This is the Course Information and Syllabus for the EVENING SECTION of German 101 (Section 006)!
ePack: Vorsprung, ENHANCED 3rd Edition + iLrn™ Heinle Learning Center 3-Semester Instant Access Code. [http://www.cengagebrain.com/shop/isbn/9781337088992]
- The "ePack" consists of a loose-leaf version of the textbook, and an access code that lets you access the textbook, workbook, and other resources online.
- The only way to purchase this package is directly from the publisher, for roughly $200. Please wait for a Canvas Announcement with detailed instructions for buying the ePack. If you do not receive this announcement by the time classes begin, please notify your instructor!
- If you buy a used copy of the book, you will still need to purchase the iLrn access code. This costs roughly $155 ==> this is only worthwhile if the used book is VERY cheap.
|Janosch: Oh, wie schön ist Panama [Paperback edition; ISBN: 9783407760067] (P)
PONS, dict.cc, and LEO are the best online dictionaries. Click on them in the navigation
bar on the left!
- PONS is best for choosing the right word.
- Dict.cc is easiest to use, has great "crowd-sourced" pronunciation samples, and lots of handy tools (Note the "Wildcard Search" option!).
- LEO provides easier access to noun plurals and verb conjugations, covers more technical terms, and has a great forum for tricky questions.
- If in doubt, check your results by a Google search and/or by comparing German and English wikipedia entries.
If you want a paper dictionary, try:
- Langenscheidt Standard Dictionary German (Get the paperback version: much cheaper and easier to use!)
- Harper Collins Beginner's German Dictionary, 6th ed. Helpful usage examples, especially easy to read and use.
& Melin: English Grammar for Students of
German, 6th ed. See below for more info!
|Gabriel Wyner: Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It [ISBN: 0385348118]
Requirements and Grading Scheme
|Homework and blog assignments
a delicious SPAM-based feast
Letter Grade / Point Value Conversions
You will receive letter grades for essays and role plays. These will be entered into Canvas as follows:
Canvas will convert your numerical final grades to letter grades as follows:
Canvas Expectations; Course
We expect you to check Canvas regularly for:
- Assignments in your assignment calendar (this includes reading the information/instructions in assignments for which there is nothing to submit!)
- Announcements: The easiest way to keep track of these is to enable notifications. OR: visit Canvas daily to check for new Announcements.
- Gradebook: Please check regularly to make sure you have gotten credit for all assignments you have submitted, tests you have taken etc. Notify your instructor within a week of a grade being entered if you think there may be a mistake.
- "A&P Tally": Your instructor will enter a weekly "Attendance & Participation Tally" grade, as described below. S/he will use the "comment" section of the assignment to explain any deductions from the maximum number of points available each week. If you wish to contest an "A&P Tally" grade, YOU MUST DO SO WITHIN ONE WEEK OF IT BEING ENTERED. ==> Please check your "A&P Tally" grades regularly!
- iLrn comments: When entering you iLrn grades, your instructor may edit the "comment" section to let you know if you have overlooked some of the assigned activities.
- ==> Please check Canvas regularly for notifications about instructor comments (gradebook comments do not currently generate email notifications ==> you have to log into Canvas to see them)
Many of the materials for this course are conveniently available outside Canvas on the course website. Check it out!
Learning By Speaking!
The best and most motivating way to learn all aspects of language (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, fluency, etc.) is by speaking. We will use as much class time as possible to let you speak. We use a lot of partner and group activities, so that you can speak for most of each class hour, rather than just once or twice when your instructor calls on you. The activities are meant to be interesting and fun. You will learn the most by relaxing, having fun, and experimenting with new words and structures without worrying too much about mistakes.
We spend very little time explaining grammar in class, but we will constantly be practicing it. Research has shown that grammar is learned most efficiently and lastingly by using it to communicate, not by explanations and drills. You will watch video explanations at home, and practice with worksheets and online exercises. Watch the videos attentively: pause, rewind, take notes, write down questions, and review them regularly. Class activities will clear up many questions "automatically." When the class needs it, your instructor will provide explicit explanations. Please ask questions when you have them: that is essential to making this work! You should focus on communicating in class, but also notice consciously how the activities review and practice new and old grammar.
The in-class activities are also designed to let you actively practice the chapter vocabulary. Building your vocabulary is the most important part of learning a language, MUCH more important than learning grammar. Please ask about unfamiliar words, and please try to experiment with new vocabulary we are learning during these activities. This will save you a lot of memorization time before the tests - AND it will make it much easier to learn and practice grammar!
Language Learning Anxiety
Researchers have found that about 1/3 of students feel anxious when learning a new language, in part because their limited language proficiency keeps them from "being themselves" when using the new language. They suggest two things that may be helpful in this context:
- Know that you are not alone. Consider letting your instructor know how you feel.
- Anxiety is often connected to perfectionism. As we will keep telling you throughout this course, your goal in speaking German should not be to "avoid mistakes," but rather, to "keep talking"!
Respectful Classroom Environment
This class really depends on all of us being comfortable interacting informally with each other, experimenting with the language, taking risks, and being playful. That makes what is important in every college classroom especially important for us: that the classroom should be a comfortable environment in which everyone feels welcome and respected. That means thinking about the things we say, not perpetuating stereotypes, and apologizing if we say something we didn't mean. It also means that we really want you to let your instructor know, in class or outside of class, in person or via email, if something happens in class that makes you uncomfortable - or if you believe your own words or actions have made someone else in the class feel uncomfortable - so that we can talk about how to make things better. If in doubt, please say something: your instructor will always be happy to hear from you.
- Please look carefully at these Guidelines for Classroom Interactions!
- In this context, please bear in mind the University of Michigan's non-discrimination policy: The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.
Academic Integrity, Essays and Homework
This course is governed by the prevailing Codes of Student Conduct and of Academic Integrity of the University of Michigan and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA). All work submitted must be original student work produced for this course, with proper quotation and citation of the contributions of others. Violations of Academic Integrity will be taken seriously and can in serious cases result in a failing grade for the course and/or referral to the LSA Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education. Click here to see the official LSA pages on Academic Integrity, including a quiz on Academic Integrity.
Essays: The four essays you submit for this course are where this policy crucially applies. This means:
- You may NOT get someone who is proficient in German to proofread your essay. We
recognize that you can actually learn a lot from having someone look
over your essay with you, but we have to enforce this
rule in order to make the grading fair for everyone.
It IS OK for you to ask your instructor, an
instructor in the German Lab, or some other proficient speaker 3 or 4 specific questions on how to say something. If you do so, please put the relevant text in bold print in your essay and include a note at the end with the name of the instructor or peer who helped you. If the person who helped you is a UofM German instructor and s/he chooses to help you with more than 3 or 4 things, you may cite the additional items in the same way.
- You may ONLY use an online dictionary or translator for single words and short phrases.
When you do, please underline the relevant word or phrase and note the source you used at the end of your essay. Do this also when you use a paper dictionary. If you used multiple dictionary/translation resources, find a way to cite clearly which ones you used for what word/phrase. Note that online translators often produce noticeably
absurd translations. The less you use them, the better your grade is likely to be!
- It is normal (and good practice!) to look up the genders and plurals of nouns, and the conjugation patterns of verbs you use in your essay. You do NOT need to cite your use of online or paper dictionaries for this purpose!
- We strongly encourage you to use a German spellchecker for your essays (and for your homework, and also for any spells you cast in German). You do NOT need to cite your use of this resource.
- There is normally no need to consult any additional outside sources for the essays assigned in this course. If you do consult any additional resources not assigned in the course (e.g. wikipedia or other online sources), please cite them at the end of your essay, even if you did not quote from them directly. Put any direct quotes in quotation marks and cite the source with a footnote. Any format for the citation is acceptable if it allows your instructor to find the specific source.
- ***If you have no sources to cite (you didn't look anything up in a dictionary, no one helped you, and you consulted no other sources), please write "I did not consult any outside sources for this essay :) " at the end!***
- If in doubt, ASK your instructor before submitting your essay!!
- ADVICE: The essay topics for this course are designed to let you practice using the language we have learned. Leaf through the course materials to find ideas. You can be very creative in this way, and you will learn much more from writing the essays. Applying something you have learned will "make it stick," much more than new words and phrases you look up. Looking up lots of new words and phrases for your essay means you will do more work, learn less, and (usually) get a lower grade!
Test Essays: Test review sheets for this course will always include the essay topics for the test. You are allowed (and even encouraged!) to get help from others when drafting your test essays. Online translator use is also permitted, but strongly discouraged. As with regular essays, you should view test essays as an opportunity to put into practice what you have learned. Leaf through the course materials to find ideas. You can be very creative in this way, and you will learn much more from writing the essays. Applying something you have learned will "make it stick," much more than new words and phrases you look up.
Homework: You are allowed (and even encouraged!) to get help from others and to collaborate with classmates on homework; you may also use online translators and other sources without citing them. Although you are not required to cite your sources, it is still good practice to do so, and your instructor can then give you feedback on your use of these resources. In many cases, this feedback will be positive: s/he may encourage you to continue getting help from the person who helped you, or may let you know that you are using translation resources well (which is a difficult and valuable skill to learn). If your instructor is concerned that you are getting too much help and/or making excessive use of online translators and not learning as much as you could from the assignments, s/he will discuss this with you.
Rastalsky (3214 MLB; 647-0404).
Tests will consist of two informal conversations in
your instructor's office. Practicing for the oral exams using the "Sprechtestindexkarten" on Canvas is an excellent way to review what we have learned and to build your confidence in all aspects of German. You will sign up to take the oral exams in pairs (10-15 minute conversation) or groups
of three (15-20 minute conversation); if that is not possible, you may take them individually
(5-8 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. The role play should
demonstrate your ability to speak freely (as opposed
to reading from notes). Details:
- 6-8 minutes long (To make sure your script is of the appropriate length, read it through at a realistic pace with a timer. Aim to speak clearly, at a normal pace, neither too fast nor too slow.)
in groups of 3 or 4
be comprehensible to the class!!!
- Can be
about anything related to the themes or people that have
come up in class (in Vorsprung, in Janosch, in Lola rennt, in the "Kultur" texts,
in discussions in your section, etc.).
final essay (Aufsatz 4) will be written by your group, and will consist
of the first 350 words of the script of your role play.
- Your Aufsatz 4 grade will be
- an "E" if you do not contribute to your group's essay
- 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
- a "C-" if you do participate, but not reliably.
- The above grades will be based on the consensus of your group.
- If you anticipate a problem, please notify your group and your instructor promptly!
for Aufsatz 4 will be awarded as usual; grades for the role play will
work as follows:
(including pronunciation): 40%
accuracy and complexity: 20%
for content of role-plays: Please read and follow these guidelines carefully. Ask your instructor immediately if you're in doubt as to whether
something you're planning to do is appropriate!!!
- 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.
- Vocabulary List:
email your instructor the list of words/expressions you had to look up for your role play. Do this well before your performance, so s/he can make an overhead to review with the class prior to your performance. Only look up a word if you absolutely cannot simplify/rephrase your dialogue in order to avoid it. The more words you look up, the harder it will be for you to speak freely and for the class to understand you, and the lower your comprehensibility grade will be.
Homework is graded on a scale of "check"/"check +"/"check -":
- "Check" (2 points on Canvas): the "normal" homework grade
- "Check +" (3): the assignment has been done exceptionally well
- "Check -" (1): the assignment is late, incomplete, or done poorly
- Homework will not be accepted if it is more than two class days late (unless there is a good reason)
- Missing assignments receive 0 points on Canvas
- We will translate your final "Homework Tally" grade into your actual Homework grade for the semester as follows:
- 125-150% ==> 100% for the final Homework grade
- 115-124.99% ==> 98% for the final Homework grade
- 96-114.99% ==> 96% for the final Homework grade (i.e. an "A")
- 95.99% or less: Your final Homework grade will be the same as your "Homework Tally" grade.
- ==> To make sure you are on track for an "A" for your homework grade, look for an average of 96% or above in your overall Canvas Homework Tally grade.
and Participation Policy and Grading; Evening Section Exam Conflicts; Laptops and Cell Phones
- Speaking and listening in class are the most important part of this course. We will keep track of your attendance and participation by an "A&P Tally" grade on Canvas, as follows:
- Each day, you will earn four "attendance points" for coming to class, and four "participation points" for participating actively.
- If you are absent unexcused, you lose all eight attendance & participation points for that day (4 if you just miss one hour)
- If you are absent for an excused reason (e.g. documented medical, psychological or family issues; religious holidays; family events such as weddings, funerals or graduations; job interviews; musical performances or athletic events in which you are participating, etc.), you will still earn the four attendance points for that day, but you cannot earn participation points if you are not in class.
- As a courtesy to your instructor, please explain ALL absences, even if the reason is e.g. oversleeping, or work for another course, a trip, a concert etc.!
- Lateness: Loss of 1-8 points for that day, depending on how late you were.
- Inattention (inappropriate cell phone or laptop use, "zoning out," etc.): Loss of 1-4 participation points for that day.
- Difficulty participating: The "A&P Tally" grade is primarily an effort grade, but it is also an achievement grade. If you are in class and making an effort to participate, but you have noticeable linguistic difficulties understanding and carrying out partner activities and/or responding when called on in class, you will lose two (or one) participation points per week.
- BUT: We expect mistakes! Research has shown that language acquisition happens in a predictable sequence of stages. Each stage is characterized by certain patterns of mistakes. So: you have to make mistakes in order to learn!! ==> Difficulty participating (on an ongoing basis) may reduce your A&P grade. Making mistakes will not!
- Absence Make-Ups/Participation Bonus: You can earn 2 make-up/bonus participation points for attending events such as
- Max Kade Kaffeestunde or Deutschtisch
- German Club events
- Actively engaging with an instructor in the German Lab for more than 30 minutes
- Attending your instructor's office hours for more than 30 minutes
- Occasional special events, as announced by your instructor
- You can earn a maximum of 10 make-up/bonus points in the first 2 calendar months of the semester, and up to 10 more in the second 2 calendar months of the semester, i.e. you can earn a maximum of 20 make-up/bonus points in this way over the course of the semester
- Your instructor will enter "A&P Tally" grades weekly. S/he will enter a "Comment" in the "A&P Tally" score for that week whenever the grade is different from the "standard" four points per class hour. If you wish to contest an "A&P Tally" grade, YOU MUST DO SO WITHIN ONE WEEK OF IT BEING ENTERED. ==> Please check your "A&P Tally" grades regularly!
- ***If you have lost a net total of 40 or more points (the equivalent of 5 unexcused absences) in your "A&P Tally" by the end of the semester, your FINAL COURSE GRADE will be an AUTOMATIC E***
- We will translate your final "A&P Tally" grade into your actual Attendance & Participation grade for the semester as follows:
- "A&P Tally" of 96 percent or more ==> 96 percent for the final Attendance & Particpation grade (i.e. an "A")
- Only in very exceptional cases ("A+" level of participation throughout the semester), your instructor may enter a higher final grade of 97-100.
- 95 percent or less: Your final Attendance & Particpation grade will be the same as your "A&P Tally" grade.
Evening Section Exam Conflicts
If you're enrolled in a course that schedules tests outside of class time (e.g. Math, Chemistry, Physics), please ask for a schedule of exams now. Once you have it, please inform the instructor of the dates when you have class, so s/he can arrange an alternate exam time for you (and any other students with similar conflicts). If s/he absolutely refuses, please ask him/her to email your German instructor, so your absence for the exam can be excused.
Laptops and Cell Phones
- We do not recommend using laptops in class: class activities frequently require students to move around, and a laptop could easily get knocked over. If you bring one, BE CAREFUL!!
- Inappropriate laptop/cell phone use (e.g. texting, chatting, checking facebook or sports scores, answering the phone) will lower your attendance/participation grade, as described above!
- Please silence your cell phone when class begins. It's OK if you forget this once or twice and it rings during class (it may even happen to your instructor...): just silence it quickly (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 you MUST answer a call, please leave the room to do so, and please explain the reason to your instructor afterwards.
- Check out the "Pocketpoints" app: earn food discounts and other rewards for locking your phone in class!
iLrn: Flexible Homework, Listening Transcripts, Alternative Worksheets
- The iLrn assignments include textbook activities, written "Workbook" exercises, and listening ("Lab Manual") exercises.
- You will get two separate iLrn grades for each chapter: one combined grade for the textbook activities and the written "Workbook" exercises, and one for the listening 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, try the first two or three items, click "Submit" and read the feedback, then click "Try again," correct any errors, and complete the exercise. You can submit each exercise multiple times, until you're satisfied with your result.
- Listening Transcripts: Transcripts of all the iLrn listening texts are available on Canvas: Files > iLrn Listening Transcripts.pdf. Ideally, you will be able to follow the listening texts without these transcripts, but if you find them difficult, the transcripts can be a great resource. Following the transcripts as you listen can help you learn more quickly where words begin and end, and how predictably German sounds translate into writing (much easier than English!!). It also allows you to use a dictionary strategically in order to improve your comprehension. You could listen to each text once or twice with the transcript, and then at least one more time to see how much you can now understand without the transcript.
- Flexible iLrn homework, part 1: For each chapter, iLrn is the biggest assignment. You will learn a lot from it if you do a little each day, as indicated by the recommended assignment schedule. You will learn much less if you try to do all of it the night before it is due. You will not be penalized if you do not stick to the recommended schedule, but you MUST finish the iLrn homework when the assignment schedule says that "Chapter ___ iLrn assignments must be completed by the beginning of the next class." This is when your instructor will check iLrn. 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!
- Flexible iLrn homework, part 2: 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 going on to the next exercise when you've gotten the point of the current one will help you learn more effectively than mechanically completing every item! ==> Your instructor will be happiest if you get 100% for some exercises (the ones you found most helpful) but not for all of them!!
- Flexible iLrn homework, part 3: writing out your answers. If you feel that you learn better from writing out your answers for iLrn by hand and handing them in on paper, you are welcome to do so!
- Flexible iLrn homework, part 4: iLrn Alternative Worksheets. As of chapter 3, you have the option to complete a "generic" worksheet instead of doing iLrn. We STRONGLY recommend that you use the above options thoughtfully in order to learn from iLrn as efficiently as possible: iLrn is the most expensive component of the ePack, and it is worth the money! However, we recognize that not everyone learns effectively from this format. If you feel strongly that iLrn is not an efficient way for you to learn, please do these worksheets instead. As with iLrn itself, you will learn the most from these worksheets if you spread out your work on them throughout each chapter.
- "UN-FLEXIBLE" ILRN HOMEWORK: "Anlauftext lesen": At the beginning of chapters 5 and 6, you will see an "Anlauftext lesen" assignment, asking you to read the cartoon text at the beginning of those chapters, and to complete some associated iLrn activities. These "Anlauftext lesen" activities must be completed when they are assigned, and we want you to answer ALL the questions. You will get a separate "check" grade for this assignment when it is due!
Mp3 files with the
vocabulary for each chapter and a few usage examples and comments are available via Canvas. Download them and listen to them at your convenience!
- Currently, these recordings are based on the 2nd edition of Vorsprung ==> you may notice some differences between the recordings and the vocabulary in our current edition.
- Note that you can also access recordings of the vocabulary (without comments) in the vocabulary sections of the electronic textbook (eBook).
Schokoladenstunde and Max
Kade Haus conversation hours--making up absences and missed work
- A "Schokoladenstunde" will take place weekly (or twice weekly) in the Language Resource Center in North Quad. All students at all levels are welcome to come and chat and play games in German (e.g. Tabu etc.), and enjoy some German chocolate.
- The Max Kade Haus is the University's German Residence, located in North Quad. It hosts a weekly "Kaffeestunde" (informal conversation hour, perhaps with coffee) and a weekly "Deutschtisch" (same as Kaffeestunde, but over dinner), where residents and guests can chat informally in German. Don't be intimidated: try it out and have fun!
- Look for a sign-in sheet at these events. Schokoladenstunde will be facilitated by a German instructor; Kade events will be facilitated by the Head Resident. The facilitator will inform your instructor that you were there.
- ALTERNATIVELY, you can write about the experience for an "Abenteuer mit Deutsch" blog entry. Note that you can EITHER make up an absence by attending a conversation hour, OR write an AMD blog entry about it, but NOT BOTH!
- For more information about the Kade house, check out its website - see the link in the sidebar!
Help and Resources
- Your instructor's office hours: Please take advantage of this resource - don't be shy!!
- German Lab: Mon - Thu 1-4 pm: German Lab Alcove in the Language Resource Center in North Quad: You can go to the German Lab for help with any kind of German-related question. You can ask for help with assignments, for grammar explanations, or you can just go to practice speaking. If the instructor is speaking to another student when you arrive, please let him/her know you're there and where you'll be waiting so s/he can get you when s/he's ready!
- English Grammar for Students of German: This book explains English grammar simply, with lots of English & German examples to compare and contrast. It's the ideal remedy if you're having difficulty understanding the grammar explanations you encounter in class and for homework. We recommend that you read the relevant sections of the book quickly, like a novel, but that you read them multiple times, to let the material slowly sink in. The book is available at the campus bookstores as recommended reading for this course. You can borrow a copy in order to decide if you would like to buy the book - just ask your instructor!
- LS&A Academic Advising ((734) 764-0332; 1255 Angell Hall). If you are falling behind or doing poorly in one or more courses, or just want advice on how to study more effectively, please make an appointment to see an academic advisor as soon as possible: the earlier you try to address the problem, the better your chances of solving it. If you are not an LS&A student, please consult the Academic Advising Office for your school.
Mental Health Resources
The University of Michigan is committed to advancing the mental health and wellbeing of its students. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and/or in need of support, services are available. For help, contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (734) 764-8312 and https://caps.umich.edu/ during and after hours, on weekends and holidays, or through its counselors physically located in schools on both Central and North Campus. You may also consult University Health Service (UHS) at (734) 764-8320 and www.uhs.umich.edu/mentalhealthsvcs, or for alcohol or drug concerns, see www.uhs.umich.edu/aodresources.
For a listing of other mental health resources available on and off campus, visit: http://umich.edu/~mhealth/
Student Sexual Misconduct Policy
The University of Michigan is committed to fostering a safe, productive learning environment. Title IX and our school policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, and all forms of sexual misconduct, including harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We encourage students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct to talk to someone about their experience, so they can get the support they need.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) provides free and confidential crisis intervention, advocacy, and support for survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual harassment who are University of Michigan students, faculty and staff. SAPAC can be reached on their 24-hour crisis line, 734-936-3333 and at http://sapac.umich.edu/. Alleged violations can also be non-confidentially reported to the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) at email@example.com. Reports to law enforcement can be made to the University of Michigan Police Department at 734-763-3434.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you may need an accommodation for a disability, please let your instructor know. Tests and other aspects of this course may be modified to facilitate your participation and progress. Appropriate accommodations are determined by the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, in consultation with instructors. SSD (ssd.umich.edu; (734) 763-3000; G-664 Haven Hall) typically recommends accommodations through a Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) form. If/When you receive a VISA form from SSD, please present it to your instructor as soon as possible, so s/he can implement the appropriate accommodations. Any information you provide is private and confidential and will be treated as such.
If you begin to notice a disproportion between how hard you are working and the results you are achieving, but you are unsure whether or not to contact SSD, please consider the following:
- A diagnosis from SSD may make you eligible for accommodations that will help you more accurately demonstrate your abilities in all your courses.
- In addition to diagnosing a disability and recommending possible accommodations, SSD can direct you to advice and resources that may help you to minimize the effects of this disability over the years, and to harness the abilities and talents that often accompany such disabilities.
- It is possible that SSD may not diagnose a disability. This may help you to decide on next steps, such as contacting Academic Advising or Counseling Services, or seeking advice from your instructors, your family, your friends, or others.
Language Learning Advice
- HAVE FUN!! Make up amusing sentences. Notice cultural differences. Notice words you like. Enjoy funny mistakes you make. Notice your progress. Listen for interesting things your classmates say, and for differences and things you have in common. Get to know new music, movies, cartoons, stories, characters. See how your ideas evolve when you try to express them simply in a new language. Think in German, or "Denglisch" [Deutsch + Englisch]. Say random things in German to your friends. Try fun activities from class in your "regular" life. Daydream about living in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, or make actual plans to go there - ETC.!
- ASK QUESTIONS!! For every question you ask, there are likely to be multiple other students who will be grateful you asked it.
- FIGHT PERFECTIONISM! (1) Don't worry about mistakes. Making mistakes is an essential part of learning a language. The more you speak, the more you learn; the less you obsess about mistakes, the more you can speak and the more conversations you can have. (2) When you hear or read German, make it your goal to understand the message, as opposed to trying to understand every word. Research has shown that students who look up every unknown word when they read actually understand and retain LESS than students who look up only the words they need in order to follow the text. Use your knowledge and common sense to help you fill in the gaps, as you would in English e.g. when you are having a conversation in a noisy place. If you know what a word probably means, don't look it up unless what you read or hear later proves that your guess must have been wrong.
- ...BUT DO PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL! Fight perfectionism in the ways described above - but DO pay just enough attention to little details so that your brain can slowly, unconsciously notice and absorb them. 98% of your attention should go to the meaning of what you're saying and hearing - but leave 2% for the details: the forms of articles, the endings of verbs, nouns and adjectives. That tiny bit of "noticing" in the back of your mind can make a huge difference over time. When your instructor repeats something you've said, try to notice whether any changes s/he makes are corrections, or just a different way of saying the same thing. If you're writing an essay, DO take the time to look up verb forms, and the genders and plurals of nouns; if you're doing a regular homework assignment, just pick one or two things to look up that feel important to you.
- Find a study partner! You'll have more fun, two heads are better than one, and you never learn a thing as well as when you try to explain it to someone else.
- Click on this page with General Language Learning Advice for additional ideas, including headings such as
- DO NOT MULTITASK!!
- Work in small chunks
- Grammar matters. Vocabulary matters more!
Semesterplan & Daily Lesson Plan Outlines
Outlines of each class hour can be accessed via the links in the "Semesterplan" table below. You can use the outlines to preview and/or review each day's lesson, and to catch up if you missed class.
Endexamen: Montag, 18. Dezember, 10:30 - 12:30