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Queen's University

GRMN 102/3.0

Beginner's German II

Winter Semester 2014


Section 001: Dienstag 9.30, Donnerstag 8.30, Freitag 10.30. KIN 104.
Section 003: Montag 8.30, Dienstag 10.30, Donnerstag 9.30. KIN 104.
Instructor: Dr. Monika Holzschuh Sator,, KIN 411.
Sprechzeiten (Office hours): Dienstag 12-1, Donnerstag 11-12 und nach Vereinbarung (by appointment).

Section 002: Montag 1.30, Mittwoch 12.30, Freitag 11.30. KIN 308
Instructor: Vasuki Shanmughanathan,, KINGST 406

Section 004:Montag 9.30, Mittwoch 8.30, Donnerstag 10.30. KIN 104
Instructor: Marie-Therese Ferguson, Office Hours: Tuesday 3.30-4.30, KIN 407.  

Books (required):
Please purchase the GRMN 102* Package at 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).

Instructions on how to register for Connect Germanwill be posted on our course Moodle page.

Other Material:
Our textbook Kontakte has an Online Learning Center: Click on ‘Student edition’ (on the left side). If you have some spare time AFTER studying your List and doing the assigned exercises, you can find quizzes on vocab and grammar, cultural information and the ‘Blickkontakte’ videos.Select the chapter you want to work on in the menu on the left side and then choose from a variety of exercises.

Course Objectives:
GRMN 102* is intended for students who have taken GRMN 101* or its equivalent or have a basic knowledge of German. While we emphasize oral communication, all four foreign language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) will be addressed.

With your active participation, this course will

  • help you to have everyday conversations in German. You will learn how to function in a German-speaking environment and continue to expand your ability to express yourself and to understand speakers of German on topics such as leisure-time activities, interests, personal history, places of work and living, geography, shopping and eating etc.
  • help you acquire reading strategies in German, enabling you to understand and analyze different kinds of texts with limited dictionary use
  • enable you to write short messages, postcards, letters and to compose short texts
  • expand your knowledge of basic grammatical and syntactic structures and patterns, which underlie all communication in the language
  • expand your knowledge of various aspects of the culture in German-speaking countries.

Grading and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see These values are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic Regulation 1, on the Arts and Science website (see, and from the instructor of this course. Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning, or the loss of grades on an assignment, to the failure of a course, to a requirement to withdraw from the university.

Copyright of Course Materials
Materials generated by instructors of this course may not be posted to commercial course material sites without permission. However, they may be used and adapted, with attribution, for noncommercial purposes.

Your final grade will consist of the following components:

Attendance and participation (5+5=)        10%

Connect German homework                         10%    

Please note: You must receive 60% in the homework category in order to pass this course.

2 Schreibarbeiten(writing projects)        8 %  

9 quizzes (best 8 are counted)                  12 %   

1 mid-term test                                           15 %   

Oral Interview (Week 8)                             10 %   

Oral Project (Week 12)                              10%

Final exam                                                     25%    

In this course, some components will be graded using numerical percentage marks. Other components will receive letter grades, which for purposes of calculating your course average will be translated into numerical equivalents using the Faculty of Arts and Science approved scale. Your course average will then be converted to a final letter grade according to Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale.

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

If you never voluntarily participate in class, your participation mark will be 0%.


Remember that you must receive 60% in this category to pass the course.

For each chapter of Kontakte, you have to complete the assigned exercises from the textbook (grammar exercises to prepare for class), and the workbook (communicative exercises and vocabulary to review the work in class) on Connect German.  For each class, you will find clearly set-out guidelines in the Study Guide (below).  As regular work is imperative for maximum learning in a language class, the assigned exercises are due at class time and only available until then

You will be given a list of ‘Learned Knowledge: Wortschatz [vocabulary, literally: treasure of words] and grammar for each chapter to facilitate your studying. Work with this list after each class, as you begin your homework!>

As review after each class, fill out the corresponding on-line exercises. First, write your answers as best you can. Then, before submitting, consult the Answer Key and correct your mistakes. Most exercises are auto-graded and you can resubmit your answers for a better mark. For the more complex questions, however, where answers vary, you can only submit the answers once (these questions are clearly marked in the Answer Key). You must work with the answer key before submitting, otherwise you will receive 0 points for that exercise.

In order to prepare for the next class, read and complete the appropriate exercises in Connect Germanlisted in the study guide from the (light blue) grammar sections in the textbook. These exercises prepare you for the work in class, so please complete them before class.

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.

There will be two in-class writing assignments of 30 minutes. The topic will not be announced; it will be based on current themes (grammar and vocabulary).

You can bring your book and the current List ‘Fehler verboten’.

There will be 9 short quizzes of approx. 5-10 minutes each. The quizzes are based on class work and the homework assignments and are meant to help you stay on top of the current material. There is usually no makeup for missed quizzes. Talk to your instructor if you had a valid reason to miss class. Your quiz mark will be based on the best 8 of 9 quizzes.

The longer test 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 is about 10 minutes in length and based on the ‘Interview’ questions from the Lists of Learned Knowledge, as well as those frequently discussed in class. You will be asked to sign up for a time during the eighth week of the semester. You will meet with one of the instructors of GRMN 102 and have a conversation on the level appropriate to the course.  The grade is assigned by the instructor with whom you meet.

Oral Project
You will be assigned to a group of 3 or 4 students to prepare an oral presentation or skit on a German cultural topic of your choice, to be performed in week 12 (book an appointment outside of class). Your script should be about 600-700 words in length. Your presentation must build on themes, vocabulary, grammatical structures and cultural information that the course provides. You may use a maximum of 6 new vocabulary words in your group presentation, usually one or two per group member. Use a PowerPoint presentation or props to illustrate your topic.

The grade will be split between content, language and presentation skills: Wortschatz /10, Inhalt (content) /20, Originalität/Kreativität /15, Grammatik (Skript) / 20, Grammatik (Präsentation) /10, Präsentation / 25.

You should work on the project together and each student has to talk during the actual presentation for an equal time.  Please sign up to meet with your instructor to correct your script; as many members of your group as possible should attend. Please be punctual. Everyone needs their own script; bring an extra for your instructor. Reading from your electronic device is not permitted as corrections take too long.

During the presentation, you may not read directly from a written text. You may use bullet points on note cards if necessary, but are strongly encouraged to learn your text by heart.

Final Exam
The exam takes place during the exam period in April. 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
f you need special arrangements for the final exam in April or other assignments, please seek advice at Health, Counseling and Disability Services. Also speak to your instructor as soon as possible so you can be accommodated. Your instructors welcome feedback on accessibility issues.

  Add/Drop Dates for 3.0 Courses, Winter Term 2014.

Add: 17 January, Drop without academic penalty: 28 February.

Additional Tips
The activities in the classroom are mainly concerned with the acquisition of active communicative skills. You should review the material carefully after each class in order to be able to participate freely in activities. Conscientious learning of grammatical concepts and vocabulary are important as a basis for meaningful practice in real communicative situations.
Your instructor will speak German in class. You will not understand every word, but do not worry about this; simply keep listening for words that you do know. Most of the time the expressions you already know, together with visual cues (including gesture and facial expression, but also posture, pointing, illustrations, sound effects etc.) and other contextual information will enable you to understand what is going on, and even to infer the meaning of new expressions. Gradually you will understand more and more if you make the effort to listen carefully every day. A good language learner is a willing guesser who accepts the uncertainty of not understanding every word. But please: never hesitate to ask for clarification of an important concept or if you don't know what to do in an activity.
Please make use of our office hours! This time is set aside to help you with any problems or concerns, for example to go over a concept that you found difficult, for help with pronunciation etc.


How you can keep learning German

over the summer holidays or after you graduate... Here are some great resources on the internet!

  • Check out the BBC's German Steps:
  • Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster,has a great website with lots of activities to learn German: There are many interesting features, f.ex. ‘Deutsch Interaktiv' - German in 30 Lessons, with over 1000 exercises, videos, audio material and slideshows. A lot of it can be downloaded to your iPod.
  • Also highly recommended: the home page of theGoethe-Institut, another organization promoting German language and culture: (including chat rooms, e-mail contacts etc.)

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