Model German Programs

Model German Programs

Model German Programs - Goethe-Institut USA Toolkit - ©
Model German Programs - Goethe-Institut USA Toolkit - ©
How do I maintain, strengthen, and grow a strong German Program?

Short-term Initiatives

In order to have a successful German program, instructors on all levels need to be great teachers and advocates of German and their program.  One way German programs have been successful is through an active German Club which sponsors conversation hours, breakfasts, film screenings, excursions, fests, study abroad programs and opportunities, and other exciting events.  The national AATG taskforce, Sustaining the Momentum, offers these additional suggestions to model your program in order to attract new students, keep students in the language pipeline, advocate your program to a number of diverse constituencies, and continue to grow and maintain your program.  These suggestions are appropriate for all instructors in K-16 education; from elementary schools through post-secondary education.  Instructors are encouraged to model these suggestions in order to fit their specific programs. Keep in mind that due to demographics, educational offerings, and a host of other variables, not all of the suggestions are applicable to every possible program.  If any of these suggestions prove helpful, we encourage you to write a short summary of what you did and how it was helpful and send to AATG (c/o Dr. Gregory H. Wolf Your comments may be useful for other instructors to read.
  1. Develop reciprocal visits between high school and a post-secondary school
  2. Attend AATG workshops and meetings
  3. Host and organize local pedagogy workshops and meetings
  4. Inform yourself, program, students, H.S. constituencies about internships in German-speaking countries for students with varying language skills (CDS, ICE, RISE, Fulbright, Congress-Bundestag, Concordia Language Village)
  5. Inform institutional administration about all events and developments in German program/ feeder schools and language data.
  6. Play active role in events  for prospective students and advocate German; and in campus events (majors fairs, study abroad fairs, student club fairs, receptions)
  7. Offer campus-wide “How to Study for Language”  workshops
  8. Track all alumni, maintain contact with them, and invite them to speak on campus (P.S. and H.S.). 
  9. Develop projects so that P.S. students can visit H.S. classes (presentations on German culture, German in college, study abroad) and vice-versa.
  10. Offer internships or independent studies in classes
  11. Organize visits to high-school, junior high schools, and elementary schools and teach German as enrichment exercise.
  12. College instructors  to keep H.S informed about German internships/scholarships at specific schools and/or nationally (some P.S. institutions have paid internships in Germany)
  13. Maintain and establish contact with current exchange students from German-speaking countries (all levels and all subjects) and former residents of those countries.
  14. Offer brown bag lunches on all levels; use opportunity to talk about German-related events, such as study abroad.

Long-range Initiatives

These suggestions to model your German program may require more time, collaboration with colleagues, and or institutional support and approval to implement. Plan accordingly. If any of these suggestions prove helpful, we encourage you to write a short summary of what you did and how it was helpful and send to AATG (c/o Dr. Gregory H. Wolf Your comments may be useful for other instructors to read.
  1. Develop policies for retroactive credit for first-year students who enter courses beyond the beginning level
  2. Explore dual credit and concurrent credit programs (College in the Schools/ PSEO programs); use them as a springboard for vertical and horizontal communication
  3. Explore options for intensive language courses
  4. Initiate a “Kinder lernen Deutsch” program
  5. Develop high school – postsecondary collaborative language projects (workshops, teaching classes, guest speakers)
  6. Explore Trainernetzwerk (Goethe Institut) for personal involvement and/or for workshop presenters
  7. Explore contact with local and regional German Clubs and organizations for possible collaborative efforts and/or as funding sources
  8. Establish horizontal initiatives with other departments and programs on campus; create team-taught or linked courses
  9. Initiate or participate in international organization on campus
  10. Explore German Day activities: participate in large one or host a small one for 2-3 high schools
  11. Advocate articulation in graduate departments; offer to speak about your language program for a PhD program
  12. Explore possibility of hosting teacher workshop or immersion weekend
  13. Advocate for language requirement at institution and for certain majors (i.e. international business)
  14. Encourage your students to participate in campus undergraduate research symposia
  15. Send students to NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research)
  16. Create study abroad opportunities (GAPP) and offer to chaperone them
  17. Develop and participate in school or community International Days (students and instructors); postsecondary involvement in high school events
  18. Create graduate school experience events for undergraduate students
  19. Develop an attractive website that addresses prospective students and their parents
  20. Devise reciprocal language agreements  between P.S. and community colleges (C.C)

Develop High-School and Post-Secondary Partnerships

  1. Reading projects (same text or article) and varying duration (one-two day or weeks)
  2. P.S. mentoring H.S. students with reading
  3. Conference and workshop presentations and collaborations
  4. P.S. students return to H.S. classes
  5. German culture courses for H.S. classes
  6. Reciprocal invitation to all events
  7. Textbook discussions
  8. Resource for both constituency

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