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Willkommen in Deutsch 1!                             Welcome to German 1!

I look forward to working with you and getting to know you this year as you begin learning German!
Please look over this information and share it with a parent or guardian.

Teacher contact information:

“Herr” (Mr.) Joe Pauley                              E-mail:


CLASS WEBSITE (homework / assignment pages / games &
I maintain this website in detail! Please check it when you are absent
to find out what work you’ve missed or anytime you forget what your
homework is for the night and/or when quizzes and/or exams are


MATERIALS:                         EMC Deutsch Aktuell 6th Edition
                                   Deutsch Aktuell Workbook

         NOTE: Since we will be working in the computer lab full time, it is highly recommended that
         you buy a USB drive for data backup and transfers (no floppies, please) – these devices can
         be found for less than $10.00 at our local Wal-Mart or related retailers. Please see me if you
         need additional information.

OBJECTIVES: Students will be introduced to the German language. Emphasis will be placed on
speaking, listening, reading and writing. In addition to activities relating to our text, music, news clips
(Deutsche Welle), and feature films are integrated into the course to increase listening
comprehension as well as an understanding and appreciation of current cultural and political issues
and trends in the German speaking world, particularly as they relate to the context of our ever-
changing global economy. Learning a foreign language such as German has never been more

Learning a foreign language allows students to…

              reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
              acquire new information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available
               through the foreign language and its cultures.
              demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of
               language studied and their own.
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            create an awareness of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their

By the end of the course students should be able to understand and respond appropriately to simple
questions and statements in German. They should also be able to read and converse about a variety
of German texts, as well as talk and write in German about themselves, their family, and their life at


Section I: Computer Technology

While I am a strong advocate of technology, especially when it allows students an opportunity to
improve core communication skills in the target language (German), this course does not integrate
technology for its own sake. Instead, it is used as yet another means by which course content is
communicated, with the idea in mind that education must cater to a wide variety of student learning
styles, many of which “connect” well with a technology-driven model, one that is familiar to students
and one to which they can easily relate. We all know that relevance matters when it comes to

That said, we will be using technology in the classroom on a frequent basis throughout the first and
second semester as part of the curriculum design. However, please be assured that this class will not
require that your son and/or daughter has computer/Internet access at home, as not everyone has
these resources available.

I would like to mention that it would be helpful to your son/daughter, however, if Internet access
were possible at home, even if only for 2-3 hours per week. The primary reason is that our class
website,, contains many resources that support student learning outside of
normally scheduled classroom time. Here students will find class lectures and presentations,
handouts, interactive self-scoring vocabulary study guides, interactive self-scoring grammar applets,
audio resources, and other interactive content, even numerous “games” that reinforce chapter
vocabulary; these are NOT collections of links to other third party websites, but rather all of these
resources have been meticulously developed and aligned to the course content of our specific class.
Along those lines, it is here that students can find a calendar that tells them (and you) what is going
on in class each and every day, as well as when assignments are due and exams are scheduled to take
place. I highly encourage you visit to see for yourself how useful this can be –
this is an easy way to stay informed and take on a more proactive role with your son/daughter’s

Section II: Audio-Visual Resources

Central to the course objectives music, news clips, and feature films are brought into the curriculum
to help build language comprehension as well as an understanding and appreciation of cultural and
political issues relating to Germany. The music of focus targets popular German groups and their
lyrics, and is largely derived from the resources of the Goethe Institute, made available for the
specific purpose of German curriculum at the secondary level. The news clips come courtesy of
Deutsche Welle (, and they contain language level specific content that
allows students to keep up with current affairs in Germany while reinforcing their understanding of
the language at the same time. The feature films to be shown have been very carefully chosen
according to several important themes, and they are considered among the top German films for classroom
use, as evidenced in curriculum across the nation at the secondary and post-secondary levels (please see for additional information). Films shown in first-year German focus on issues of
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thematic importance relating to the time period beginning in the early 1930’s and ending with WWII.
Films shown in second-year German focus on issues of thematic importance from the point at which the
Berlin Wall falls (1989) on up through present.

The films selected for first-year German include:

    1) Swing Kids – This film is part of a unit that focuses on the power of propaganda, with particular
       emphasis on the social conditioning of the youth that took place during the reign of the Third
       Reich (Hitler’s Youth). Could something like this happen again in today’s world? This is also an
       inspirational and powerful story about friendship – and finding the courage to fight for what you
       believe in.
    2) Der Untergang (The Downfall)( – This Oscar-
       winning production portrays the final days of Hitler’s reign, illustrating the psychological
       deterioration of Germany’s most infamous leader. This is considered one of the most
       accurate portrayals to date.
    3) Der Tunnel – The Berlin Wall inspired some of the most daring escape attempts. This is the
       true story of one of them…and how after nine harrowing months and 145 meters of toil,
       despite cave-ins, flooding and Stasi spies, a courageous group manages the unthinkable.

Please visit for plot summaries and ratings. Please contact me if you would like additional
information regarding curricular justification.

Parents/guardians, you can also be assured that I have personally edited every film so that scenes of nudity
and/or sex, if they did initially exist in any form, have been omitted entirely, as have any unnecessary forms
of innuendo. Furthermore, I have also edited the English subtitles and removed all unnecessary
obscenities, which are most commonly inaccurate translations anyhow. While I may seem somewhat
overprotective of your son/daughter, these films, at least in my view, are now suitable for classroom use.


Learning a foreign language requires regular practice and the willingness to experiment with new
patterns of sounds, words, and structures, much of which can only be done in the classroom.
Therefore, attendance is a vital part of committing to this course, as is daily review of course material
covered and preparation for the next day’s class.

Participation is a graded component and will be assessed as follows:

25 percent of your class grade will be accorded for being attentive and on task. Essentially, you begin
each semester with 200 points already given to you under this category (on good faith). However,
you retain these points only if you are continually attentive and on task. For example, off-task
behavior such as unrelated talking w/ a neighbor during lecture/discussion will constitute a loss of

“Meaningful” in-class participation will be assessed as follows:

         A: You participate actively in free conversation without waiting to be called on. You have
         clearly reviewed the material and usually answer correctly. (to be graded @ 90-100%)
         B: You wait to be called on in free conversation, but then respond. You have reviewed the
         material and usually answer correctly. (to be graded @ 80-89%)
         C: You wait to be called on in free conversation and sometimes are unable to respond. You
         have not prepared well and only sometimes answer correctly. (to be graded @ ?-79%)
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In reality, of course, this is not as scientific, nor as punitive as it may sound – however, I do want to
HIGHLY encourage that everybody participates in a meaningful manner, making the most of our in-
class time, promoting a fun and STIMULATING place where we accomplish our primary goal –
learning Deutsch!! 


Semester grades will be awarded based on the following formula:

Homework Assignments 30%
Vocabulary/Grammar Quizzes 25%
Participation and Attendance 25%
Midterm Exam 10%
Final Exam 10%

NOTE: All scores on tests and homework count towards your final grade; students with excused
absences will always be given an opportunity to make up work and/or missed exams.


Any syllabus would be remiss without mention of the classroom “rules.” So, here they are for your
reading leisure.

Class Rules
For our German class to be a positive and productive learning environment, it’s vital that everyone
follow these three rules:

1. Respect your classmates, your teacher, and other fellow human beings.
2. Remain on task throughout the class period.

3. Dare    to speak German!

Daily Routines
As soon as the bell rings, be seated and have your homework from the night before on your desk.
Your other German materials should also be handy and ready to go. The materials you are expected
to bring to class every day are:

- Your 3-ring binder           - Your textbook
- Your workbook                - Pen/Pencil and colored pen
- Homework from the night before

Look at the overhead projector for the day’s warm-up assignment. Begin working on
this assignment immediately.
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Absences and Make-up Work

* Unless you are absent or have an extenuating circumstance, I do not accept late homework. Major
projects are accepted late, but with a 10% late work penalty.

* When absent, YOU are responsible for finding out what you have missed. Look on the class website
to see what you missed. Email me if additional clarification is needed. In accordance with school
policy, you have a maximum of three days to make up work.

* Vocabulary quizzes can ALWAYS be retaken during TAZ and the higher score may be retained,
provided, however, that a 90% or higher total score is achieved. (This can be a great opportunity!!!)

Tips for Success

Learning a foreign language is fun, but also takes a lot of hard work! To do well in this class, you will
need to…

- Participate fully in class activities
- Complete all assignments to the best of your ability
- Study vocabulary effectively (see vocabulary study tips sheet), a little bit every day
- If you are having a hard time with a topic, or feel confused, lost or behind, don’t wait – get help
immediately before you feel more overwhelmed.

When and how can I get German help if I need it?

Herr Pauley is available and happy to help you with questions big or small:
Every day before school (I arrive around 7 AM) and during lunch (in my room)
After school until 3:00 PM, later by appointment

Peer tutors: Upper-level German students are available as “study buddies” to help you with
vocabulary learning, homework and extra practice / review. Ask Herr Pauley for the names of people
available if interested.

What if I have a parent or friend who speaks great German? Lucky you! You have someone to
practice speaking with and get help from when you need it. However, you should always do an
assignment on your own first, and then get someone to help you check it over. If you get help from
an upper-level student or native speaker on a project, you must turn in your first draft done on your
own along with the draft they helped you edit.

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Note to parent/s or guardian/s:

I look forward to working with you and your student this year! Feel free to contact
me if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of the class. I hope I can
meet you in person at Open House Night, on Monday, September the 19th at 6:00 PM.

---------------------------- detach this page and turn in -----------------------------

Student name: _________________________________________________________

Student agreement

I understand the rules and procedures as listed here and discussed in class. I agree to
follow class rules and procedures, and to put forth my best effort this year in order to
succeed in German and contribute to a positive and successful learning environment
for myself and my classmates.

Student signature: _____________________________________________________

Parent / guardian information:

Questions for parents:

How do you prefer to be contacted?         □ e-mail     □ telephone

Your e-mail: ________________________________________________________

Your preferred contact telephone number: _________________________________

Does anyone in your family speak German?            □ Yes    □ No

If so, who and at what level? ______________________________________________
□ Native speaker □ Fluent □ Basic conversation □ A very little (e.g., high school)

I have read and understand the information provided above regarding contact
information, supplies and fees, class procedures and rules, and tips for success in
German class.

Parent or guardian signature: ____________________________________________

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