German 303 is an advanced language course that helps you to build upon the eight integrated language skills that you learned in German 302: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, cultural competence, and pronunciation. German 303 is built around current events in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, so the course is broken down into eight units, each of them corresponding to a specific Rubrik or section of a newspaper: Nachrichten (Headline News), Politik (Politics), Wirtschaft (Business), Sport, Feuilleton (Culture and Arts), Wissen (Science and Technology), Wetter (Weather), and Lokales (Local News). At the end of the course, you will have completed writing a news article for each of the eight Rubrik sections, and you will put them together as a whole newspaper for your final project as a blog (including a recorded podcast or a video segment).
In the assignments and on the exams of German 303, students will be able to do the following:
In addition to the required textbooks, you will need a reliable internet source, as this course relies heavily upon your use and access of online sources (see below). You will also need a headset or mic and speakers to conduct required speaking assignments in the course. The ability to record and upload audio files is also necessary.
German-English Online Dictionary—http://www.dict.cc/
Rubrik “Nachrichten” in several major German, Austrian, and Swiss Newspapers
News on Television Channels
Extra Grammar Exercises and Language Lessons
DW Placement Test A1/A2/B1/B2
You are responsible for finding articles or video/audio clips that correspond to the topic for each of your rubrics. Explore the links above, and learn to find the kinds of articles that you find interesting, fun, or relevant to your own interests. You are strongly encouraged to find articles not only from German sources, but from Swiss and Austrian sources as well.
Below, I have broken out the assignments into eight categories: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, culture, and pronunciation.
In each section or Rubrik, you will be responsible for going online and locating several recent newspaper, websites or news magazine articles in authentic, high-level German. These articles will correspond with the topic of your Rubrik (If you are in the Sport Rubrik, for example, you will find a series of recent articles about some kind of sports event that interests you). Students who have difficulty reading German articles may arrange with the TA to start out the first three sections of the course with articles written in “Leichte Sprache,” or easy German (See the “Quellen” section of this syllabus for a list of online sources of easy German articles). When put together, the text of all of your articles should be about 1500–2000 words in length. You will write a 100-word article. Use your readings as models for your own language production, and you will mark up each article to identify vocabulary and sentence structures that you want to emulate. You will also be reading sections of your textbook that provide the grammar, vocabulary, and cultural hints that will help you to complete your other assignments. When you turn in any assignment for German 303, the class reader will immediately decide if the assignment fulfills the criteria given in this syllabus and on the model assignments. If it does not meet the criteria, or if the work is not up to a 303-level standard, the submitted assignment will be returned ungraded to the student for revision.
You will complete three different kinds of writing assignments: (1) article mark-up and summary, (2) newspaper articles, and (3) grammar exercises. You will submit the article mark-up and summary and the grammar exercises to BYU Independent Study for grading. The newspaper articles will be posted on a blog you will create following the instructions in the course introduction, "Setting Your Blog" and you will give the instructor the link to your blog. Complete each assignment as follows:
There are two speaking assignments in each Rubrik: a live conversation assignment and a recorded podcast or video assignment.
In each Rubrik you will be asked to find a 2–3 minute audio or video clip of a new report that corresponds to the topic of your Rubrik (If you are working on the Politik Rubrik for example, you could find a clip of a news report on a German, an Austrian, or a Swiss political figure or political party). Just like the articles that you choose to read, you will watch or listen to the clip of the news report and then complete a 100-word summary and a list of 5 model sentences and 10 vocabulary words or phrases. You will use your selected clip of a news report as a model for your own podcast or video assignment. Listen carefully to the pronunciation and intonation of the news reporter, and try to emulate his or her vocal performance as well. You will report your listening assignment when you turn in your podcast. Include a link to your listening model text when you submit your podcast to your 303 grader.
In every Rubrik, you will read sections from your grammar book and your workbook. You will also complete several grammar exercises, as discussed in the writing section above. In addition, several of your informal writing assignments will ask you to identify grammatical constructions in your readings and video and audio clips. You will then take these phrases and make them your own, integrating them into your own spoken and written speech. You will be graded not only on the grammatical accuracy of your essays and conversations, but also on your ability to integrate grammatical structures from outside texts and use them in your own language production. Every time you turn in the PGG grammar exercises for your Rubrik, make sure that you have gone back over them using the answer key at the end of PGG. You should make corrections in red so that the grader will see the mistakes you made (they will not count against your grade). Even if there are no mistakes, initial each exercise in red so that the grader can see that you have completed your corrections (see the model PGG corrected grammar exercise assignment).
In your writing assignments you will integrate vocabulary from the Rubrik lists, and you will also identify interesting new vocabulary words or phrases and then integrate them into your own spoken and written speech. You will be graded on your ability to work these words and phrases into your news articles, conversations, and podcast/video assignments. The final exam will include a section that tests you on your mastery of all of the vocabulary items on your Rubrik lists.
You are encouraged to not only focus upon Germany in your search for articles and video and audio clips, but also on Austria and Switzerland. All of the reading and listening assignments in the course are designed to acquaint you with aspects of German, Austrian, and Swiss culture. The topics of your podcast and video assignments are also designed to help you investigate different aspects of culture that interest you. The whole format of the course, based around current events, is designed to acquaint you with a broad range of cultural topics, from politics and literature to gestures, idiomatic expressions, and intonations.
As a part of your assignments in each unit, you will complete a set of pronunciation exercises on the following website: http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Eacadtech/phonetics/.
In your podcast and video assignments, you will be asked to use video clips and audio clips as models for your own pronunciation. Your pronunciation will be corrected and critiqued as a part of the evaluation of these podcasts. Your pronunciation will also be evaluated as a part of your Adobe Connect conversations.
Final Project: Your final project which is represented by your blog will consist of compiling all of the articles and podcasts or videos you have created throughout the course. In essence, your final project will be your Newspaper. It is worth 20 percent of your final grade.
Each assignment includes a rubric that you will be graded on. You will find each rubric in the appendix at the end of the course.
There is a course discussion board at the end of the course, as well as a course wiki. The discussion board is designed for students to connect, discuss course-related matters, and share ideas with each other. The wiki is designed for the instructor to post information that may provide enrichment or to post relevant information for the course.
This course also includes a live online orientation meeting with your instructor. You must complete the orientation before continuing in the course. More information, including the schedule, is available on the Orientation Meeting page in the Welcome Module.
Note: You may refer to your notes to complete your speaking assignments and writing assignments; however, you may not use a translation device of any kind for your written assignments. The Speedbacks, the review assignment, and the final exam are closed book and closed notes.
There are two parts to the comprehensive final exam: a final speaking appointment and a final written exam. Your final speaking appointment will be in the same format as the other live conversations in the course and must be completed before you request your written exam.
Your comprehensive written exam will be made up of exactly the same kinds of tasks that you have completed for the other assignments in the class. There will be grammar and vocabulary exercises, a reading comprehension assignment, and shorter writing assignments with topics taken from your various Rubrik sections. For study tips for the final exam, see the final exam preparation guide.
Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
|Article Mark-ups and Summaries||5%|
|Written News Articles||20%|
|E (fail)||59 or below|
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8 article mark-up and summaries, 8 news articles, 8 grammar assignments, 8 live conversations, 8 podcast or video assignments, and one final project, all instructor-graded with no resubmissions. Also 8 speedback,computer-graded, assignments.
1 instructor-graded exam consisting of a final speaking appointment and a written exam, may not retake; must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.
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Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514