1. Cultural and Cross-Cultural Knowledge and Perspectives
- Students demonstrate in depth knowledge of key cultural themes within the field of German Studies and are able to describe and critically analyze those themes as depicted in works of literature and film. Cultural themes may include romantic relationships, family relationships, gender roles, national identity, attitudes toward work and leisure, and the impact of historical events and social change on individual lives.
- Students are able to position works of literature and film in a cultural and historical context and to draw connections between works that demonstrate an understanding of social and historical change. Students demonstrate an awareness of cross-cultural differences and their own position as a member of a particular culture.
- Students demonstrate cultural and cross-cultural knowledge and perspectives through written and oral work, as detailed below.
2. Preparation for Graduate Studies in German
- Students are able to identify and describe German literary periods and movements, as well as key works and authors connected with those periods and movements.
- Students develop an original thesis related to a literary work and write a 12-20 page literary analysis in English, drawing on secondary literature. In the paper, they demonstrate an ability to
- do a close reading of a literary text;
- position that text in a cultural context;
- summarize scholarly literature on the text;
- understand and engage with one or more theoretical perspectives employed in literary analysis;
- present a clear thesis and develop a convincing argument in support of that thesis;
- employ the linguistic and stylistic conventions governing literary analysis.
3. Reading and Listening Skills in German
- Students are able to read, comprehend, and interpret German-language texts in a wide array of genres, including poetry, drama, fairy tales, novels, short stories, autobiographies, diaries, journalistic texts, short online videos and films. Students demonstrate comprehension of these texts and practice their interpretive skills by engaging in classroom discussion, by posing and responding to interpretive questions, and through detailed written and oral summaries.
- Students develop reading and listening skills at the Advanced Mid level, as described in the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines:
- At the Advanced Mid sublevel, readers are able to understand conventional narrative and descriptive texts, such as expanded descriptions of persons, places, and things and narrations about past, present, and future events.
- Readers understand the main ideas, facts, and many supporting details. Readers at this level may derive some meaning from texts that are structurally and/or conceptually more complex.
- At the Advanced Mid sublevel, listeners are able to understand conventional narrative and descriptive texts, such as expanded descriptions of persons, places, and things, and narrations about past, present, and future events. The speech is predominantly in familiar target-language patterns.
- Listeners understand the main facts and many supporting details.
4. Writing Skills in German
- Students are able to write well-organized, linguistically appropriate texts (in lengths ranging from a paragraph to five pages) in the following genres: summaries, book and film reviews, dialogues, letters and e-mails, creative writing, opinion pieces, and literary analysis.
- Students develop writing skills at the Advanced Low level, as described in the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines:
- Writers at the Advanced Low sublevel are able to meet basic work and/or academic writing needs. They demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in major time frames. They are able to compose simple summaries on familiar topics.
- Advanced Low writers are able to combine and link sentences into texts of paragraph length and structure.
- Writers at the Advanced Low sublevel demonstrate the ability to incorporate a limited number of cohesive devices, and may resort to some redundancy and awkward repetition.
- These writers demonstrate minimal control of common structures and vocabulary associated with the Advanced level.
5. Speaking Skills in German
- Students are readily able to exchange personal information in a classroom setting about their responses to texts and films. They are able to summarize texts and films in detail with ease and fluency and to contextualize events and characters observed in a text or film. Students are able to draw connections between texts, their personal responses, and knowledge from other disciplines. Students are able to identify and describe stylistic and generic elements in texts and engage in critical discussion of how a text reflects its social and historical context.
- Students are able to prepare effective classroom activities and lead discussion of a text for an entire class hour. Students are able to conduct research and prepare a 10-15 minute formal oral presentation to the class on a historical event, an individual biography, or a literary phenomenon related to cultural themes within the field of German Studies. In their discussion leadership and class presentations, students are able to speak accurately, fluently, and spontaneously, using appropriate discourse.
- Students develop speaking skills at the Advanced Low level of the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines:
- Speakers at the Advanced Low sublevel are able to handle a variety of communicative tasks. They are able to participate in most informal and some formal conversations on topics related to school, home, and leisure activities. They can also speak about some topics related to employment, current events, and matters of public and community interest. A
- dvanced Low speakers demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in the major time frames of past, present, and future in paragraph-length discourse.
- Responses produced by Advanced Low speakers are typically not longer than a single paragraph.
- The speaker’s dominant language may be evident in the use of false cognates, literal translations, or the oral paragraph structure of that language. At times their discourse may be minimal for the level, marked by an irregular flow, and containing noticeable self-correction.
- The vocabulary of Advanced Low speakers often lacks specificity. Nevertheless, Advanced Low speakers are able to use communicative strategies such as rephrasing and circumlocution.