German 101: Elementary German I

Kenneth E. Larson, Diane Koester, Wells College, Fall, 2011

MWF 11:30-12:20; Tuesday 8:40-9:30;  Zabriskie 103
K. Larson's Office Hours: Wednesday 1.30-4.30 Macmillan 109 and by appointment
D. Koester's Office Hours: by sign-up sheet at office door ; Learning Commons, Long Library, 2nd Floor
K. Larson's Office Phone: 364-3305; D.Koester's Office Phone 364-3401; Home Phone: 364-8484
Email:;; Course email list:
Course Website:
Online Resources:;

Aug. 26 Introduction / Erste Kontakte

31   Kapitel 1
Sept. 2

5   Guest: Kristie Zieler

14 Test: Kapitel 1
16  Kapitel 2


30 Test: Kapitel 2

Oct. 3  Kapitel 3


10 [Fall Break]
11 [Fall Break] 

21  Test: Kapitel 3

24 Kapitel 4

Nov. 1 

Test: Kapitel 4
8 Kapitel 5


21 Test: Kapitel 5
22 Kapitel 6
23 [Thanksgiving Break]
25 [Thanksgiving Break]

Dec. 2 

Test: Kapitel 6

Wednesday, Dec. 14: 9 am-noon  Final Exam

Goals: The Catalog description of German 101 and 102 is: "Development of all four communication skills in German: speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. Essentials of grammar, basic vocabulary, practice speaking and writing German, Information on current social and cultural issues of German-speaking countries." German 101 and 102 are two halves of a single year-long course. By the end of 102 you should reach a basic level of competence in the language, one that will allow you to interact with native speakers on a simple level, to read simple texts and get the general meaning of more complex texts, and to make yourself understood in simple writing.You will also better appreciate the cultures of German-speaking countries and, by comparison, U.S. culture. In the same way, learning another language will provide a new perspective on your native language.

Textbook and online components:

Expectations of class attendance: This is an interactive, communicative course that is based heavily on classroom interaction and practice. Daily class attendance is essential. Make every effort to attend every class. If you have an athletic, musical, Model UN, or other engagement that prevents you from attending class please let me know in advance. It is always advisable (and also fair to your fellow students) to come to class prepared. But even if for some reason you are not able to prepare as much as you want, just come to class. That alone will help. Your class participation grade, 8% of the composite grade, is based on attendance. Note that this is a four-credit, four-day-a-week class. The Tuesday session is a regular class period like the Monday, Wednesday, Friday sessions and is just as important.

Expectations of work outside class: Learning a language is like training for a sport or learning a musical instrument: all require intense daily practice. You should plan on spending two hours a day outside the classroom between each class (i.e. between Monday and Tuesday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Wednesday and Friday, Friday and Monday). Read that sentence again. Yes, two hours. If you find that you are spending less than two hours on German between classes you are probably not using all of the online and printed resources to their full advantage or practicing listening and speaking as much as you should. Even though 101and 102 language classes are called "elementary" many students find that they are among the hardest classes they will ever take in college. Mark out study time between classes in advance and keep to it.

Study tip: Languages are social. Study with a friend. Read the dialogues together. Talk to each other in simple German. Do the exercises in the textbook together. Quiz each other on vocabulary.Study together for the chapter tests and final.

Tests and final exam: examine the syllabus closely at the beginning of the semester and plan accordingly. It is essential not to miss scheduled tests. If something comes up that will force you to miss a scheduled test, be certain to contact me in advance. If you are too ill to contact me, have a roommate or friend call me.There will be no make-up on a missed exam if you have not let me know in advance that you cannot take it.

Honor Code: Unlike class preparation and practice, where collaboration is encouraged, all quizzes and tests are to be done by yourself alone with no helps (books, notes, Internet, etc.). Written homework should also be your own. The Honor Code is fundamental to Wells College.

Students with disabilities: If you have a physical, sensory, health, cognitive, or mental health disability that could limit your ability to fully participate in this class, you are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of Learning Support Services, Kristie Zieler, to discuss accommodations that will help you succeed. Your conversations with her are confidential, and she will not supply details of your disability to anyone without your permission. Do understand that Ms. Zieler will need to notify your faculty about accommodations that you might need and that are supported by your disability documentation. Ms. Zieler is reachable at the  Learning Support Services office, middle (main) floor of the library, near the Writing Center. Telephone x3432, email

Grades: Grades are based 8% on class attendance and participation, 15% on daily Quia homework assignments, 5% on additional written homework assignments, 54% on chapter tests, and 18% on the final exam.

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Ken Larson, Professor of German
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Wells College, Aurora, NY 13026
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