"With every mistake we must surely be learning." [George Harrison]
Unterrichtsmaterialien [=Class/Lesson Materials]
Course Components and Logistics
Course Methods, Policies, Help, Resources and Advice
Dozent: Hartmut Rastalsky; 3214 MLB (734 647-0404)
Sprechstunden: Montag 2-3 (3214 MLB), Mittwoch 3-4 (Deutschlabor im Language Resource Center), und nach Verabredung.
Lexikonverlag: Wie funktioniert das? Technik heute.
6th ed., 2010 [ISBN: 9783411088560]
Durell: Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, 6th
ed. [ISBN: 9781138853713]
Linguee, dict.cc, and PONS are the best online dictionaries. LEO and BEOLINGUS can also be useful. Click on them in the navigation
bar on the left!
- Dict.cc is easiest to use, has great "crowd-sourced" pronunciation samples, is great for technical terms, and has lots of handy tools (Note the "Wildcard Search" and "Desktop Integration" options!).
- PONS is great for choosing the right word.
- Linguee shows you translations in context and has great pronunciation samples.
- LEO provides easier access to noun plurals and verb conjugations, is great for technical terms, and has a great forum for tricky questions.
- BEOLINGUS provides messy results, but useful examples.
- 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!)
- The Harper Collins German Unabridged
Dictionary is a great, comprehensive reference.
- Excellent comprehensive technical dictionaries are Brandstetter's Wörterbuch der industriellen Technik and Langenscheidt's Fachwörterbuch Technik und angewandte Wissenschaften, but these are VERY expensive, and liable to become outdated.
|Hausaufgaben (Schreiben, Sprechen usw.)
| 1. Gruppenpräsentation
Noten auf Canvas
You will receive letter grades for essays and presentations. These will be entered into Canvas as follows:
Canvas will convert your numerical final grades to letter grades as follows (Please note: at the final grade stage, there will be only minimal "rounding up": e.g. 92.95-92.99 may be rounded up to a straight A, but 92.50, 92.60, 92.70, 92,80, 92.90, 92.94 would all translate into an A-, not an A):
Most reading/video assignments will be accompanied by a "Lesequiz"/"Hörquiz" on Canvas, for which you will have one hour once you start it. Dictionaries are permitted, and you may work with one or two partners (in which case you should all submit your quiz at the same time).
- Quizzes are due at 12:55 pm, i.e. 5 minutes before class begins at 1:00. If you are still working on a quiz at that time, it will auto-submit!
- You will not be able to view a quiz after its due date ==> In order to submit a quiz after the due date, send me an email, and I can give you access to it. If you have a good reason for submitting it late (e.g. you were sick), you will get full credit; if not, 3 points will be deducted from your total score.
In addition, there will be periodic (announced) vocab quizzes in class.
I 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: Enable notifications and check your email inbox daily 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, quizzes you have taken etc. Please let me know within a week of a grade being entered if you think there may be a mistake.
- "A&P Tally": I will enter a weekly "Attendance & Participation Tally" grade, as described below. I 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!
- When entering assignment grades, I will often add brief comments in the "comment" section of the assignment
- ==> Please check Canvas regularly for notifications about instructor comments. Gradebook comments do not generate email notifications ==> log into Canvas to see them!
Hausaufgaben: Schreiben, Sprechen usw.
- All homework will be submitted electronically via Canvas uploads.
- Most weeks, you will be assigned to write an informal "journal entry" about
the texts we have read in the previous week. Journals should be at least
100 words in length and can focus on one or both texts. Your journal can be a reaction to what
you read, a summary of what you read, something in between,
or something more creative.
- I will mark on each journal 2-4 errors for you to correct. Please include these corrections in your next journal!
- Occasionally, you will be asked to record yourself reading a passage, and to submit the recording via Canvas. I will give you feedback on pronunciation.
- Homework is graded on a "check"/"check +"/"check -" scale based mainly on content:
- "Check" (2 points on Canvas): the "normal" homework grade
- "Check +" (3): outstanding content
and/or outstanding German
- "Check -" (1): the assignment is late, too short or incomplete
- Missing assignments receive 0 points on Canvas
- I 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.
think in terms of reading texts multiple times, instead of
just once thoroughly!
- Set yourself a realistic time limit for how long you have to work with the text, and use that time efficiently, with the goal of understanding as many of the main ideas as possible before you start the quiz (for which you will always have one hour once you start it). Except in exceptional cases, your goal should NOT be perfect comprehension!
- Highlight phrases/passages youwant to ask about in class!
- If I've provided a vocab list: (1) Look through the list once quickly. (2) Then read the text once quickly without stopping. In the back of your mind, try to "notice" a few words that would be good to know in order to understand more of the text. (3) Now read the vocab list more carefully, but still quickly. Note especially any words you "noticed" in step 2. (4) Finally, read the text again thoroughly. Use the vocab list as needed. Try to look up as few additional words as possible! (5) Do the quiz, and re-read as needed!
- If there is no vocab list (e.g. you are reading a text for an essay or presentation, or for "real life"): (1) Skim the text once quickly
for the main idea(s). (2) Skim the text one more time to select a few words you think you will need to look up. (3) Finally, read the text one more time,
carefully this time. Look up as few additional words as possible. (4) Do the quiz, and re-read as needed! Specific ideas for steps (1)-(3):
- Try to guess the meanings
of unfamiliar words using the context, your knowledge of
the subject, similarities to related English terms, etc.
If your guess turns out not to make sense, then go back and look up the word.
- Spend more time on the important parts, less on minor details.
- When you see a word that you feel you "should" know (e.g. because you've come across it repeatedly), DO look it up if its meaning is not easy to guess from the context.
- Don't feel guilty if you don't look up every unknown word: feel
guilty if you do!
Anwesenheit und Beteiligung:
- Class participation is the most important part of this course. I will keep track of your attendance and participation by an "A&P Tally" grade on Canvas, as follows:
- Each day, you will earn two "attendance points" for coming to class, and two "participation points" for participating actively.
- If you are absent unexcused, you lose all four attendance & participation points for that day.
- 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 two attendance points for that day, but you cannot earn participation points if you are not in class.
- Please explain ALL absences, even if the reason is e.g. oversleeping, or work for another course, so I don't worry!
- Lateness: Loss of 1-4 points for that day, depending on how late you were.
- Inattention (inappropriate cell phone or laptop use, "zoning out," etc.): Loss of one or both participation points for that day.
- Check out the "Pocketpoints" app: earn food discounts and other rewards for locking your phone in class!
- Difficulty participating: The "A&P Tally" grade is primarily an effort grade, but it does have an achievement component. If you are in class and making an effort to participate, but you have noticeable difficulties understanding and carrying out partner activities and/or responding when called on, you will lose two (or one) participation points per week.
- 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
- Conversation and Free-Writing Hour
- Actively engaging with an instructor in the German Lab for more than 30 minutes
- Attending my office hours for more than 30 minutes
- Occasional special events I may announce
- 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 will enter "A&P Tally" grades weekly. I 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 28 or more points (the equivalent of 7 unexcused absences) in your "A&P Tally" by the end of the semester, your FINAL COURSE GRADE will be an AUTOMATIC E***
- I 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), I 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.
of you is responsible for two group presentations, each
no longer than 20 minutes (no longer than 15 minutes for
groups of two). Grades for the presentations will be based
primarily (40% each) on their content and comprehensibility,
and also on the accuracy of your German (20%).
should be in German, and should be done using PowerPoint [==> Important phrases: "Nächste Folie" = "next slide"; "noch nicht" = "not yet"; "Zurück!" = "back!"].
You should focus your efforts on making what you say comprehensible
to the other students in the class. In particular, this
your presentation based on minimal notes. No more
than about 25% of the words you actually end up saying
should already be on your Powerpoint slides. In addition,
you may use one easily legible cue card for additional
information such as technical data, statistics, and a
couple of "prompts" as reminders for yourself
in case you get stuck. Your partners can also prompt you
if you get stuck; your group should discuss how you will
handle this if it comes up. If you are reading your presentation,
you can be sure it will be difficult for the rest of the
class to follow ==> if you do not follow these guidelines,
your "comprehensibility" grade will be
a "C" or lower.
- using diagrams and key words on your PowerPoint slides to help the class follow along. Use multiple slides in order to divide the information you're presenting into manageable "chunks."
- This handout should include
list of 10-20 vocabulary items. This should
also be the first slide of your presentation,
and you should begin your presentation by having the
class repeat this vocabulary ["Wiederholen Sie bitte!"]--so be sure you can pronounce
- a 5-8 line summary of your main points. This
should also be the second slide of your presentation,
and you should read it to the class ==> it should
not exceed 8 lines
- some questions to be answered by the class at the
end of your presentation. These questions should also
be the last slide of your presentation
guidelines above about not reading do not apply to these three slides (i.e. the vocabulary, summary and questions)
should bring copies of the handout to class to accompany
your presentation. Please email me your handout as an
attachment in Microsoft Word at least four days before
your presentation, in order to leave time for me
to correct it if necessary.
you do not make a handout, your "comprehensibility"
grade will be a "C" or lower.
presentation can (but need not) be based on a text from Wie funktioniert das, but should include some information
that is not in the text. You could discuss any combination of
the following topics:
- what can go/has gone wrong with "it" and how this can be/has been fixed
"it" can be made particularly well
"it" could be improved/developed in the future
brief outline of "its" history/discovery/development. A list of names and dates by itself is not very interesting, but a brief indication of what aspects of the technology had been developed at each stage, and which were still missing, can be a great introduction to the presentation.
- interesting/unexpected applications of this technology
you can find information about a German/Austrian/Swiss
company that manufactures "it," you could describe
any outstanding/characteristic features of the product
as it is manufactured by this company
great if you can actually bring in an example of "it"
(or parts of it) to show or even pass around during your
- you should include more than just the information in Wie
funktioniert das? Use German sources for any additional material in order to avoid translating from English, which would be likely to lower your comprehensibility grade.
you plan for each of you to speak for about 4 minutes, chances
are that each of you will end up taking about 5 minutes.
Including the time it will take for
group to have the class repeat the vocabulary, and to
read the summary to the class
class to answer the questions on your handout when you
class (and myself) to ask you questions afterwards
...this should make your presentation be of the appropriate length.
for your Presentation & Avoiding Nervousness: It
is a very good idea for you to practice giving your
presentation out loud several times before you actually
give it. You can either do this as a group, or individually.
You should try actually saying out loud (quietly if necessary)
all the words you will say in your presentation, using only
the minimal notes on your PowerPoint slides and one notecard.
Use a stopwatch when you do this, to make sure your part
of the presentation takes about 4 minutes. If your part takes longer than 6 minutes, this will be a problem for the other group, and the other members of your group!
Eye Contact: Make eye contact [=der Blickkontakt] regularly with individual students in your audience (rather than looking at the class as a whole). This will give you a better feel for your audience, and will help your audience to be more attentive, and to understand you better. It's also extremely helpful if you're feeling nervous, because it changes the situation from you speaking to a big group to you speaking to a series of individuals in turn. You should be looking primarily at your fellow students, and at most occasionally at me.
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 I really want you to let me 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: I will always be happy to hear from you!
- Note: If there are students in this class whom you know from your previous German course(s), then of course it's great if you continue to enjoy working with these old friends - but please also make an effort to meet new people in this class, and be open to making new friends!
- 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.
Gender and Gender Pronouns in German
One simple way to maintain an open and inclusive classroom environment is to be mindful and respectful of our classmates’ gender identity and preferred pronouns for class discussion and speaking activities. This will also be good practice for all of us to have before visiting the German-speaking countries. The German language does not yet include any generally accepted pronoun options for non-binary gender identities (in part because the case system makes this complicated), but many options have been proposed. If you identify outside the gender binary or have any other concerns about gender pronouns, I will be happy to meet with you to find a solution that empowers you to comfortably participate in in-class language practice. This will include planning for how best to communicate this solution to your classmates, and how to set realistic expectations in a context where language mistakes of all kinds are an important and expected part of the learning process.
In the German language, nouns denoting people and professions also frequently have different forms based on a binary grammatical gender (e.g. der Student = the male student, die Studentin = the female student). In addition to being inherently problematic as regards non-binary gender identities, this has in the past led to absurd conventions such as using the male plural for mixed-gender groups, or ignoring the female forms of nouns when making general references to students, members of a profession etc. I will attempt to model an inclusive use of gendered nouns. This can be difficult to do consistently in German, and people differ as to how it should be done. Consequently, I may use multiple approaches. Please let me know if you have any questions about this as you proceed through the course!
Schokoladenstunde and Max
Kade Haus conversation hours
- 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.
- 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 me that you were there. You could use this to make up 2 "A&P Tally" points.
Help and Resources
- My 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!
- 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.
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.
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; Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports to law enforcement can be made to the University of Michigan Police Department at 734-763-3434.
Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting
As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as Language Program Director for German. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on U-M's campus with the University. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting SAPAC’s Crisis Line at (734) 936-3333.
Academic Integrity: Essays, Quizzes 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. It is your responsibility to demonstrate that your essay is your work by following the guidelines for citing sources carefully. Failure to do so may result in a citation for academic dishonesty. These guidelines are integrated into each essay assignment. The guidelines for citing sources for essays are also available here.
Lesequiz/Hörquiz and other Homework: No Need to Cite Sources!The above instructions for citing sources apply only to the four essay assignments in this course. They do NOT apply to the Lese-/Hörquiz assignments or other regular homework assignments. Read on for more details!
Lesequiz/Hörquiz: You are allowed (and actually encouraged!) to work on these quizzes with one or two partners. If you do so, each partner needs to do the quiz, and you and your partner(s) must submit the quiz at the same time. Dictionary use is permitted. Any "unfair" method of obtaining the answers (e.g. by asking others who have previously taken the quiz) would constitute a serious case of academic dishonesty. Note: Use of online translators such as Google Translate or DeepL IS permitted. If you do use an online translator to analyze a sentence, take a moment after each instance to reflect consciously on what you have learned: this will make the difference between learning more and learning less!
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, I encourage you to do so if you have time. Practicing this will make it easier for you to cite sources for your essays, and allows me to give you better feedback. Above all, citing your sources in the manner described above will lead to significantly more mental processing of the new linguistic information, and thus to significantly more learning.