German 304

GRMN 304: German Culture

Prerequisite: GRMN 210

Credit Hours: (4) Four hours lecture

Contrastive presentation of modern German culture and its historical background. General Education credit-International and Intercultural Studies.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course surveys German history with a special emphasis on German (dis)unity and the development of German democracy. Other historical topics surveyed include the history of the language, literature, German immigration, and German art, music, and philosophy. Current cultural topics vary with the interests of the students but usually include politics, education, immigration, dialects, economics, gender roles, and the environment.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructors and students discuss each topic in class in German. Students read both graded and primary texts and work with a variety of video, computer, reference, and audio sources. Students prepare individual projects on contemporary cultural topics by accessing a variety of sources, giving an oral presentation, and preparing a creative activity.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Historical and contemporary cultural goals. Students will be able to:

1. Recognize and contrast the cultures of the German-speaking countries and the United States.
2. Acquire the vocabulary fields necessary to describe and discuss cultural themes.
3. Understand and discuss key historical topics.

As a result of these cultural abilities, students will develop intermediate plus (ACTFL criteria) skills in reading and listening in areas of special expertise.

Broad General Education Goals. Students will be able to:

*think critically and creatively about ideas, issues, problems, and texts both within and across academic disciplines

GRMN 304 students will acquire some social, economic, or political knowledge about historical and contemporary topics of importance in the target cultures and be able to discuss these issues on an intermediate to advanced level.

*employ a variety of research methods and styles of inquiry

Students will learn to gather information about these cultures and communicate about these other cultures by means of a variety of audio, video, or computer technologies.

*work with others in a shared process of inquiry and problem-solving

They will practice German and communicate about German-speaking cultures with each other in small groups and with at least one native speaker.

*identify the cultural values that shape decisions in public, professional, and private life

As a result of all these intercultural encounters, students will be able to understand how different cultural values affect perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors that they would tend to take for granted and not analyze so critically in a monocultural environment.

Area 5 Goals. Students will be able to:

* demonstrate an understanding of the central place of language in shaping thinking, values, and other aspects of culture.

GRMN 304 students will, in learning another language system and its cultural centeredness, understand the interrelatedness of language and culture in the perceptions and values of other cultures.

*demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of cultures beyond the United States and analyze similarities and differences between their own and other cultures that affect perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors

Students will be able to analyze a number of cultural similarities and differences between the United States and the regions where German is spoken. These comparisons students make between their own and other cultures will help students realize how diverse cultures can be.

*identify and discuss important global issues that highlight the relationships among peoples and nations

Students will, in class conversations, acquire knowledge about historical and current global issues that are in the news and that have had a significant social, economic, or political impact.


Assessment Measures

Assessment measures include:

1. True-false, multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay tests.
2. Class performance grades.
3. Oral presentations.
4. Creative activities.

These tests and projects target current and historical cultural topics from German-speaking countries and afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their familiarity with these cultures and also their understanding of how cultural values shape decisions in public, professional, and private life.


Other Course Information

This is a German course above the intermediate level that counts toward the required 24 credit hours for the major.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
September 2005 Reviewed Philip Sweet