German Language in Context: Novice Abroad I

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Course Information
German Language
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 
48 hours in total



This course is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of the language. By the end of the course, the successful student will develop a basic foundation in the five skills: intercultural communication, reading, writing, listening and speaking to accomplish a variety of basic everyday needs in the host culture as described in the learning outcomes below.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to achieve some of the outcomes for the Novice Abroad level as defined by the MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. The key learning outcomes from the MAP are summarized below:

  1. Intercultural Communication

    1. Students will be able to meet basic everyday needs using verbal communication, they will be able to use compensatory strategies when they do not know the word or expression (repetition, body language, etc.), and they will be able to identify some basic non-verbal communication strategies.
    2. Students can recognize basic appropriate and inappropriate expressions and behaviors in the host language.
    3. Students will be able to distinguish between basic representations of formality and informality in the language.
    4. Students will start to make informed comparisons between the host culture and home culture.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand most basic statements, requests, descriptions, and questions in specific cultural context relevant to them (interactions in class and with hosts, studying, shopping, transportation, meals).
    2. Students will be able to use context to understand the gist of some basic spoken language they overhear, including the media, conversations between others, and announcements.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to use some basic phrases appropriately in some everyday situations (home, new acquaintances, the IES Abroad Center, and the community).
    2. Students will be able to express some basic needs by asking questions, and get what they need in uncomplicated, everyday situations
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to identify and understand basic sentences.
    2. Students will be able to interpret main ideas in short and simple texts as well as news headlines, but their understanding is often limited to the words or groups of words that they have seen in class.
    3. Students will be able to use basic reading strategies (cognate recognition, scanning for meaning, identification of text types, etc.) in order to interpret main ideas.
  5. Writing
    1. With limited accuracy, students will be able to write short sentences and short paragraphs about basic and concrete topics they have studied, such as themselves, their families, their friends, their likes and dislikes, and their daily routines.
    2. Students will be able to send basic emails, text messages, postcards, and fill out some basic forms.
Method of presentation: 

Oral and written exercises, field-trips (Naschmarkt, Kaffeehaus, city walk, etc.)

Required work and form of assessment: 

Regular attendance and participation in class work, regular assignments, quizzes and tests; finals at the end of Intensive (oral and written).


  • oral performance (class work, participation, presentation of dialogues) - 40%
  • homework (written) - 10%
  • tests and quizzes - 25%
  • final (written) - 25%






Week 1 & 2

1. Functional:

  • Information about persons. Greetings and introduce yourself.
  • Useful phrases to start a conversation.


  • Interrogativs W-Fragen/ Ja-Nein Fragen)
  • Word order
  • Personal pronouns(nominativ)
  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • “Sie” or “du” when you speak with persons
  • Prepositions: aus, aus der, in,
  • substitute names; er, sie


  • Numbers
  • Alphabet,
  • Countries
  • Cities,
  • Languages
  • Address
  • Telephone number

4. Cultural: Learn about Austria and Europe(general information about German speaking countries)

Starting Chapter 2 Lehrbuch Optimal A 1

  • Interviewing class mates in order to get to know each other
  • Asking what languages you have learned
  • Writing dialogues introducing people
  • Worksheets on conjugation, Filling in missing verbs
  • Chapter 1 in textbook
  • Pronouncing names in German
  • Memorizing frequently used questions and answers (Woher kommst du? Wie ist die Adresse?...)

Test 1








Weeks 3 & 4

1.Functional: Continue Chapter2 Lehrbuch Optimal A1

  • Arrival: Asking and describing the way,
  • Ask for a city map and find a hotel, ask for a room and register (fill out a form), information about a city and about your home-town

2. Grammatical:

  • More Interrogatives,
  • Word order
  • Accusative
  • Articles
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Negation: nicht-kein
  • Modal verbs

3. Vocabulary:

  • Town, buildings (with articles)
  • institutions, streets, districts,
  • “shopping-eating-drinking”
  • Useful phrases when shopping or ordering food

4. Cultural: Vienna`s Coffeehouse tradition, shopping and tipping

5. In Chapter 3, Music in Vienna

  • Worksheets on Accusative, Telling the time, and Ordinal numbers
  • Dialogues about Vienna and home-town.
  • Pairwork on: At a hotel, How to get to different places, Describe your way from home to the Institute
  • Dialogues on: At the market, Writing a shopping-list (introduce kilo, deka, liter ), Vienna´s Coffeehouses, Ordering food and drinks, tipping
  • Excursion to the Vienna Naschmarkt
  • Visit to a Coffeehouse

Test 2

I.A, I.B, I.D, II.A, II.B, III.A, III.B,

IV.A, IV.B, V.A,

Weeks 5 & 6

1.Functional: Starting Chapter 4 Lehrbuch Optimal A1

  • Daily routine, time (Wie spät ist es?)


  • verbs with seperable prefixes (learning verbs by putting them in chronological order (aufstehen, anziehen...)
  • Question;”Wann”? (um) „Wie spät ist es? (Es ist……Uhr)
  • Wen? Was? Accusative

3. Vocabulary:

  • Learn words in phrases
  • (Zeitung lesen, in der Nacht schlafen..)

4. Cultural: time expressions in German, working and leisure time

  • Pairwork: Daily routine
  • Oral Tests: Dialogues on all topics we learned in the six weeks of German, Introduce a person, Finding the way, Coffeehouse or Restaurant, Market,
  • Hotel)


I.A, I.B, I.D, II.A, II.B, II.A, III.B,



Required readings: 
  • Course Reader: Deutsch für IES-Studenten (created by IES Abroad language teachers)
  • OPTIMAL A1 Lehrbuch Kapitel: 1,2 3,4.5; (outlines) (Müller, Rusch, Scherling, Wertenschlag, Lemcke, Schmidt und Schmitz)
  • Handouts (usually each lesson) made up by the teachers according to the needs of students