Teaching German

In Sina's Posts on August 28, 2011 by SN

While working at Oglethorpe University as an Instructor of German, my main task this semester is teaching two German courses: Elementary German 101 and Intermediate German 201. I have been teaching at a university for almost 10 years now and I gave private English lessons to a girl who improved her grade from a 5 (failed) to a 3 (average). Yet, teaching a language course at an American university differs somewhat from teaching at a German university.

– Length of the Lesson: My Elementary German is 50 minutes whereas my Intermediate German is 1 hour and 15 minutes. The first day, I was not aware of this difference and I was finished with my exercises earlier than expected.

– Frequency: While learning a foreign language at a German university, students usually meet once a week. Here, my 101 class takes place three times and the 201 class twice a week. This increased frequency allows the students to immerse themselves into the language more deeply than just meeting once a week.

– Class Size: The courses are quite small. The 101 class has 12 students and the 201 class has 6 students.  Fortunately, this small class size ensures me to focus on my students individually.

All in all, teaching German is really a lot of fun. I try to activate the students with many in-class speaking exercises, compiling work sheets to repeat the important structures and phrases, and relating language issues to German popular culture. For instance, the listening exercise for next week’s session on the alphabet in my 101 class will be “MFG” by the Fantastischen Vier (1999).

If you have any more ideas about music or film clips for German lessons, please let me know!


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