German Language in Context: Novice Abroad III

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Course Information
German Language
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Proficiency at a level equivalent to the outcomes mastered through IES Abroad’s GR101, as determined by placement test.


This course is designed for students with little prior knowledge of the language. Students appropriate for this level can already use a few basic words and phrases, and they can understand very simple requests and responses. Students entering this course are also able to read and interpret the basic meaning of simple sentences and phrases. Students who have studied the language in high school or in college but never continued to build their skills may find this level appropriate. Students who have studied multiple languages may also be capable of entering this level. The language assessment process will determine the appropriate level for each individual student.

By the end of the course, the successful student will have built a solid foundation in the five skills: intercultural communication, reading, writing, listening and speaking to accomplish a variety of everyday needs in the host culture as described in the learning outcomes below and should be capable of entering the Emerging Independent Abroad level.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction of pronunciation and basic grammatical structure of the German language
  • Articles
  • Noun gender
  • Cases (Nominative/Accusative)
  • Verbs (weak/strong/separable) present, perfect, modal verbs (present/past)
  • Question words (wer, wie, woher, wo, wohin)
  • Conjunctions (coordinating/subordinating)
  • Personal pronouns
  • Negation
  • Adjectives and adverbs (comparison)
  • Various exercises to develop the five skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and intercultural communication) and the students’ ability to communicate in German in everyday situations at a simple level.
Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to achieve 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 simple everyday needs using verbal and non-verbal communication, and they will be able to use compensatory strategies when they do not know the word or expression (paraphrasing, repetition, talking around the point, body language etc.).
    2. Students can recognize some appropriate and inappropriate expressions and behaviors in the host language.
    3. Students will be able to distinguish between simple representations of formality and informality in the language.
    4. Students will identify some differences between cultural stereotypes and generalizations between the home culture and the host culture.
    5. Students will make some informed comparisons between their host culture and the home culture.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand simple statements, requests, descriptions, and questions in specific cultural context relevant to them (hosts' interactions, exchanges in class, Center interactions, studying, shopping, transportation, meals).
    2. Students will be able to use context to understand the gist of some spoken language they overhear, including the media, conversations between others, and announcements.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to use simple phrases appropriately in everyday situations with increasing accuracy (home, the IES Abroad Center, and the community).
    2. Students will be able to express simple needs by asking questions, and get what they need in uncomplicated, everyday situations.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to identify and understand simple sentences and deduce meaning from context if it is relevant to their studies.
    2. Students will be able to interpret main ideas in passages, short texts, and news headlines if they are relevant to them.
    3. Students will be able to use simple reading strategies (cognate recognition, skimming and scanning, identification of text types, etc.) in order to interpret main ideas.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to write short texts about concrete topics, such as themselves, their families, their friends, their likes, dislikes, plans, experiences and their daily routines.
    2. Students will be able to send email and text messages, and they can complete short essays on familiar subjects.
    3. Students will be able to write with increased accuracy, although using some native language structures.
Method of presentation: 

Six weeks in summer Monday-Thursday 90 minutes per day, 8 hours per week, 48 hours in total. Oral and written exercises, field trips (Kaffeehaus, Naschmarkt, city walk explaining directions and pointing out places of historical interest. Language instructors use the classroom to practice German through dialogues, work in groups, role plays, reading, listening comprehensions and written practice. We also do researches in the Internet.

Required work and form of assessment: 

Regular attendance and participation in class work, regular assignments, quizzes, oral presentations, classroom discussions and final exam (oral and written).


  • Oral performance (class work, attendance, presentations) - 40%
  • Homework - 10%
  • Quizzes - 25%
  • Final exam (written) - 25%





Weeks 1 & 2


  • Talking about personal identity and origin.
  • Useful class language and phrases
  • Talking about languages and the importance of learning a second language.
  • Describing the way. (Part 1)


  • Interrogatives (W-Fragen/Ja-nein Fragen)
  • Word order
  • Definite/indefinite articles
  • Perfekt mit sein und haben
  • Conjugation oft the verb
  • Trennbare Verben (separables)
  • Conjunctions (coordinating)
  • Pronoun "man"


  • Town: buildings, institutions, shops, rivers, streets,

4. Culture:

  • Learning about European figures from fairytales, legends and classic literature
  • Interviewing classmates to get to know each other
  • Writing about home town
  • Impulse questions: Hast du schon einmal...?
  • Finding perfect forms in letter grids
  • Talking about past experiences
  • Worksheets on perfect/separable/conjunctions


I.A, I.C, I.D, II.A, III.A, III.B, IV.A, IV.B, V.A, V.B

Weeks 3 & 4


  • Talking about dreams and anticipation
  • Talking about a person’s life
  • Filling in a form
  • Describing the way (Part 2)
  • Ordering in a café


  • Subordinating conjunctions
  • Accusative
  • The verb „werden“
  • Prepositions of place and


  • “war”, “hatte”, “es gab”
  • Modals (present) and „Verbklammer“ (Word order)


  • Time information/time expressions
  • Dreams and reality (a person’s life)
  • Kaffee and Kaffeehaus


  • The café in Vienna (various names for coffee, typical Austrian/Viennese pastries)
  • History of and a song about coffee
  • A visit to the Palmenhauscafé
  • Worksheets on accusative
  • Telling the time
  • Everyday life
  • Conjunctions
  • Dialogues in the café
  • Pair work (who orders what, where and how much is it) giving information
  • Reading dialogues
  • Interviewing about what makes the partner happy
  • Talking about dreams and wishes – and the reality
  • Telling the time in class
  • Quiz in the coffee house

I.A, I.B., I.C.,I.D.;

II.A., II.B.;



IV.A., IV.B., IV.C.;

V.A., V.B.;

Week 5


Week 6


  • Listening to dialogues at the station
  • Understanding loudspeaker announcements
  • Saying good bye
  • Means of transport
  • Expressing one’s opinion about the preferences concerning means of transport (giving reasons)
  • Learning about Austria and Vienna(a little geography and history)
  • Useful phrases when shopping at the Naschmarkt


  • Predicative comparatives
  • Revision of the plural
  • Modals (past)
  • Revision of grammar so far


  • Train station (the various functions of the station hall)
  • Means of transport
  • Travel
  • Activities while travelling
  • Austria and Vienna (size, population, geographical facts)
  • Naschmarkt (fruit, vegetable, spices)


  • European train stations and their usage apart from arrival/departure (concerts, sports events...)
  • Tourism
  • Open markets in Vienna (streetlife)
  • Austria and some of her features (Vienna Boys’ Choir...)


  • Matching sentences
  • Gap texts (vocabulary and grammar)
  • Answering questions
  • A song on opposites (filling in the missing words)


Oral Tests (dialogues) on

  • Coffeehouse
  • Naschmarkt
  • Travelling
  • Flohmarkt

I.A, I.B, I.D, II.A, II.B, III.A, III.B, IV.A, IV.B, IV.C, V.B.


Required readings: 

Handouts created by the instructor