German Language and Culture

Week 1
Willkommen! Grüße! (Welcome! Greetings!)
  • Acquaint themselves with the D2L environment.
  • Get acquainted with fellow classmates and instructor.
  • Greet, and say good-bye to, each other in German.
  • Practice “thank you”, “you're welcome”, “please”, “yes”, and “no”.
  • Gain awareness of umlauts (¨) and the “ß”.
  • Why learn German? Is German only in Germany? Looking at the German language in the world today. (This will involve some basic geography.)
  • The existence of the formal and informal “you” in the German language.
Week 2
Hallo noch einmal! Wie sagt man das? (Hello again! How do you say that?)
Students will be able to:
  • Say and understand good morning, good night, and other specific greetings and goodbyes.
  • Read the German alphabet and pronounce the diphthongs “ei”, “ie”, “au”, “ee”, “oo”, “eu (äu)” as well as the letter “ß”.
  • Das alles ist Deutschland! (That's all Germany!)
  • Looking at different regions and people within the German-speaking world (populations, dialects, regions).
  • The late afternoon custom of “Kaffee and Kuchen” (coffee and cake).
  • Children's alphabet songs.
Week 3
Wie geht's? (How are you?)
Students will be able to:
  • Ask each other how they are doing.
  • Respond to this question in a variety of ways.
  • Distinguish between when to use the formal and informal “you” in greetings and goodbyes.
  • Use simple phrases such as “That's good” and “I'm tired” as well as the words “and, or, but”.
  • Read and pronounce “a/ä”, “o/ö”, “u/ü”, as well as words beginning with “sp”.
  • Learn about the (non-)use of “th” sound in German.
  • Famous Germans and events throughout history.
Week 4
Das ist mein Leben. (That's my life.)
Students will be able to:
  • Describe themselves (age, where they are from, qualities they possess)
  • Describe family members and friends.
  • Count from 0 – 20; know how to form numbers 21 and above.
  • Recognize subject pronouns and use them to refer to people and things.
  • Recognize and use “der, die, das” (the three “the's”).
  • Recognize the capitalization of nouns.
  • Practice the pronunciation of “ich”.
  • Family and friends: learning feminine vs. masculine vs. neuter nouns.
  • Comparing and contrasting family life across multiple cultures.
  • Focusing on German policies regarding maternity and paternity leave (“Elternzeit”) and financial support when raising children (“Kindergeld”).
Week 5
Wie bitte? (Pardon?)
Students will be able to:
  • Ask to have something repeated.
  • Recognize and use different question words and ask basic questions with question words.
  • Say “thank you” in a variety of ways; say “you're welcome” in a variety of ways.
  • Ask and answer “yes/no” questions.
  • Recognize and say the days of the week and the months of the year.
  • Celebrating Christmas, New Year, October 3rd, Karneval, May 1st.
Week 6
Schön ist es heute! (It's nice today!)
Students will be able to:
  • Describe the four seasons.
  • Describe the weather today.
  • Ask and answer about the time.
  • Deepen understanding of question words and yes/no questions.
  • Using the 24-hour clock and Celsius scale.
  • Looking at differences in weather, climate, and geography.
  • Focusing on the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Alpine regions.
Week 7
Das ist mein Heim und meine Heimat.
(That's my home and my homeland.)
Students will be able to:
  • Describe their house/home.
  • Recognize plural forms of nouns.
  • Use colors and other adjectives (such as “big, small, loud, quiet, etc.”).
  • Recognize possessives (my, your, etc.)
  • Looking at houses and apartments in the German-speaking world.
  • “Green” (environmental) factors in German life.
  • Initial look into life in the city and life in the countryside.
Week 8
Was machen wir? (What should we do?)
Students will be able to:
  • Express interests and hobbies.
  • Express preferences.
  • Start planning a virtual trip to a German city.
  • Cities and city life. Looking specifically at Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Vienna.
  • Different modes of transportation.
  • Hobbies and activities in the city.
Week 9
Essen und Trinken. (Eating and Drinking.)
Students will be able to:
  • Talk about their favorite foods and drinks.
  • Talk about what they do not like to eat or drink.
  • Read a menu.
  • Order in a restaurant.
  • Continue planning a trip to a German city, adding a restaurant component.
  • Food and drink.
  • Different types of establishments: restaurants, inns, cafés.
  • The “Euro”, money, prices, and (non-)tipping culture.
Week 10
Unterwegs. (Out and about.)
Students will be able to:
  • Ask for help and directions.
  • Apologize and express personal opinions.
  • Use “this” words and “which” words.
  • Write a postcard from their city. (Students finish trip project in this week.)
  • Important establishments when traveling: museums, hotels and youth hostels, spa culture, train stations.
Week 11
Etwas Ruhe tut gut. (Some quiet can do good.)
Students will be able to:
  • Express more hobbies and interests.
  • Describe aspects of daily life.
  • Describe their favorite books and movies.
  • Distinguish between “here” and “there”.
  • Literature and film.
  • Newspapers and magazines.
  • Life in the countryside and “wandern”: hiking, walking, and spending time in nature.
Week 12
Mit Freunden. (With friends.)
Students will be able to:
  • Describe what they like to do with friends.
  • Make “everyday” plans: using the telephone.
  • Describe musical preferences.
  • Discuss shopping.
  • German music (an overview of a great variety: classical up to contemporary rock and hip-hop).
  • Clothing and stores.
Week 13
Es war einmal... (Once upon a time...)
Students will be able to:
  • Read and discuss professions.
  • Recognize and describe animals.
  • Express belief and disbelief.
  • Fairy Tales.
  • The Grimm Brothers.
  • Castles in the German-speaking world.
Week 14 
Heute und morgen. (Today and tomorrow.)
Students will be able to:
  • Express (in English, in essay form) how their understanding of German and Germany has grown throughout this course and how they could see German/Germany fitting into their futures.
  • Recognize basic rules of German word order.
  • Read dates and years in German.
  • Modern Germany: Overview of life since WWII.
  • Reunification.
Week 15
Alles hat ein Ende. (Everything has an end.) Aber jedes Ende ist auch ein Beginn. (But every end is also a beginning.) Wohin? (Where to?)
Students will be able to:
Write simple farewell messages.
  • Recognize “is” vs. “was”.
  • Record an oral good-bye.
  • Discuss next steps and future plans.
  • Germany in my life and the world: how does Germany affect my daily life and the rest of the world?
  • Statistics about current global presence of Germany.
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