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Kit Belgum, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Fall 2009

GER 331L • Advanced Conversation and Composition

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38405 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 337

Course Description

There are two central goals of this course: the first is to become familiar with the prominent discourses today in contemporary Germany and second, to gain both spoken and written command of the language. The course will be conducted in German. The material, film music, poetry and print media, will be discussed in detail in relation to post-wall German culture, politics, football and patriotism. These themes will help you establish "Assoziationsfelder" as well help you practice aspects of German grammar as well as vocabulary building. Some review of "patterns" of the group's mistakes in essay writing. Essays give the student self-assurance and enjoyment in the newly gained mastery of the language.

Lectures Depending on the content of the week's assignments and student presentations (see below) most classes will either start or end with a lecture and a brief in-class assignment to aid discussion - read the assigned reading and bring it to class with you. Presentations At the beginning of the semester, you will sign up for a graded-presentation on one of the week’s assigned readings. Working in pairs read the texts carefully, and provide a question of a topic to which the rest of the class can respond. Your presentation should be 10 minutes per person (20 minutes total), and will be followed by questions from the class and a discussion. You might want to discuss the presentation with me before you present to the class (office hours or by email). It is recommended that you use a hand out. Short Written Assignments Throughout the course you will be assigned, either as homework or in class, short written assignments that will be directly related to the readings and/or in class discussions. These assignments will vary in length and in format (short answer pop quiz, summary, response piece, description, definition, quotation response, and so on). There will be 8 short written assignments from which you will select your best 5 to count towards your final grade. ATTENDANCE It is expected that you will attend all sessions, do the background reading, and participate in discussions, many of which will be based on the readings. Attendance is mandatory and reflected in your grade. 3 or more unexcused absences will affect your grade by one letter. COURSE OBJECTIVES The course is designed for students to: • improve their command of German, with special emphasis on oral and written proficiency; • gain linguistic and cultural competence through an emphasis on small group work and individual presentations • achieve a deeper understanding of cultural difference through active engagement with the materials

Grading Policy

Participation 20% Class presentation 20% (10 minutes) Short written assignments 30% Quizzes 10% Final oral interview 20%


You will receive numerous handouts during the course, though a German-English dictionary will be indispensable.


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