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Queen's University

GRMN 101 / 3.0

Beginner's German I

Fall Semester 2013


Marie-Thérèse Ferguson: (Section 003)
Dr. Rebecca Hügler: (Sections 004, 005)
Vasuki Shanmuganathan: (Sections 001, 002)

Books (required):
Please purchase the GRMN 101 Packageat the Campus Bookstore, which includes the Custom Textbook and on-line workbook (Connect German). Terrell, Tschirner, Nikolai: Kontakte. A Communicative Approach, 7th Edition. McGraw Hill, 2013 (ISBN 0073386340). Unfortunately, you cannot work with the 6th edition of Kontakteas we will be using the on-line workbook available for the 7th edition only.

Learning Technology (required):
You must purchase a clicker for this course. Please purchase the Turning Point Response Card (NOT the iClicker)clicker from the Campus Bookstore. Clickers will be used to keep track of attendance and for in-class student learning activities. Please be aware that the use of clickers falls under the Queen’s University Academic Integrity Policy (see below). If you purchase a used clicker, please make sure the previous owner unregisters the clicker from Moodle first.

IMPORTANT:In order to receive your participation marks in GRMN 101, you must register your Turning Point Response Card in Moodle. Log into Moodle and follow the instructions.

Study Guide:
Please go to Moodle and print the Study Guide. Please keep this with you at all times, as it contains information on class preparation and assignment due dates.

Course Objectives:
German 101 is intended for students with no or very limited knowledge of the language. While we emphasize oral communication, all four foreign language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) will be addressed. With your active participation, by the end of the course, you will

  • be able to hold a simple conversations in German. You will learn how to function in a German-speaking environment and to express yourself on a number of topics, such as leisure-time activities, interests, personal history, etc.
  • be able to understand speakers of German on the above topics, use reading strategies in German, understand and analyze different kinds of texts with limited dictionary use
  • be able to write short messages, postcards, letters, summaries, take notes, and compose paragraphs
  • have knowledge of basic grammatical and syntactic structures and patterns, which underlie all communication in the language
  • have knowledge of various aspects of the cultures of German-speaking countries.



Attendance and Participation

10 %

Homework: On-line Exercises completion throughout the semester
You must have a passing grade of 80% in this category in order to pass the course.


2 Schreibarbeiten (writing projects)


6 quizzes


Mid-term test


Oral Interview


Oral project



Final Exam





Attendance and Participation
Attendance is mandatory and of the utmost importance in making your language learning experience a successful one. Your attendance and participation grade will be lowered by 1% for each unexcused absence in excess of three classes (= 1 week!).

There are no make-up quizzes or tests. Exceptions are made only for documented illness. In case of illness, please inform your instructor in a timely manner.

Should you have to miss a class, it is your responsibility to catch up on homework and assignments. Please ask your fellow students first – your instructor will be happy to answer any remaining questions.

In Moodle, you will find a list of ‘Learned Knowledge: Wortschatz’ [vocabulary, literally: treasure of words] and grammar you have to study for each chapter. Please review and study this list after each class.

  • As further review after each class, fill out the corresponding on-line exercises. Do not wait until the day before the homework is due to begin the exercises. In a language class, regular work is essential to ensure maximum learning.
  • In order to prepare for the next class, read and complete the appropriate on-line grammar exercises as assigned in the study guide. Your instructor may choose to cover some of the material during class, so please complete these before class.

Work on the specific pages assigned in the Semesterplan (study guide) each day, even if your homework isn’t assigned on a daily basis. These detailed assignments serve as important complements to review, foster, and expand your daily learning experiences in the classroom. Exposing yourself to German in frequent and short study sessions is a very important and effective language learning strategy; due to the cumulative nature of the material, “cramming” won’t work as a long-term study habit. Homework is usually due when a chapter is finished – specific due dates for your homework are given in the Semesterplan. As we expect you to complete a part of your homework every day, late homework will not be accepted. For each chapter, the on-line exercises will be counted as satisfactory only if completed on time.
Remember that you must receive 80% in this category to pass the course!

Please make sure to double-space (minimum 12 pt font)  these writing assignments and to edit them with the help of our list of ‘Fehler verboten!’ (See course website). [Absatz-paragraph, Sätze-sentences]

There will be 6 short quizzes of approx. 5 minutes (only your top 5 quiz marks will count toward your final grade – the lowest quiz mark will be dropped). Each quiz will test vocabulary, ability to understand and communicate on the current level of the class, and recently learned grammar structures. The quizzes are meant to help you stay on top of the material in your “List of Learned Knowledge.”

The test in week 7 is 50 minutes long. It will entail a listening comprehension section, test communicative and writing skills, vocabulary and grammar structures.

Oral Interview
The oral interview will take place in week 9. It will be conducted in groups of 2 and is about 10 minutes in length. You will hold a conversation with your instructor at the level appropriate to the course. Some sample questions will be distributed to help you prepare for the interview.

Oral Project
You will be assigned a group to prepare an oral presentation or skit on a German cultural topic of your choice. It must be presented in German. You may not read directly from a written text. You may use bullet points on note cards if necessary. Use a powerpoint presentation or props to illustrate your topic.

The grade will be split between content, language/grammar and presentation skills. You can and should work on the project together and each student has to speak for equal time during the presentation. Your presentation should be 5 minutes in length.

Please discuss your topic with the instructor before your presentation! You must also submit your script (500-700 words) to your instructor to have grammatical errors corrected before your presentation.

Pick a topic that interests you. Your presentation must build on themes, vocabulary, grammatical structures and cultural information that the course provides. You may use a maximum of 5 new vocabulary words in the presentation.

Final Exam
The exam takes place during the exam period in December. It will be two hours in length and it will be scheduled by the Exams Office (your instructor has no influence on exam arrangements). No aids will be allowed.

Special Arrangements
Queen's University is committed to achieving full accessibility for persons with disabilities. Part of this commitment includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to participate in all of their academic activities. If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) and register as early as possible. Also speak to your instructor as soon as possible, so that you can be accommodated.

For more information, including important deadlines, please visit the DSO website at:

Add/Drop Dates for Half-Courses, Fall Term 2013
Add: 20 September, Drop without academic penalty: 1 November.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000