Oklahoma State University

AP German Language and Culture Course Syllabus

Course Overview

Our university has offered this online AP German course for high school students since 2002 (since 2007 approved through the College Board audit) with good results: usually 70 to 80% of the students who take the course pass the AP Exam with a score of 3 or better. This course is offered as a 5th-year German course to students who have had 4 years of high school German or have had an equivalent experience. The course is conducted almost entirely in German.

The course instructor communicates with the students through live one-on-one tutoring sessions, Skype, email, and telephone. Instructional materials are created or selected by the course instructor and include a variety of authentic resources, such as audio and video recordings, podcasts, newspaper and magazine articles, and literary texts. The material is grouped into six units which address all six of the themes listed in the Fall 2011 AP German Language Guide (Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, Beauty and Aesthetics). Each theme is presented through authentic materials and is geared towards development of cultural understanding, communication strategies in both formal and informal situations and in different modes (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive), and vocabulary development. In connection with the units we review different aspects of grammar as they are needed for the communicative tasks. There are both formative and summative assessments for the different tasks. Students do not specifically work towards the AP exam, but they learn about exam expectations in connection with skills and strategies practiced in the different units. The learning objectives at the beginning of each unit are formulated to complement the ones listed in the “AP German Language and Culture” course description.

Throughout the course, students access the German newscast Tagesschau website to watch a short video on current events (Tagesschau in 100 Sekunden) and to write a short summary of one article of their choice. Students also write several essays, first in draft form. This draft is corrected by the instructor using the screen-capture software Jing (formative assessment). Students view and listen to the instructor’s comments on their draft and then submit a corrected copy of their essay (summative assessment).

The distance learning situation poses special challenges for both instructor and student by requiring students to take ownership of their learning and to work independently. As such, it is an excellent preparation for the challenges students encounter at the college level. Personal contact between instructor and students is maintained through weekly tutoring sessions which are conducted entirely in German. These are one-on-one intensive sessions, where the instructor meets with each student individually using Skype video conferencing. Even though these sessions usually last only 30 minutes per week, this is enough time to go over the student’s written answers, elicit oral answers, practice conversation in different communicative situations, hear students’ oral presentations, and give individual help with grammatical or other problems.

Primary Course Materials:

Reisefieber (2000), CD produced by Sveriges Utbildningsradio AB, Norsk Rikskringkasting, Finlands Svenska Radio, and Roman Schatz GmBH

DeutschMagazin (2001), Video and Workbook by Nana Ochmann, Max Hueber Verlag and Goethe Institut

Film ‘Rosenstraße’ (2003), dir. Margarete von Trotta

Film ‘Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei’ (2004), dir. Hans Weingartner

Film ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ (1982), dir. Max Peter Ammann

Film ‘Der ganz große Traum’ (2011), dir. Sebastian Grobler

“Jojo sucht das Glück”, (2011), Telenovela by Deutsche Welle, www.dw-world.de/jojo

Dürrenmatt, Der Besuch der alten Dame (Neufassung 1980)

Brecht, “Die Moritat von Meckie Messer”

Goethe, “Wanderers Nachtlied” (poem)

Rudolf Otto Wiemer, “Zeitsätze” (poem)

Goethe, “Erlkönig” (poem)

Rammstein, “Dalai Lama” (song)

May Ayim, “afro-deutsch I” (poem)

Bertolt Brecht, “Die Lösung” (poem)

Bertolt Brecht, “Wenn die Haifische Menschen wären” (1948, short story)

Auswärtiges Amt, Tatsachen über Deutschland (2010)

Websites:

Deutsche Welle website: http://www.dw-world.de

German Newscast Tagesschau: http://www.tagesschau.de

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com

Spiegel Magazin: www.spiegel.de

Website by Auswärtiges Amt: www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de

Large Collection of Podcasts: www.podcast.de

Large Collection of Audio Files: www.audio-lingua.eu

Unit 1: Reisefieber (5 weeks)

Themes: Travel, Entertainment, Geography, Literature, Music, Current Events

Learning Objectives:

1. Students give and support their opinion, both orally and in writing.

2. Students expand their vocabulary in the areas of travel, entertainment, literature, geography, and music.

3. Students demonstrate their understanding in the areas of travel, entertainment, literature, geography, and music.

Essential Questions:

How do cultural products, practices and perspectives influence everyday life?

How do literature, music, and film challenge and reflect cultural practices?

Resources:

Reisefieber

Brecht, “Die Moritat von Meckie Messer”

Tagesschau (www.tagesschau.de) : König Ludwig (video clip)

Video Clip “Klaus Störtebeker” (Instructor produced)

Goethe, “Wanderers Nachtlied”

www.tagesschau.de

In this unit, students listen to the ten episodes of the radio play “Reisefieber”. They learn to ask for clarification when they have not understood something. For every episode, students do research on the Internet for the topic (highest mountain in Germany, composer of ‘Ode to Joy’, world’s oldest car, world’s oldest brewery, King Ludwig and his fairy tale castle, the most famous German pirate, Goethe, Brandenburg Gate and German reunification).

For the episode on King Ludwig, students give short summaries of several German fairy tales, both written and orally. They also look at the song “Die Moritat von Meckie Messer” out of Brecht’s “Dreigroschenoper” and compare the German original with the English translation. They write an essay comparing the information on King Ludwig given in the radio play (source 1) with the information in the video clip on King Ludwig from the German newscast “Tagesschau” (source 2). For this essay, students write a draft (formative assessment) which is corrected by the instructor using screen-capture software. Students then write a second, corrected version (summative assessment).

For the episode about Weimar and Goethe, students find information on Bertolt Brecht, Günter Grass, Walther von der Vogelweide, Franz Liszt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Schiller, Gottfried von Herder. At the end of unit, students watch a current German newscast “Tagesschau in 100 Sekunden” (www.tagesschau.de) and then summarize an article in a current online edition of the “Tagesschau”. For summative assessment, students take four quizzes with both multiple-choice and free response questions on texts using the vocabulary from the unit.

Unit 2: DeutschMagazin (6 weeks)

Themes: Political Issues, Alienation and Integration, Stereotypes, Self-Image, Contemporary Life, Cultural Perspectives, Communication

Learning Objectives:

1. Students give and support their opinion, both orally and in writing.

2. Students broaden their vocabulary in the areas of politics, integration, and cultural perspectives.

3. Students compare German and American culture in the area of integration and stereotypes.

Essential Questions:

How do language and culture influence identity?

How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?

How do cultural, political, and historical circumstances influence a person’s self-image?

Resources:

DeutschMagazin

Article on rebuilding of Frauenkirche on the Deutsche Welle website: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,1758369,00.html

Rudolf Otto Wiemer, Zeitsätze (poem)

Erich Kästner, Das fliegende Klassenzimmer

Film ‘Rosenstraße’ (2004)

Rudolf Otto Wiemer, Zeitsätze (poem)

Video Clip ‘Erlkönig’ (animation) from YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wusVHokSa98

Franz Schubert, Erlkönig (song)

Rammstein, Dalai Lama (song)

May Ayim, afro-deutsch I (poem)

Duden, Fremdwörter , http://www.detlev-mahnert.de/duden.html

In this unit, students view the DeutschMagazin video clips on the Dresdener Frauenkirche, the boarding school “Kreuzschule” in Dresden, Goethes poem “Erlkönig”, “Interlaken”, “Ausländer in Österreich”, and “Kriminalfall”. In connection with the video on the Frauenkirche, students read an online article on the reconstruction of the church (source 1) and view a graph listing the expenses (source 2). They write an essay on the arguments for and against the reconstruction and give their opinion. They also read the poem ‘Zeitsätze’ by Rudolf Otto Wiemer and use this as a pattern to write about their lives looking back from the age of 70.

With the video on the Kreuzschule, students read an excerpt of Kästner’s ‘Das fliegende Klassenzimmer’ and do some research on Victor Klemperer. Students view the trailer for the film ‘Rosenstraße’. With the video clip on Goethe, students read and interpret the poem ‘Erlkönig’ and view an animation clip ‘Erlkönig’. Students listen to the song ‘Erlkönig’ by Franz Schubert. Students write an essay comparing Goethe’s poem ‘Erlkönig’ with Rammstein’s song ‘Dalai Lama.’

After viewing the video on ‘Interlaken’ (Switzerland) and doing research on some aspects of Switzerland, students write an essay on communication. For the topic “Ausländer,” students view an instructor-produced video of an interview with two Russian immigrants to Germany, read and interpret the poem “afro-deutsch I” by May Ayim, and view the video “Ausländer in Österreich”. They write an essay where they compare the situation of the afro-German May Ayim and the immigrants to Germany with afro-Americans and immigrants to the United States.

For the information on Salzburg and the play ‘Jedermann’ in DeutschMagazin, students view a clip of the Jedermann play from 1934. In the section ‘Fremdwörter’, students read an article in the Duden about foreign words in the German-speaking countries and write their opinion. After working on the topic “Kriminalfall” in DeutschMagazin and viewing the video, students write their own “Fotokrimi”.

Unit 3: Zivilcourage oder Terrorismus (7 weeks)

Themes: Political Issues, German History, National Identity, Self-Image, Generational Issues, Performing Arts

Learning Objectives:

1. Students give and support their opinion, both orally and in writing.

2. Students enrich their vocabulary in the areas of German history and national identity.

3. Students gain insights in the differences between German and American culture in the area of civil disobedience (Zivilcourage) and terrorism.

Essential Questions:

How are aspects of identity expressed in various situations?

How do language and culture influence identity?

How does film both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?

What environmental, political, and social issues pose challenges to societies throughout the world?

Resources:

German 1776 version of Declaration of Independence

Flash Clip ’17. Juni 1953’

Bertolt Brecht, Die Lösung (poem)

Bertolt Brecht, Wenn die Haifische Menschen wären (1948, short story)

Grammar Flash Clip ‘Konjunktiv’, (Instructor-produced)

Video Clip ‘Friedliche Revolution DDR 1989’

Grammar Video Clip ‘Imperatives’ (Instructor-produced)

Film ‘Rosenstraße’ (2003), dir. Margarete von Trotta

Nina Schröder, Die Frauen der Rosenstraße (1997), Heyne Verlag

Materials produced by Goethe Institut for the film ‘Rosenstraße’ : “Eine Didaktisierung zum Spielfilm “Rosenstraße” (2003)”

Film ‘Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei’ (2004)

Students read and interpret an excerpt of the German version of the Declaration of Independence published in 1776 in the ‘Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote’. They write a short essay giving their opinion on the balance of government rights and powers and peoples’ freedom and rights.

Students view the Flash clip ’17.Juni 1953’ about the workers’ protest in the DDR and discuss the situation in the DDR at that time. They read and discuss Brecht’s poem ‘Die Lösung’ about the protest. In conjunction with the subjunctive used in the poem, students review subjunctive by watching a flash clip with grammar explanations and work with the text ‘Wenn die Haifische Menschen wären’ by filling in the missing subjunctive forms.

Students do research on the topic ‘Montagsdemonstrationen in Leipzig, 1989’ and present their findings in writing. They watch the video clip ‘Friedliche Revolution DDR 1989’ and order the events on a worksheet. Then they fill in a Lückentext with the various slogans, banners, chants, etc. from the video. Students review the imperative forms in German by viewing a video clip on this topic and then design a flyer (Flugblatt).

Students work with material from the Goethe Institut for the film ‘Rosenstraße’ as an introduction. They view various scenes from the movie, completing tasks from the Goethe Institut material. Students do some research on persons who have shown ‘Zivilcourage.” They pick one person and do a 2-minute oral presentation on that person.

Students watch scenes from the movie ‘Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei.’ They study the script for the lengthy conversation in between the protagonists in one of the scenes and list the main arguments.

Students write an essay where they summarize and compare the arguments and goals of the various groups discussed in this unit – authors of the Declaration of Independence, workers’ protest in the DDR in 1953, October revolution in DDR in 1989, the women in ‘Rosenstraße’, and the young people in ‘Die fetten Jahre …’. They give their opinion on when resistance against the government is legitimate and when it is terrorism.

Unit 4: Der Besuch der alten Dame – The Visit (7 weeks)

Themes: Personal Identity, Relationships, Economic Issues, Performing Arts

Learning Objectives:

1. Students give and support their opinion, both orally and in writing.

2. Students enrich their vocabulary in the areas of relationships, economy, and theater.

3. Students compare German and American culture regarding poverty and unemployment, using graphs, tables, and articles.

4. Students write both formal and informal emails.

5. Students review and refine strategies for interpersonal interaction in informal and formal situations.

Essential Questions:

How do individuals contribute to the well-being of communities?

How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?

What social and economic issues pose challenges to societies throughout the world?

Resources:

Dürrenmatt, “Der Besuch der alten Dame” (Neufassung 1980)

Unemployment figures in Germany and the United States for the last decade (2 Graphics), International Monetary Fund and Bundesagentur für Arbeit, http://de.statista.com

Podcast “Arbeitslosigkeit” by Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft, www.podcast.de

“Ein Leben ohne Geld”, article 5/15/2010 by Die Presse, http://diepresse.com/home/leben/mensch/565341/Heidemarie-Schwermer_Ein-Leben-ohne-Geld

“Globale Proteste gegen Banken – 99 Prozent blieben zu Hause”, article 10/15/2011 in Spiegel magazine at http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,792017,00.html

Film “Der Besuch der alten Dame” (1982) with Maria Schell as the old lady

“US-Bonität” – four graphs on United States’ debts and federal deficit, http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-70917-2.html

“Die größte Enttäuschung der deutschen Politik”, article March 1, 2011 at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14881091,00.html

Students do research on Friedrich Dürrenmatt. They read an article by Dürrenmatt on the role of tragedy and comedy in modern theater and answer written questions. After reading the first scene of the play, students examine two graphics showing the historical development of unemployment in Germany and the United States by the Bundesagentur for Arbeit. They discuss the differences between both countries. They listen to a podcast by the “Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft” on the topic of unemployment. They answer multiple-choice questions about the podcast.

After reading several more scenes of the play, students take a quiz where they answer multiple-choice questions about two articles, “Ein Leben ohne Geld” from the website of “Die Presse”, and “Globale Proteste gegen Banken” from the Spiegel website. Students watch selected scenes of the movie “Der Besuch der alten Dame” with Maria Schell as the old lady. In addition to reading and answering questions in writing on the rest of the play, students write an informal email from one of the main protagonists to the other, write an informal email as a reporter to a friend requesting information about the happenings in Güllen, a formal email as the same reporter to the mayor of the town, a diary entry for Ill, the male protagonist, and a newspaper article about the events in the town from the view of the (fairly clueless) reporters. Students also write two short poems as self-portraits of the two main protagonists.

In a quiz, students answer multiple-choice questions about different types of emails. They also answer questions based on four graphs about the United States’ debts and federal deficit (www.spiegel.de).

In connection with the play’s theme of accepting responsibility for one’s guilt, students read a summary of the ‘Guttenberg Affäre’ of February/March 2011 where a German politician was found to have plagiarized the larger part of his dissertation. In a quiz they answer multiple-choice questions about an article and a video by the Deutsche Welle (www.dw-world.de) about the Guttenberg affair. Students also listen to a sound file about the final report of the university Bayreuth about Guttenberg’s dissertation (from www.tagesschau.de) and answer written questions about the clip.

Unit 5: Education and Technology (6 weeks)

Themes: Education and Career, Science and Technology, Entertainment, Travel and Leisure, Youth Culture

Learning Objectives: Students broaden their vocabulary in the areas of education and technology.

Students compare products, practices, and perspectives in the areas of education, technology and youth culture in German and American culture.

Students demonstrate comprehension of content from authentic audio and visual resources on the topics of education and technology.

Essential Questions:

How do developments in science and technology affect education?

How is contemporary life influenced by cultural products, practices, and perspectives?

Resources:

www.dw-world.de/jojo

“Schule in Bayern” (podcast 09/14/2011), www.audio-lingua.eu

Video “Farmers’ Market in Hamburg” (2008), instructor-produced

Film “Der ganz große Traum” (2011), dir. Sebastian Grobler

Rainer Moritz, Der ganz große Traum, Rowohlt Taschenbuch, 2011

Film “Das fliegende Klassenzimmer” (2003), dir. Tomy Wiegand

Spiegel article

Spiegel graph

Haderer, “Facebook Party” (2010), cartoon

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, “Ergebnisse aus der Fernunterrichtsstatistik”

Spiegel Artikel: Generationenunterschied bei Handy Gebrauch

http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/gadgets/0,1518,735855,00.html

Spiegel Graph: Handybesitz nach Altersgruppen, http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-61759-5.html

Auswärtiges Amt, Tatsachen über Deutschland (2010), Societäts-Verlag

Students watch 10 selected episodes of the telenovela “Jojo sucht das Glück” about a young Brazilian woman who comes to Germany to study art. Students do several of the interactive online exercises and some of the worksheets, both with cultural, vocabulary, and grammatical information.

In conjunction with the “Jojo” story, students study several topics mentioned in the telenovela. They do research on Cologne and the Cologne Cathedral and present their findings orally.   They read an article on equal rights in Germany and view a graph. Students write a short essay comparing issues of equal rights in Germany and the United States. Students view an instructor-produced video on a farmers’ market in Hamburg. Summative assessment: after reviewing vocabulary for buying items at a counter and role playing a situation where they buy items at a farmers’ market, students’ answers to a guided conversation at a farmers’ market (5 prompts, with 20 seconds to answer) are recorded.

Students listen to a podcast about school in Germany and answer written and oral questions. They view several scenes of the movie “Der ganz große Traum” and read an excerpt of the book by the same name to learn about school in Germany in the 1870s. Students also view several scenes of the 2003 movie “Das fliegende Klassenzimmer”. Summative assessment: they give a 2-minute oral presentation where they compare school in Germany with school in the United States.

Students read an article in the Spiegel Magazin about the use of cellphones in Germany and study a graph and answer written questions about each. They do a survey of their classmates about cellphone use and write a comparison between their findings and the German figures. They view the cartoon “Facebook Party” by Haderer and read the paragraph “Internet und Soziale Medien – ein neuer Kosmos” in Tatsachen über Deutschland. Students answer written questions about the two sources and discuss the impact of social media on interaction. For the topic “Technology in Education”, students view several graphs about distance learning in the United States and in Germany (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung) and discuss the differences. Summative assessment: They give a 2-minute oral presentation comparing distance learning in the United States and in Germany and describing their own experience as students of an online course.