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Course Learning Outcomes

Student Language Proficiency Objectives

As you progress through the course, you will be expected to reach certain language proficiency benchmarks that will be rated according to the 2012 Proficiency Guidelines of ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). You will demonstrate the four proficiency skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) through activities, exercises, speaking appointments, and unit tests:

Units 1-4: Students will demonstrate a language proficiency level of Novice Low: 

Novice Low Reading: can recognize a limited number of characters or letters, occasionally able to identify high frequency words and or phrases when strongly supported by context.

Novice Low Writing: copy or transcribe words; learn the Umlauts (ü, ö, ä) or Esszet (ß); reproduce from memory a limited set of isolated words or phrases.

Novice Low Speaking: given adequate time they may be able to exchange greetings, give their identity, and name a number of familiar objects from their immediate environment.

Novice Low Listening: occasionally recognize isolated words or very high frequency phrases when strongly supported by context; they show virtually no comprehension even within the most basic personal contexts.

Units 5-8: Students will demonstrate a language proficiency level of Novice Mid: 

Novice Mid Reading: able to recognize letters or symbols, can identify a number of highly-contextualized words or phrases, including cognates and borrowed words, but rarely understand material that exceeds a single phrase. Rereading is often required.

Novice Mid Writing: reproduce a modest number of words and phrases from memory; can supply limited information on forms and documents and other basic biographical information.

Novice Mid Speaking: use isolated words and memorized phrases, when responding to direct questions may say only a few words at a time or give an occasional stock answer; pause frequently to search for vocab or use interlocutor's words; understood with difficulty.

Novice Mid Listening: listeners can recognize and begin to understand a number of high-frequency, highly-contextualized words and phrases including aural cognates and borrowed words.  Typically, they understand little more than one phrase at a time, and repetition may be required.

Units 9-12: Students will demonstrate a language proficiency level of Novice High: 

Novice High Reading: can understand fully and with relative ease key words and cognates and formulaic phrases across a range of highly contextualized situations. where vocabulary has been learned they can understand predictable language and messages such as those on train schedules, road maps and street signs. Able to derive meaning from short non-complex texts that convey basic information for which there is extra-linguistic support.

Novice High Writing:  limited practical writing needs using lists, short messages, postcards, and simple notes; writing focuses on daily life; recombine learned vocabulary and structures to create simple sentences.

Novice High Speaking: Students are able to handle a variety of tasks; can manage successfully a number of uncomplicated tasks in straightforward situations; topics are restricted to familiar topics in the target language: basic personal information, basic objects, limited number of activities, preferences and immediate needs; respond to simple direct questions and they are able to ask a few formulaic questions.

Novice High Listening: listeners may often but not always be able to understand sentence length speech, though only one utterance at a time, and only with basic and personal contexts; they are able to understand speech dealing with practical need, such as highly standardized messages, phrases, or instructions if the vocabulary has been learned.

Student Metacognitive Objectives

On the Unit One test and again on intermittent self-reflective assignments in the course, you will be able to identify and explain the following:

  1. Your personal reasons for wanting to learn German and goals for your own language proficiency
  2. The learning styles that most closely match your own
  3. Specific language-learning strategies and skills that complement your own learning style
  4. Different motivational and practical strategies that can help you successfully complete your assignments, complete your coursework, and reach your language learning goals.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Materials

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Activities and Exercises

In each unit, you will complete various language learning activities that involve listening, writing, reading, and speaking. Some assignments help you become familiar with new concepts and words and others are creative assignments that will bring you into contact with people, places, or ideas using different kinds of technology.  Each assignment will have specific instructions that will tell you how, where, and when to correct your mistakes and submit the assignment for evaluation.  These assignments will take up the majority of the time you spend in your German 101 course.

Mastery Quizzes

After every vocabulary list and grammar concept, you will take a mastery quiz.  The mastery quizzes do not count toward your final grade, but all of them must be completed with a passing score of ninety percent or higher in order to move on to the next activity in the course. You may take each quiz as many times as you need until you pass it. Once you prove that you have learned a concept or a list of words by passing a mastery quiz, you will not need to complete any more exercises or drills, and you can move on.  If you do not pass the quiz, you will have the opportunity to go back and complete more exercises and drills until you pass.  Every student will spend a different amount of time on these exercises, according to their needs.

In addition to the mastery quizzes themselves, vocabulary lists have been created in Quizlet and Memrise that correspond to each vocabulary mastery quiz. These activities are available to help pass the mastery quiz but are not required or graded.

Writing Assignments

In each unit, you will be asked to complete a writing assignment that will give you the opportunity to show how well you have mastered new vocabulary, topics, and phrases. Many of these assignments will come from activities in Deutsch im Blick. More important than error-free German is your use of new vocabulary, grammar, and other information that you have learned.  You will get a higher grade on a writing project that has errors and interesting German; you will receive a lower grade on grammatically perfect but German that is too simplistic. You will have a chance to improve the mistakes anyway!

At four points in the semester—Unit 1, Unit 4, Unit 8, and Unit 12—you will take some time to write a short statement (in English) about what you have learned about yourself as a language learner.  Contemplate the following questions and answer them:

Conversation Café

The Conversation Café is available at any time for students to come together to practice speaking German, prepare for speaking appointments, and help other students with a variety of language learning activities. This does not count toward your final grade.

Speaking Appointments and Recordings

Each unit includes a speaking appointment with your TA. After your speaking appointment, you will receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your spoken German. Review the feedback and make a recording of one of the activities assigned. Your TA may ask you to record a specific activity; otherwise, you may choose your own to record. Be sure to focus on correcting the mistakes and weaknesses that the TA heard in your spoken German. You will record your voice and submit a link to the file. Your TA will give you feedback on your recording. As with the writing assignments and the conversations, many of the topics for your podcasts will come from Deutsch im Blick.

Submitting Audio/Video Recordings

Throughout the course, you will need to make audio or video recordings of yourself speaking German. Upload the recording to a sharing site such as YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Soundcloud and provide your TA with a link so he/she can grade you and give you feedback on your speaking and pronunciation.

Unit Tests

At the end of each unit, you will take a unit test in two parts. Part 1 will cover grammar and vocabulary, and like the mastery quizzes, requires a ninety percent passing score with unlimited attempts. You must show that you have mastered these concepts with a certain level of proficiency, or you will be required to go back, practice, and then take the unit test again until you pass. Part 2 will allow only one attempt and may not be retaken for a higher score. The unit tests will tell you how well you have mastered your basic speaking, listening, reading and writing tasks, and how well you have learned the grammar concepts, vocabulary, pronunciation, and cultural practices from the unit.

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After completing all 12 units, you will study for the German 101 Final Exam.  This is a comprehensive exam that covers all of the proficiency skills that you have developed in the course: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary, Grammar, Pronunciation, and Culture. The questions will be taken directly from the activities, exercises and quizzes that you have completed in the 12 units.

The final speaking appointment will be graded on those parts of the interview that reflect what you have learned in German 101. 

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These items will count toward your course grade:

Einsteige and Webquests 10%
Speaking Activities 10%
Reading and Writing Practice 10%
Writing Assignments 10%
Speaking Appointments/Recordings 20%
Unit Tests 20%
Final Exam/Final Speaking Appointment 20%

Grading Scale

Your course grade will be determined based on these percentages:

A 100–93%
A− 92–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–83%
B− 82–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–73%
C− 72–70%
D+ 69–67%
D 66–63%
D− 62–60%
E (fail) 59–0%

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Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.
As determined by your instructor, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism
You will fail the lesson and be allowed the opportunity to resubmit the lesson.

Second Offense of Plagiarism
You will fail the lesson and fail the class.

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


In each unit, there are approximately 50 activities and exercises, 6-10 mastery quizzes, a writing assignment (rough and final draft), a speaking appointment with submitted recording, and a unit test (with two parts). You are allowed unlimited attempts for mastery quizzes and Part 1 of the unit test; resubmissions are not permitted for other assignments.


1 computer-graded final exam (proctored, no retakes) and 1 final speaking appointment. You must pass the final exam and the final speaking appointment separately with 60 percent or higher to pass the course.

Course Duration

You have one year to complete this course. You may purchase one three-month extension if you need more than a year to complete the course. You may not finish this course sooner than two months.

Getting Help

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.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

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.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514