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Intermediate German II

Karen R. Achberger
St. Olaf College


German 232, a fourth-semester German language course focusing on contemporary German society while targeting intermediate language proficiency. To help students to improve their language skills, all class meetings and course materials, including the syllabus, are in German. This course includes a section on sustainabilty.

Course Size:

Course Context:

The is the last course in the required language sequence. Typically, 50% of the students are in their first year of college, having completed 3-5 years in high school, and most students take the course primarily to satisfy the foreign language requirement. 20-30% go on to major in German.

Course Goals:

For the unit on sustainability, students should be able to:
1. articulate in oral and written German their opinions on issues related to the environment and sustainability in Germany and the USA;
2. reevaluate their own culture after comparing it with Germany's with respect to the sustainability of their economies, industrial and consumer practices, and institutions;
3. reevaluate their own lifestyle with respect to its sustainability, with increased awareness of the ethical impact of the choices they make in their daily lives;
4. feel relatively confident in their linguistic ability to express their ideas in German and to navigate German websites successfully.


Students are evaluated on the basis of their oral or written projects for each unit, class participation, and a written unit test. Most students show a marked increase in confidence and contribute ever more freuently to class discussions. Although their language skills are still limited, they all manage to make themselves understood. I have only anecdotal evidence of personal lifestyle changes.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 114kB Sep18 06)

Teaching Materials:

References and Notes:

I have the text and a detailed list of websites for each project topic on the syllabus.