ePack: Vorsprung, Enhanced Edition, 2nd + iLrn™ Heinle Learning Center 3-Semester Instant Access Code, Enhanced Ed. ISBN: 9781133847243
- This package includes a loose-leaf version of the textbook, as well as an access code that gives you access to an electronic version of the textbook, and to the online workbook, as well as various other resources. The cheapest (and only!) way to purchase this package is directly from the publisher at http://www.cengagebrain.com/shop/index.html using the above ISBN. The official price is $155.99, but you will receive a CTools Announcement with detailed instructions for purchasing the package and a coupon code for an additional $10 discount, bringing the price down to $145.99. Please contact your instructor if you did not receive this announcement and/or you do not have CTools access yet!
- Please be sure to use the specific ISBN listed above. There are many other packages available that do NOT give you the right kind of electronic access. If in doubt, ask your instructor before making a purchase!
- Please note that if you buy the book separately (e.g. if you find a used copy), you will still need to purchase the iLrn access code. You can buy this at the above CengageBrain website for $99.95. The ISBN for this is 9780495914129. Bearing in mind the package price listed above, this means that buying a used copy of the book is only worthwhile if you can find it for significantly less than $50!
- You will receive a CTools Announcement before the first day of class with instructions on how to access the electronic workbook (iLrn) assignments for this class. The instructions cover both possible cases: that you already have a "book key" (i.e. the iLrn access code), or that you still need to purchase it.
- Theoretically, you could get by with just the iLrn access code (i.e. without a physical copy of the book). While this seems like it would save you $50, you will spend most of those savings on printing out the chapters so that you have them in class when you need them. If you do not print them, you would have to bring your laptop to class at your own risk. If someone knocks it over during a class activity, we would consider this to be your fault, not the fault of the student knocking it over, and this would end up costing you much more than $50. Please buy the package that includes the loose-leaf version of the book!
|Janosch: Oh, wie schön ist Panama [Paperback edition; ISBN: 3407780028] (P)
|Paul Maar: Eine Woche voller Samstage [ISBN: 978-3789119521] (WS)
If you want to use an online dictionary, we recommend http://www.pons.eu/, supplemented by http://dict.leo.org/ when the PONS site is slow or you want to check a second source. Note that LEO provides easier access to noun plurals and verb conjugations. If you want to use a paper dictionary, we recommend the following:
- Webster's New World German Dictionary, Concise Edition ($14, orange; conventional dictionary with >100,000 entries)
- Harper Collins Beginner's German Dictionary, 2nd ed. Roughly 10,000 entries, lots of helpful usage examples, especially easy to read and use.
& Melin: English Grammar for Students of
German, 5th ed.
A Practical Guide to Language Learning
recordings for Vorsprung
vocabulary recordings are available online through CTools
Texts for "Abenteuer mit Deutsch"
Please wait for information in class on the "Abenteuer mit Deutsch" assignment before you decide if you want to buy one of these. Info on the books is on the Deutsch
|Wenniges: Prinzessin Horst
& Crossgrove: Graded German Reader [Any edition will do!]
|Moritz/Erlbruch: Neues ABC-Buch ISBN: 3-88897-332-5
Asterix, Volume 1
Requirements and Grading Scheme
and blog assignments
a delicious SPAM-based feast
Exam (Freitag, 22. Juni, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm)
Grammar vs. Speaking? No: Grammar Through Speaking!
Class time will be the only time when most of you will be able to practice actually speaking German. There are only about 200 hours of class time in the entire language requirement sequence, so we want to use as much as possible of those 200 hours to let you speak. We use a lot of partner and group activities (which we hope you will find to be an enjoyable, low-stress way of speaking German without worrying about mistakes!), since otherwise you would only get to say one or two sentences per class, and thus less than 400 German sentences during the entire language requirement sequence!
Grammar can be studied and practiced outside of class, so in order to maximize class time for practicing speaking, we ask you to read about the grammar covered in class before we actually cover it in class. This does not mean that you are on your own for learning grammar! We design class activities so that you can focus on speaking and exchanging interesting information while at the same time "painlessly" (we hope ) practicing the grammar you read about at home. Don't worry if the grammar confuses you when you study it on your own: you will find that the practice in class will usually clear things up; if the class seems to need it, your instructor will provide explicit explanations. Please ask questions: your fellow students will be grateful to you!
Students sometimes assume that learning a language means sitting in class struggling doggedly with grammar charts and drills, but researchers in classroom language
teaching all agree that "drills are out" [the title of a recent journal article!] and that maximizing the time for communicative
practice in class is the most effective way to teach students
all aspects of a language in a lasting way. The best thing you can do to learn to speak good German is to relax, come to class prepared, have fun speaking in class, and ask questions when you know you're confused!
Rastalsky (3214 MLB; 647-0404).
Exam, Oral Exams
take note of the date of the final
exam, and schedule travel plans, diseases etc.
Exams will consist of two informal conversations in
your instructor's office, for which you are strongly
encouraged to practice, e.g. by going to conversation hours.
You may sign up to take the oral exams individually
(in which case it will consist of a 5-8 minute conversation)
or in pairs (10-15 minute conversation) or groups
of three (15-20 minute conversation). You may retake each of the two oral exams ONCE if you are not satisfied with how you did!
the end of the semester, you will write and perform
a final role play. It is important for you to
demonstrate your ability to speak freely (as opposed
to reading from notes) when you perform the role play.
Here are the details of this assignment:
8-10 minutes long (once you've written your script, read it through at a realistic pace to make sure it's not too long or too short. Bear in mind that you'll be performing the script from memory, so there will probably be some hesitations, and that in any case you shouldn't speak too quickly, in order to give everyone a chance to follow along)
done in groups of 3 or 4
must be comprehensible to the class
can be about anything picking up on some of the themes
or people that have come up in class (in Vorsprung,
in the other texts and videos assigned for class,
in discussions in your
Your final essay (Aufsatz 4) will be written by your
group, and will consist of the first 300 words of
the script of your role play.
- Your grade for the essay will be an "E" if you do not contribute to your group's essay, or a "C-" if you do contribute, but not in a timely manner.
- Your grade for the role play will be an "E" if you do not participate in your group's rehearsals, or a "C-" if you do participate, but not reliably.
- The above grades will be given based on the consensus of your group.
- If you anticipate a problem, please notify your group and your instructor promptly!
Grades for Aufsatz 4 will be awarded as usual; grades
for the role play will work as follows:
Comprehensibility (including pronunciation): 1/4
Structural accuracy and complexity: 1/4
for content of role-plays: Please read and follow these guidelines carefully (a link to them is also included in the homework schedule). Ask your instructor if you're in doubt
as to whether something you're planning to do is appropriate.
Otherwise s/he may have to ask you to rethink your
role play or to come up with an entirely new role
play at the last minute.
note re: comprehensibility: a crucial component of this part
of the grade is that the role play should be performed, not read. A couple of index cards with key cues are OK, but you should try as much as you can to perform the role plays from memory. If you have to read your script, it will be hard for the class to understand it, and your grade will suffer.
In order to further promote comprehensibility of
the role plays, please email your instructor a (short!)
list of words you had to look up for your role play
a few days before you perform it, so s/he can put
these on a transparency and go through them (or
let you go through them) for the class prior to
Homework is graded on a scale of "check"/"check +"/"check -". "Check" means the homework has been done well or well enough. "Check +" means it has been done exceptionally well. "Check -" means it has been done poorly and/or incompletely. Late homework automatically receives a "check -". Homework will not be accepted if it is more than two class days late (unless you have a very good excuse). Homework that is not done at all receives a "0". At the end of the semester, we add up your homework grades, with a "check" counting as 0, a "check +" counting as +1, a "check -" as -1, and a "0" counting as -2. If the sum of your grades added up in this way is 0 or more (i.e. on average you have done all your assignments punctually and well), your homework grade is an "A."
and Participation Policy and Grading; Laptops and Cell Phones
- To receive an "A" for attendance and participation, you must attend, be on time [=pünktlich], and participate well.
- Excellent participation is not error-free, but it is frequent, enthusiastic, and demonstrates that you are paying attention and have prepared carefully at home in order to be able to contribute constructively in class.
- Don't worry about making mistakes! Research has shown that all language learners proceed through stages of language acquisition (just at different speeds), each characterized by certain patterns of mistakes, so in this sense you have to make mistakes in order to learn.
- ***Speaking and listening in class are an essential part of this course ==> If you have more than TEN absence hours [defined below] at the end of the semester, your FINAL COURSE GRADE will be an AUTOMATIC E***
- Your instructors will schedule Deutschtische (where you will speak German while eating your lunch) twice a week. These are mandatory and missing a lunch table unexcused counts as half an absence hour as described below; missing one excused does not count as an absence hour.
- If you have 8 - 10 absence hours, your ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION GRADE (15% of your final course grade) decreases by two full grades (e.g. a "B" becomes a "D")
- If you have 4.5 - 7.5 absence hours, your ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION GRADE (15% of your final course grade) decreases by one full grade (e.g. a "B" becomes a "C")
- The more often you arrive late to class, the lower your attendance and participation grade will be
- Ask your instructor about ways to make up "absence hours." You can make up a maximum of four absence hours.
- We count the hours of class you miss individually; thus if you miss one whole day of class, that's four missed hours.
- Please explain all absences, in advance if possible. Excused absences count as half an "absence hour," i.e. for example 8 excused absences + 2 unexcused absences = 6 "absence hours."
- Absences for the following reasons will generally be excused: medical, psychological or family issues, family events such as weddings, baptisms or graduations, job interviews, trips for musical performances, debates or athletic events in which you are participating, etc.
- Absences for the following reasons will generally be unexcused (but please still tell your instructor what's going on, so s/he won't think you've stopped caring!): oversleeping, hangovers, studying or completing work for another class, fraternity or sorority events, trips to attend concerts or athletic events, family trips, etc.
Laptops and Cell Phones
- We do not recommend bringing laptops to class: class activities frequently require students to move around, and a laptop could easily get knocked over. We would consider this to be the fault of the student who brought the laptop, not the fault of the student knocking it over.
- Inappropriate laptop/cell phone use (e.g. texting, chatting, checking facebook or sports scores, answering the phone) will lower your attendance/participation grade significantly.
- Please silence your cell phone when class begins. If you forget this once or twice during the semester and it rings during class, that's OK (it may even happen to your instructor...): just silence it as quickly as you can (or answer it in German if your instructor encourages you to do so), apologize auf Deutsch ("Entschuldigung!") and try not to let it happen again. If there is a good reason why you must answer the call, please leave the room to do so, and please explain to your instructor afterwards why this was necessary.
iLrn Flexible Homework; Vocab Audio
- The iLrn assignments include activities from the "Textbook Activities" tab, and from the "Student Activities Manual" tab. The "Student Activities Manual" exercises consist of "Workbook" (reading and writing) exercises, and "Lab Manual" (listening) exercises. You will get three separate grades for these three components of each chapter's iLrn assignment: one for the "Textbook Activities," one for the "Workbook" exercises, and one for the "Lab Manual" exercises.
- The electronic format has the huge advantage that (for most exercises) you get instant feedback on whether your response was correct. Please take advantage of this feature! For each assigned exercise, you should try the first two or three items, click "Submit" in order to get feedback on how you're doing, then click on "Try again," correct any mistakes, and continue working on the exercise now that you know you're on the right track. You can submit each exercise multiple times, until you're satisfied with your result.
- For each chapter, the iLrn assignment is the biggest assignment. We have broken it down for you into a few exercises to do each day - but we are not requiring you to stick to this recommended schedule. Towards the end of each chapter (generally the day before the review sheet is due), the online homework schedule will say "Chapter ___ iLrn assignments must be completed by the beginning of the next class." This is when your instructor will check that you have completed this assignment. This means that in theory, you could do the entire assignment for the chapter the night before it's due - but if you do that, you won't learn much from it. Success in this course correlates closely with doing the iLrn assignments thoughtfully, so please start early, even if you don't stick precisely to the recommended schedule!
- For all iLrn assignments, you must attempt each assigned exercise, but you need not do all the questions if it gets boring and you've gotten the point. Thinking about this as you work and stopping when you don't need further practice will help you learn more effectively than mechanically completing every item!
- You are required to attempt all the assigned "Lab Manual" (i.e. listening) exercises, but if you think the "Textbook Activities" or "Workbook" exercises are not an effective use of your time, please discuss options with your instructor. Options include writing out your answers on paper (if you feel you learn better when you write things out by hand), or coming up with your own alternative written practice of new structures and vocabulary and handing this in when the iLrn assignment is due. If you choose one of these options but end up doing poorly on tests, your instructor may require you to go back to doing the "regular" iLrn assignments.
- Please use your common sense when the program tells you your response was incorrect: you may still be right, or your mistake may be trivial. There may sometimes be more than one correct answer, and sometimes the program may grade your answer as incorrect only because of a trivial spelling mistake; it's also possible that the program may make a mistake. If in doubt about a wrong answer, please ask your instructor!
- We strongly
recommend that you also download and listen to the "vocab audio," which contains the
vocabulary for each chapter and a few usage examples and comments.
This is available via CTools. Note that you can also access recordings of the vocabulary (without comments) in the vocabulary sections of the electronic textbook (eBook).
Advice and Resources
- There is endless potential for having fun in foreign language classes. Make up interesting sentences. Be playful. Get to know fun facts about your fellow students!
- ASK QUESTIONS!! For every question you ask, there are likely to be several people in the class who will be grateful you asked it.
- Take a look at the "Reading Strategies" page on the course website. Above all: (1) Skim texts once before you read them thoroughly. This will save you a lot of time: it is the first thing you will hear in any speedreading course. (2) Fight the urge to look up every unfamiliar word. Use your knowledge and common sense to help you fill in the gaps. Remember how efficiently you do this in English e.g. when you are having a conversation in a noisy place! If you know what the word probably means, don't look it up unless what you read or hear later proves that your guess must have been wrong.
- Look at essays as a way to try out words and constructions you have learned [this is also likely to improve your grade!]. Avoid translating from English!
- Find a study partner in your section or in another section of the course. You'll have more fun, you can share pizza (or Bratwurst), two heads are better than one, and you never learn a thing as well as when you try to explain it to someone else. There is abundant research data to show that students who work in study groups are more successful language learners.
- Set aside a time every day to think in German about what you are doing ("Ich stehe auf. Ich putze mir die Zähne. Ich bin der/die Beste..."). This can be fun, requires no time, and is great practice for the oral exams. Look up words for things you care about.
- Send cookies, weird t-shirts, rare Bruce Springsteen recordings etc. to the course coordinator. He deserves it.
- Watch Deutsche Welle TV at the Language Resource Center or on UMTV.
- Try some of the other "Self-Study Advice" on the Course Website.