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Prof. Dagmar Jaeger acknowledges the contributions of her colleagues, Prof. Ellen Crocker and Prof. Susanne Even, to the development of this course.

Required Texts

Amazon logo Wells, Larry D. and Jammie Rankin. Handbuch zur deutschen Grammatik. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN: 0618013431.

Amazon logo Wells, Larry D. and Jammie Rankin. Handbuch zur deutschen Grammatik (Arbeitsheift). 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN: 0618013458.

Amazon logo Dürrenmatt, Friedrich. Der Besuch der alten Dame. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957. ISBN: 0395040892.

You will need a standard-sized ring binder with dividers for these class materials and a note book for vocabulary entries.

Recommended Text

Amazon logo Terrell, Peter. HarperCollins German-English Dictionary (German/English, English/German). 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999. ISBN: 0062702351. (full-size, hardcover)

Goals of the Course

  1. To strengthen your communicative skills in speaking and writing
  2. To improve your receptive skills in listening and reading
  3. To build your vocabulary
  4. To increase your awareness of cultural difference
  5. To improve your analytical and interpretative skills

Vocabulary Acquisition

In your note book you will enter the 5-8 items of new vocabulary selected by the class each day, numbered consecutively throughout the semester. It will be collected at regular intervals. For each new word write your own sentence. Memorize each item so that you can use it readily. Don't forget the principal parts of verbs, plural of nouns, etc. There is a complete list of strong verbs in Appendix 4 of the Handbuch.

It is highly suggested that you procure a standard hardcover German/English Dictionary (paper-back versions  and web dictionaries do not give enough information on usage).


You will be assigned four written compositions. Adhere to the following format: 1-2 pages, typed double-spaced, margin of 1-1 1/2 inches on each side (ca. 350 words). Both content and grammar/style will be graded. Each composition is to be re-worked in a second draft. Each version will be graded. Both content and grammar/style will be graded.

Language Laboratory (= LLARC)

"Hörverständnis" exercises are assigned regularly (in Section 2 of the Arbeitsheft). This material is on cassettes in the LLARC. The Arbeitsheft will be collected at regular intervals. Additional audio and video tapes on contemporary German topics, as well as some of the reading texts will be assigned for the Lab. Lab worksheets and and other worksheets are to be turned in as part of the regular homework and will be corrected and counted as such.


Four tests will be given during the term, covering readings, vocabulary, grammar and lab materials. There will be no midterm or final.


Final Grade

Homework (incl. lab. assignments) and Compositions 30%
Class Participation and Attendance 40%
Tests 30%


There is a pedagogical reason for the strict and controlled organization of this course: the secret to success in foreign language acquisition lies in sustained daily effort, frequent practice, and repetition. Therefore, late homework will not be accepted, including essays, unless you have gotten an extension from the instructor beforehand. If an emergency situation or sleep deprivation should prevent you from preparing for class, please let the instructor know at the beginning of the hour, we'll find a way for you to get the most out of class.