermediate courses. They are based on Netzwerk Deutsch B1 and prepare students for the B1 exam of the Common European Framework of Reference. Topics for G200 include travel, advertising, work life, environmental issues, and future plans. In terms of grammar, there is some review from previous books (e.g. subordinate clauses and the subjunctive) as well as the introduction of new grammar items, like infinitive constructions, the simple past, or the future tense. Students will learn to use German to perform actions like weighing pro's and con's, discussing controversial topics, making comparisons, talking about wishes and future plans, and more.
The topics for German 250 include health, the performing arts, social engagement, finances, and globalization. Grammar items include review of subordinate sentences and reflexive verbs, and the introduction of the pluperfect, negation, connectors and the passive voice. Students will learn to use German to perform actions like solving conflicts, expressing opinions, making and understanding arguments, giving a presentation, and more.
German 300 and 330 are intermediate-advanced courses. They are based on Aspekte B2 and prepare students for the B2 exam of the Common European Framework of Reference. Aspekte highlights different topics of life in German-speaking countries, and looks at individual and cultural differences in communication and negotiation, aspects of home, work and business, as well as science, culture and history.
The 300-level courses are designed as stepping stones into further meaningful academic engagement with the German speaking world. High-intermediate students are on their way to content-specific courses and G300 and G330 will best prepare them for this next step. Though oral and written responses to the readings, students develop a growing awareness of and sensibility to German culture. These courses help students express their ideas in a manner that is consistent with advanced language work. A main focus of the 300-level courses is expressing oneself in German, in both spoken and written texts.
Each semester, students will also read literary texts: Die Verwandlung by Franz Kafka in G300 and Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee by Thomas Brüsig in G330. By the end of the third year, students should be able to understand and respond to a range of texts and media from spheres as diverse as literature, politics, contemporary culture, and entertainment.