You must have completed first-year German and one semester of second-year German prior to taking this course (or GERM 101, 102, 201).
Students will be able to demonstrate understanding and mastery of a wide range of grammatical structures and constructions, especially the principles presented in the designated chapters of the course Grammar textbook.
Students will be able to converse in German about everyday topics, abstract ideas about familiar topics, personal opinions, simple interpretation of text, and current events.
Students will demonstrate their ability to read, comprehend, and analyze authentic written German (including a level-appropriate longer text such as a novel), and discover and explore grammar principles and idiomatic language in the texts.
Students will demonstrate aural comprehension of authentic spoken German about general or everyday topics, social conversation, as well as literary German with average complexity.
Students will demonstrate a level-appropriate knowledge of the culture and traditions of German-speaking countries.
Students will be able to demonstrate command of level-appropriate writing, including sophisticated sentences modeled on authentic German sentences. Their writing will incorporate sentences with one or more subordinate clause, as well as accurate use of punctuation and capitalization.
Students will demonstrate the ability to incorporate words, phrases, and idiomatic constructions into their own speaking and writing. These new vocabulary items will be drawn from different sources, including the longer text that the class reads.
Students will be able to demonstrate level-appropriate (Intermediate/Bi or higher) proficiency in all of the eight basic language modalities: speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, culture, and pronunciation.
Students will demonstrate enough pronunciation accuracy that native Germans who are not used to foreign speakers can understand them easily.
This course will build on your German skills and fluency through film and culture. You will work on speaking, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading, listening, and culture. Particular emphasis will be placed on constructing sophisticated and accurate sentences and paragraphs with the goal of helping you reach the ACTFL intermediate-mid level.
Each of the five units is based around a German-language Film. Besides being a fun way to engage with any language, films model authentic speech and provide a rich cultural context for learning German. The five films used in this course are available here.
Ayamel is an innovative film viewing platform created especially for language learners like you. Here are instructions on how to use some of Ayamel’s most helpful features:
You will need the following items:
If you are like me, you hate busywork. In this course, we are going to try and avoid it altogether. Traditional grammar books present a concept and offer a number of drills for practice. Teachers usually assign some or all of the drills to students as homework. Practice and repetition are important in language learning, but the traditional grammar book has a huge disadvantage because it cannot adjust to accommodate the skill and mastery level of the student using it. For some students, the drills are just frustrating busywork, forcing them to repeat things they have long since mastered. For others, the drills may be entirely insufficient and the students run out of practice exercises before they have mastered the skill.
In this course, German mastery quizzes replace all traditional grammar book drills. Rather than assigning a number of drills in a book, we assign a grammar concept to learn and a mastery quiz to help you know when you have mastered the concept. The instructions to each quiz will contain a summary of the grammar concept and online resources for further reading on the topic if needed. The quiz will then randomly select a specified number of questions from a bank of a hundred or more questions. You are expected to get a 90% score. You can repeat the quiz as many times as needed to pass. In this way, you spend as much or as little time as you need to master the concept. Once you get a perfect score, you can move on. Obviously, if the task is easy for you, you will be done quickly (no busywork). If, however, the task is difficult, you will have plenty of time and exercises to help you master it.
This course will build your vocabulary using words from the films. You are responsible to know these words, but you will also be repeatedly exposed to them as you take the German mastery (GM) quizzes and participate in discussion boards. You will be tested on these words in your unit tests. In addition, you will be expected to review the genders and plurals of the most common nouns in the German language, approximately twenty per unit. You will find that these nouns are already familiar to you, but you may not have taken the time to memorize the gender and plural. These nouns can be found on the respective German mastery quiz. German mastery quizzes account for 10 percent of your final course grade.
Homework sets consist of film journals, workbook assignments, and film worksheets. Homework sets make up 15 percent of your final grade. Each type of assignment in these sets is explained below.
Film/Reading Response Journal
Your journal will contain your thoughts about the film or related topics. A journal topic is assigned for each session, often requiring you to first watch or read in German online to learn about the topic.
You will submit your journal entries for instructor feedback. All journal entries will be graded based on completion, but you are expected to revise and correct errors marked by your instructor to get full credit. Journal entries are worth 5% of your final course grade and count in the Homework Set portion of your final grade.
Workbook Assignments, Film Worksheets, and Discussion Boards
Each unit will include a series of workbook assignments from the Cineplex text as well as film worksheets (included in the lesson), paced throughout the lessons in that unit. You may type or handwrite your work, whichever is easier for you. You will photograph/scan your completed work and upload it within the lesson.
There are also discussion board assignments paced throughout the course. Follow the instructions closely. It’s important to develop written communication skills in a conversational way, too. These assignments will help you think about concepts and give you the opportunity to make your own comments and respond to comments other students have made. These three types of assignments together make up 10 percent of your final grade, and count toward the Homework Set portion of your final grade.
The holy grail of students trying to advance to the intermediate-mid level is accurate and sophisticated narration. We will be practicing this in a number of ways.
You have two types of speaking assessments in this course. One is a recorded film performance, and the other is a live oral exam. You will have five scheduled Speaking Appointments throughout the course, one per unit. These assignments make up 15 percent of your final course grade.Film Performances
For each unit, you are expected to memorize and perform a short dialogue/monologue from the film. I can’t emphasize enough the value of memorizing something in German. It’s like building permanent German scaffolding in your brain that will help you resist the natural inclination to build your German sentences with English structures. When you memorize something in German, your mind will fall back on these German structures instead. The result will be that your ever growing and creative use of the language will be more authentic. Keep at it, and native speakers of German will start to wonder why your German sounds so much better than what they have heard from other Americans.
You may do this assignment alone or with a partner. You may use one of the preselected clips from the movie or choose a clip of your own. You may play a single role or switch back and forth between roles. You will film your performance and upload it for your instructor to evaluate. You will be graded on fluency, pronunciation, and creativity. And here is the really fun part: once you have submitted your film, you will get to view some of the performances by other students. Your film will be graded on a rubric. You can practice your performance live during your oral exam appointment (more below), or get feedback from peers/TA in the Conversation Café. You will have opportunities built into the course to perform a “rough draft” before submitting your final recording.Oral Exam Speaking Appointments
Once per unit, you will make an appointment with your instructor for a live oral exam. In these exams you will be expected to converse in German about various film related topics. You will also have a short reading test in which you will demonstrate your ability to read German with fluency and accuracy.
For the reading test, you will be given a text you have never seen before and expected to read such that a native speaker, who is unaccustomed to foreign speakers of German, could easily understand what you arespeaking. This means, for example, that you do not confuse ie with ei, know the difference between a and ä, and that you understand when a vowel should be pronounced long or short (beten vs. Betten, Höhle vs. Hölle, den vs. denn, etc). You may drop the lowest score from your speaking appointments.
The Conversation Café is a place where you can practice speaking in a relaxed, more natural environment. It is a virtual space where you can drop in whenever and for however long you wish. The hours the Café is open will be posted in the course. To help give some structure or speaking points for your Café visits, each unit will have two Café assignments. Take advantage of the opportunity to practice your speaking, get help, and provide feedback to your peers! You are required to spend at least one hour per unit in the Café. You can break this up however you wish, but your total time must come to a minimum of one hour per unit. Your Café participation counts toward 5% of your final course grade.
Unit tests will be approximately 60 percent grammar and vocabulary and 40 percent writing about the film. If you have passed all your German mastery quizzes you should be well prepared for those sections of the test. It is also important that you know the films well. Each unit test has a listening comprehension section using audio clips from the film. You will hear part of the movie and be asked to respond to questions about the movie. Sometimes the correct answer can be deduced from what is said in the clip, other times the correct answer involves recalling the context in which something is said. Unit tests account for 15 percent of your final course grade. There are no retakes of these tests.
The final exam is comprehensive and includes all grammar concepts, verbs, vocabulary and content from the films. It will look very much like your unit tests, but it will be longer and will cover more material. The final exam makes up 30 percent of your final course grade.
|E (fail)||0 - 59%|
|Homework Sets (completion points)
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85 German mastery quizzes and 10 cafe attendance requirements, unlimited retakes; 5 speaking appointments, lowest score may be dropped; 5 unit tests, 5 homework sets, and 5 creative essays, no paid resubmissions.
There is one final exam, no retakes. You must pass with a 70% score to get credit for this 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.
All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.
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Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514