missing image


Read this carefully!
Course prerequisite:  Germ 202, or a German 301 placement on the BYU German Challenge Exam. 

Course Materials

The following textbook is required for this course:

The textbook is available at the BYU Store.

Course Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to bring a student with the proper prerequisite experience and work ethic from “intermediate high” on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to “advanced low” in the areas of speaking, writing, listening, and reading. You should (seriously, you really should) follow the ACTFL link above and view/hear the samples of what this level of German sounds like. You are aiming to be at least as proficient as the “intermediate” samples, and crossing over into the level of the “advanced” samples. Breaking this goal down, students who complete this course should be able to

  1. better understand a variety of narrative and descriptive texts, both written and oral.
  2. write narratives, descriptions, and summaries of a factual nature using past, present, and future tenses, and employ more connected, paragraph-level discourse.
  3. move beyond the sentence-level, recombinatory strategies of intermediate speakers and produce oral narratives and descriptions in past, present, and future tenses on autobiographical and general-interest topics.
  4. show mastery of core German grammar (cases and case endings, tense formation, basic word order).

Course Theme

The theme of this course is der Krimi. The word “Krimi” is a common shortened version of both “Kriminalroman” and “Kriminalfilm.” In other words, it refers to crime-detective fiction. All of the texts and videos used in this course will tie into this theme. Much of what you write in this course will also relate to it, as will the vocabulary list that you must master. The Kriminalroman is mostly an Anglo-American affair during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Raymond Chandler, etc.), but in the middle of the twentieth century it went international. Important German-language representatives include Friedrich Glauser and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (these are the classic, foundational figures) as well as Jacques Berndorf, Ingrid Noll, and many others. (Look at the Wikipedia pages for Deutscher Krimi Preis and Friedrich-Glauser-Preis to find names of important German-language Krimis and Krimi authors.) Historically, the most important German-language Fernsehkriminalserien are probably Der Kommissar (1968–1975), Derrick (1974–1998), Der Alte (1976–present), and above all Tatort (1970–present), which is the longest-running and most popular German television series ever. Alarm für Cobra 11 and Der letzte Bulle are more recent police Fernsehkrimi and are very well liked.


Please note: This course is split up into six Einheiten (Units), and each Einheit contains several different kinds of assignments. You must do the Einheiten in the order listed, but within each Einheit there is no set order in which you need to complete the assignments. That being said, some assignments presuppose the completion of certain others, as you will see.

Readings & Viewings. You will read authentic German texts ranging in size from a single paragraph to a short novel. You will also watch films and episodes from German television.

Writing. You will write often in this class. Sometimes the correctness and quality of your German will be graded, sometimes not. The length of these writing assignments will range from a few sentences to several pages. In the final lessons you will be working on your own (very short) Kriminalroman, which will be the capstone project of this course—and hopefully a lot of fun!

Speaking. In each lesson you will be required to call in to the Conversation Café and talk with an advanced/native German speaker. Topics will be assigned, and at least once per lesson you will be graded on your linguistic proficiency in these conversations.

Grammar. In each lesson you will be assigned material from the grammar book, Frank Donahue’s Deutsche Wiederholungsgrammatik. There will also be online quizzes to test each topic in the grammar book. You have an option here. You may take each quiz twice. 

Strong verbs. You must memorize the list of strong verbs included in chapter 3 of Deutsche Wiederholungsgrammatik (and reproduced in the appendix). You will take a strong verb quiz at some point of your choosing during the first three lessons. You will be given the English verb, and you will have to provide the German infinitive, the third-person singular in the present and simple past, and the past participle. You may only take this quiz twice—again, before moving on to unit four—so make sure you prepare.

Vocabulary. You must memorize the list of words and phrases, which are more or less connected to the theme of der Krimi. You will be required to use these vocabulary items in some of your writing assignments and live conversations. There is a vocabulary quiz on the entire list which you are free to take at any point during the first three lessons. You may only take it twice, so make sure you prepare.


In this course, there will be a comprehensive final exam. The exam is arranged to divide course content into topics and to allow the exam to be a reasonable length. The exam includes true/false, multiple-choice, and written essay questions. The exam is timed and you will have three hours to complete it. The exam is proctored. There are no make-ups for the exam and it will not be dropped.


The final grade will be calculated using your scores from the following categories:

Assessment                Number of Assignments   Percentage of Grade
Computer-graded quizzes1920%
Written homework assignments   1920%
Speaking assignments620%
Final exam (written/oral)220% 
Total 100%

Your final grade will be based on this scale:

Grading Scale
E (fail)   59% and below