German Program

Course Learning Goals

First-year Courses

German 110 and 120: Elementary German 

Language learning goals: the acquisition of the vocabulary and grammatical structures necessary to

  • ask and answer a wide variety of questions in German
  • express simple thoughts and ideas in short conversations
  • converse on a variety of everyday topics such as hobbies, personal interests, and college life
  • read a variety of short German texts for basic content

Cultural learning goals: Familiarity with basic information about contemporary Germany, including the educational system, leisure activities, family life, food, tourism, social questions, etc.

Second-year Courses

German 210: Intermediate Composition and Conversation

The learning goals of this content-based language skills course include

  • build student mastery of German grammar through systematic review of important forms and concepts in the language
  • increase significantly students' active and passive German vocabulary
  • promote acquisition of more in-depth and specific geographical, historical, social, and political insights concerning the German people and their culture

German 230: Masterpieces of German Cultural History

This hybrid (culture and language-skills) course seeks to

  • introduce students to a broad sampling of the rich German cultural tradition in art, architecture, music, film and literature
  • furnish students with historical, social, political, and philosophical insights which will enrich their appreciation and enjoyment of German culture
  • continue student progress in mastering the four basic skills, with a special focus on vocabulary growth and writing skills
  • address random grammatical difficulties normally encountered at the fourth-semester level

Third- and Fourth-year Courses

German 310: Advanced Composition and Conversation

Learning goals:

  • promote mastery of German idioms and turns of speech
  • increase understanding of fine semantic distinctions in the language
  • raise students' confidence in their ability to present content orally in the target language
  • improve writing skills and grammatical and semantic accuracy

German 320 and 330: Survey of German Literature and Civilization, Parts I and II

Learning goals:

  • foster understanding and appreciation of a broad sampling of German Literature
  • provide students with specific historical, social, political, and aesthetic insights and background information which will enrich their understanding of  German culture in general
  • help students gain an overview of the major periods of German cultural history
  • furnish students with new analytical and research tools for the study of German literature

German 365:  German Poetry and Short Prose

Learning goals:

  • to increase the student's understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of German literature, and hopefully of literature in general
  • to introduce the student to a broad range of historical and contemporary German authors
  • to add to and hone the student's analytical and research tools for the study of German literature
  • to examine and discuss the thought-provoking philosophical, ethical and political questions raised by the works read
  • to improve the student's ability to express himself or herself, in oral and written form, on complicated issues
  • to enlarge the student's German vocabulary, with a specific focus on passive recognition of words used in a poetic context

German 395: Contemporary German Civilization

Learning goals:

  • acquisition of an overview of historical events in Germany from WWI to the present
  • rudimentary understanding of key societal institutions in Germany (from the fields of education, economics, the media, politics,religion, the environment, and daily life)
  • mastery of the German vocabulary needed to deal with these concepts

German 420:  Senior Seminar in German Literary History (open only to senior German majors)

The learning goals of this senior-level course include

  • acquiring a thorough overview of German political and cultural history up to reunification
  • reviewing key concepts used in literary analysis
  • formulating an overview of key literary epochs, with a special focus on those which have hitherto received little attention in the students' other coursework

German 490: German Culture through Film

Learning goals:

  • acquire an increased understanding of 20th century German history and culture through a focused, structured examination of German cinema
  • become more critical and aware viewers of German film
  • improve our ability to speak and write about film in German