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Language Program Course Descriptions

The German Language Program is composed of the 100, 200, and 300 levels (roughly the first 3 years) of German instruction available at the University of Washington.

This chart provides an overview of the skill levels and content covered in each course:
Curriculum Overview (PDF)

See below for descriptions of courses in each level.


German 101 (VLPA)

German 101 is the first part of our introductory German course sequence which explores the roles and group affiliations that contribute to the identity of young adults in the German- speaking world. Its goal is to help students develop cultural and linguistic competence that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of German, in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The curriculum is structured around a variety of themes such as who you are, how you spend your time, things you have, your talents, your feelings and intentions. Its content is diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive in representations of origin, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and gender. Instruction follows a communicative approach proceeding from guided to more creative and independent activities. Upon completion of this course, you can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases. You can introduce yourself and others. You can also ask and answer questions about personal details, such as where you live, people you know, and things you have.

German 102 (VLPA)

German 102 is the second part of our introductory German course sequence which explores the roles and group affiliations that contribute to the identity of young adults in the German- speaking world. Its goal is to help students develop cultural and linguistic competence that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of German, in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The curriculum is structured around a variety of themes such as talking about past events and experiences, jobs and the workplace, living at home and travelling. Its content is diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive in representations of origin, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and gender. Upon completion of this course, you can request and present personal information about your life, past activities and events, exchange basic information in conversations about shopping, jobs and the workplace, about living arrangements, and travelling.

German 103 (VLPA)

German 103 is the third part of our introductory German course sequence, which explores the roles and group affiliations that contribute to the identity of young adults in the German-speaking world. Its goal is to help students develop cultural and linguistic competence that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of German, in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The curriculum is structured around a variety of themes such as shopping, eating at home and dining out, talking about your childhood, your health and fitness, and some issues in a modern multicultural society.Its content is diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive in representations of origin, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and gender. Instruction follows a communicative approach proceeding from guided to more creative and independent activities. Upon successful completion of this course, you are able to understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e. g., very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, education, employment), communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters, and ​​describe in simple terms aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

The course series (101-103) aims at low intermediate or A2 level according to the Common European Framework of References (CEFR).

German 111 Hybrid

This course reviews the content introduced in 101 and 102 and requires background knowledge for both levels. It is recommended to those students who need to refresh their knowledge of German. To find out whether this course is the best choice, it is recommended that students take a placement test. German 111 is only offered as a hybrid course.

This course is offered only in fall quarter. 


German 201-202-203

Courses at the 200-level build on the foundation established at the 100-level and follows a similar approach. This series aims at high intermediate/advanced low or the B1 level according to Common European Framework of References (CEFR).

German 201 - Intermediate (VLPA)

Unlike most of its European neighbors, Germany for much of her history consisted of a collection of small states quite independent of each other, a development which resulted in the extraordinary cultural variety of cities and regions that make up Germany today. In their journey through the German-speaking world, students of German 201 will explore these cities and regions, station by station, as focal points of German/Austrian/Swiss life and culture. Students will read and discuss authentic literary texts as well as essays and articles from the news media, texts relevant to them and relevant to the cultural topics presented. Issues discussed include the role of the US in postwar Germany, the key role demonstrations played in the unification of Germany in 1989, migration and immigration, citizenship and integration, patriotism and national pride in the German context. In an integrated and contextualized approach, the course offers a review of basic grammar but focuses on more complex structures useful to the intermediate student and also offers many activities to practice and expand the students’ vocabulary. German 201 emphasizes a student-centered classroom which includes activities such as class discussions, group work and role-play. The course aims at improving students’ ability to express opinions, to narrate, compare and connect. The film “Comedian Harmonists” about the rise and fall of Germany’s most famous singing group in 1930s Germany will be discussed in detail.

Prerequisite: 103

German 202 - Intermediate (VLPA)

Unlike most of its European neighbors, Germany for much of her history consisted of a collection of small states quite independent of each other, a development which resulted in the extraordinary cultural variety of cities and regions that make up Germany today. In their journey through the German-speaking world students of German 202 will explore these cities and regions, station by station, as focal points of German/Austrian/Swiss life and culture. Students will read and discuss authentic literary texts as well as essays and articles from the news media, texts relevant to them and relevant to the cultural topics presented. Issues discussed include the role of the arts in politics and German public life, contrasts between city and country, contrasts between progressive and traditional, Germans living in the US. In an integrated and contextualized approach, the course offers a review of basic grammar but focuses on more complex structures useful to the intermediate student and also offers many activities to practice and expand the students’ vocabulary. German 202 emphasizes a student-centered classroom which includes activities such as class discussions, group work and role-play. The course aims at improving students’ ability to express opinions, to narrate, compare and connect. The film “Good Bye, Lenin” about Germany in 1990, in which a young man, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it, has disappeared (K.C.) will be discussed in detail. The course ends with the reading of “Der Besuch der alten Dame”, a play by the Swiss author Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Prerequisite: 201

Germ 203 Intermediate (VLPA)

German 203–the third course in the intermediate language series—is based on reading literary texts and watching a feature film. Students will read short texts such as fables and fairytales by Brecht, Schami and the Brothers Grimm dealing with diverse societal and cultural topics. The film Die letzten Tage der Sophie Scholl follows the last six days of Sophie‘s life after she and her brother—members of the White Rose and a tiny resistance movement at Munich University—are arrested in February 1943 for printing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. To conclude the course, students read Momo a fairytale novel by Michael Ende about the concept of time in human lives. It is the strange story of time-thieves and a child who brings the stolen time back to the people. German 203 follows a student-centered approach with an emphasis on group work, role-play and discussions. The course reviews basic grammar, but also dives into complex structures important to the intermediate level and provides ample practice to expand students’ knowledge of vocabulary. The course aims at the B1-level according to the European Framework of references.

Prerequisite: 202

 


German 300-level courses

The goal of the 300-level courses is to lead students towards the "Mittlestufen Niveau", i.e. the B2-level according to the European level description for languages (Europäische Referenzrahmen).

Prerequisite: Germ 203 or equivalent or B1 certification

German 301

The primary focus is on the development of advanced-level German through reading, listening, speaking and writing targeting the B2-level. The content is organized around short literary texts and an award winning German movie. Provides intensive work in strengthening vocabulary and a systematic overview of advanced grammar. 301 and 302 may be taken out of sequence.

German 302

The primary focus is on the development of advanced-level German through reading, listening, speaking and writing targeting the B2-level. The content is organized around short literary texts and an award winning German movie. Provides intensive work in strengthening vocabulary and a systematic overview of advanced grammar. 301 and 302 may be taken out of sequence.

German 303

The primary focus is on the development of advanced-level German through reading, listening, speaking and writing targeting the B2-level. The content is organized around short literary texts and an award winning German movie. Provides intensive work in strengthening vocabulary and a systematic overview of advanced grammar.

 


German 400-level courses

German 401

Loosely structured around the theme of love and identity, the course engages in a series of short stories by well-known German authors, a recent film based on Goethe’s life as a young writer, and the novel Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink. Aiming at B2/C1 level skills and following a communicative and task-based approach, the course provides intensive practice in speaking and writing, and further targets selected grammatical topics at the advanced level.

Prerequisites: At least two of the following courses, Germ 301, 302 or 303, equivalent courses at the B2 level, or the B2 Zertikat.

 

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