The German Language Program at UCSC offers students a variety of opportunities to learn or improve their German. These include: language courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels; accelerated beginning courses; occasional intensive summer courses; occasional special interdisciplinary courses with German integrated into the curriculum; majors in Language Studies, Literature, or German Studies; participation in the Global Economics major; study-abroad opportunities in Germany through the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP); and paid summer-work opportunities in Germany and Switzerland through International Cooperative Education. Our program is student-centered and interested in promoting the study of the German language and culture across the curriculum.
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The German Language Program is committed to excellence in undergraduate teaching. Its mission is to bring students of various backgrounds to the point of communicative competence in German and to equip them with the language skills and cultural knowledge necessary to pursue their further academic, professional, and personal goals.
Language courses at UCSC are taught solely by language teaching specialists. These are individuals who are hired and retained based on their proven record of effective teaching. Teaching assistants are not used in the program. The primary focus of all German language lecturers is the teaching and advising of undergraduates. From the beginning level through the advanced courses, students are taught by the regular faculty. This enables more consistent, personalized instruction to occur than is possible at many larger institutions.
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In the beginning courses, emphasis is placed on developing initial competence in all four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and understanding the language. As part of each course, students learn basic communicative skills such as how to introduce themselves, ask for information, arrange transportation, order in a restaurant, describe their daily life, and carry on every-day conversations. Through readings, slides, and films, students are also introduced to basic knowledge of the major German-speaking countries-e.g. geography, political systems, educational systems, media, and customs.
The intermediate courses further develop skills acquired in the first year, deepen and broaden students’ understanding of contemporary German culture, and help students make the transition from reading the mostly prepared texts of first-year language instruction to reading authentic texts of various lengths. In each intermediate course, students read shorter, authentic texts relevant to the topic of discussion and often supplement this reading by viewing video material related to it. Simultaneously, students begin to do more and longer free writing. Typically, students will write 3-4 short essays in each course. Orally, the intermediate courses seek to help students master the oral proficiency skills appropriate to the intermediate-mid and intermediate-high levels as measured by the The intermediate courses further develop skills acquired in the first year, deepen and broaden students’ understanding of contemporary German culture, and help students make the transition from reading the mostly prepared texts of first-year language instruction to reading authentic texts of various lengths. In each intermediate course, students read shorter, authentic texts relevant to the topic of discussion and often supplement this reading by viewing video material related to it. Simultaneously, students begin to do more and longer free writing. Typically, students will write 3-4 short essays in each course. Orally, the intermediate courses seek to help students master the oral proficiency skills appropriate to the intermediate-mid and intermediate-high levels as measured by the ACTFL oral proficiency scale. Among these is the ability to narrate comfortably in the present, past, and future.
German 6, the final course in our intermediate cycle, is a hybrid course at UCSC. It is taught at what would be the beginning advanced level (3rd-year level) at many other universities. Students in this course are expected to perform near the intermediate-mid level at entry. This course refines the language skills acquired up to this point while stressing vocabulary building, stylistics, and the reading of authentic texts. This is the final language course required to meet the prerequisites for participating in the University of California’s year-long Education Abroad Program in Göttingen (Germany).
At the advanced level, our language program offers one to two courses per year. These courses are content based and enable students to practice the language intensively while simultaneously concentrating on a topic within the field of German culture. Typical of courses offered in the past at this level are: German 119 --German Media: The German Press and Current Events, German 129--20th-Century German Culture: Postwar to the Present, German 130--Introduction to German Literature and Culture of the 20th-Century, and German 140--Literature, Politics, and Culture of the German Democratic Republic.
Throughout all levels of language instruction, video and audio materials are routinely used to augment classroom lessons. As the resources of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and various multimedia programs have become readily accessible to all faculty and students, our language program has attempted to make productive use of them.
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In addition to German language courses, intermediate and advanced students may also enroll in German Literature courses. The German Literature Program offers a full spectrum of courses designed to train undergraduate students with special interest in the areas of literature and film.
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On occasion, due to grants such as those made by the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are able to offer special interdisciplinary courses. These courses are usually taught by a team of scholars from the campus and contain a German-language component (e.g. German readings, a German-speaking study section). An example is the recent course "Culture in Crisis: Weimar Germany" offered through the History of Consciousness Program and taught by a scholar from that department together with a German lecturer. Where appropriate, the campus seeks to foster the use of all languages across the curriculum.
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In occasional summers, UCSC offers intensive German language courses. These courses are designed for students who wish to make more rapid progress than is possible during the regular academic year, or who were unable to fit German into their regular course schedules. Courses may be offered at the beginning or intermediate levels.
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1) Language Studies with an Emphasis in German
This major is designed to give students a foundation in theoretical and applied linguistics while they simultaneously pursue course work in the fields of German language, culture, and literature.
2) Literature with an Emphasis in German Literature
This major is designed for students wishing to emphasize the study of German literature. In addition to the training afforded all literature majors at UCSC, which includes work in the areas of literary history, literary analysis, and literary theory, students in this major emphasize course work within the disciplines of German literature, culture, and film.
3) German Studies
German Studies is designed to take advantage of the teaching and research skills of faculty in various disciplines who share a common interest in the culture of the German-speaking countries. History, Politics, Philosophy, Art History, History of Consciousness, German Literature, and German Language are some of the disciplines contributing to this major. It is designed for students who wish to work within the field of Germanics in a truly interdisciplinary way.
Note: Students interested in economics, business, and German may wish to major in Global Economics. Within this major, students may choose German as a language of concentration.
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The University of California recognizes that study abroad is an important opportunity for all students. For students with an interest in German, the University of California offers programs in Berlin (Germany), Göttingen (Germany), and Potsdam (Germany). In Berlin, two types of programs are available: immersion programs, in which students take course work in their major or other areas of interest taught in German, and the Berlin European Studies Program (BEST), in which courses are taught in English. Both year-long and one-semester programs are available. The language requirement for participation in the Berlin immersion programs is the completion of two years of college-level German (i.e. through the equivalent of German 6 in our program) prior to the beginning of the year abroad. The Berlin European Studies Program (BEST) offers students with no knowledge of German the opportunity to take advanced courses in a variety of fields, taught in English, at the Free University in Berlin, while also studying first-year German. Students from all majors are invited to apply to these study-abroad programs. Students accepted to these programs will pursue course work in their academic majors or in other academic subjects of interest.
A further option for study is graduate studies and research in Göttingen. This program can be for one semester or one year. The language requirement varies from no German to the equivalent of two years of college-level German, depending on the student’s academic goals in Göttingen.
In addition to the programs in Berlin and Göttingen, the University of California also offers a semester-abroad program in Potsdam (Germany). This program emphasizes instruction in the areas of German language, German culture, and German Studies at the first-year and the intermediate level. The program is appropriate for students with language skills ranging from beginner to advanced intermediate. Students wishing to take intermediate-level courses are generally advised to complete at least one year of college-level German (through German 3 at UCSC) prior to going to Potsdam.
Internships have become an increasingly popular option in the Education Abroad Program. The University of California currently offers students in any of the study-abroad programs in Germany the opportunity to participate in a variety of internships.
For information on these and other study opportunities abroad, contact the International Programs Office, Classroom Unit Bldg., Room 105. Tel. 831-459-2858 or visit their website: http://oie.ucsc.edu.
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In conjunction with the International Cooperative Education, a program administered in Menlo Park, California, (http://www.icemenlo.com) students may be placed in summer jobs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This program enables students to be immersed in the language and culture of their target language, while at the same time gaining paid work experience abroad. The minimum language requirement for participation is one year of college-level German. Therefore, students who begin in German 1 in the fall are ready to participate in the program in the summer. A range of jobs is available that accommodates students of all language abilities in German.
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Hunter Bivens, Asst. Prof., Cowell College
Loisa Nygaard, Assoc. Prof., Humanities Building 1
Zsuzsanna Abrams, Associate Professor, Language Program, Humanities Building 1
Hunter Bivens, Asst. Prof., German Literature, Cowell College
Walter Campbell, Lecturer, Language Program, Humanities Building 1
Mark Cioc, Prof. of History, Stevenson College
David Hoy, Prof. of Philosophy, Cowell College
Jocelyn Hoy, Lecturer, Philosophy, Cowell College
Donna Hunter, Assoc. Prof. of History of Art/Visual Culture, Porter College
Peter Kenez, Prof. of History, Stevenson Collge
Loisa Nygaard, Assoc. Prof. of Literature, Humanities Building 1
Bruce Thompson, Lecturer, History Department, Stevenson College
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