First-Year Gerlang

Class Format:
Class meets 5 times a week for 50 minutes.  Each day during class you will listen to spoken German (from your professor as well as in video/audio clips) for approx. 10-15 minutes.  You will also be expected to speak in partner, group and class activities. 

Each day new material will be worked with through visual and audio contexts and you will work with new vocabulary and expressions in developing proficiency.  Most days will closely follow the textbook and course calendar, however there may be some deviations in working towards the course’s objectives.


  1. Di Donato et al. Deutsch – Na Klar! An Introductory German Course.  New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc. [GERLANG 1-2-3, 6th edition required]
  2. Briggs, Jeanine.  Deutsch – Na Klar! Workbook. [GERLANG 1-2-3, 6th edition required]
  3. Daves-Schneider et al.  Deutsch – Na Klar! Laboratory Manual to Accompany. [GERLANG 1-2-3, recommended]
  4. Fulbrook, Mary.  A Concise History of Germany.  Cambridge, 1991.
    [GERLANG 1, required]
  5. Böll, Heinrich. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum. Penguin Classics, 1994. [GERLANG 2, required]
  6. Reference book: Zorach, Cecile and Charlotte Melin.  English Grammar for Students of German: The Study Guide for Those Learning German, 4th Edition.  Olivian and Hill, 2001. (recommended, ALL SECTIONS)
  7. 501 German Verbs, by Henry Strutz.  Barrons Educational Series, Inc.  1990 (there are numerous editions, recommended, ALL SECTIONS)

 (All books are available for purchase at the Stanford Bookstore.)           

You can also search Rent-a-Book, or used versions at amazon, ecampus, and other internet sites.

Requirements and Expectations:

a. Review and Preview 
Daily review of the vocabulary discussed in class is absolutely mandatory.  This is necessary to increase your word power and working vocabulary.  Revision with the help of flash cards is strongly recommended.  Further engagement with vocabulary in authentic textual presentations online is recommended.  Read the explanations for relevant grammar topics from the textbook before they are presented in class.

b. Class participation
Class participation is an essential part of learning and should be taken as a priority. You will be expected to actively participate in partner, group and full-class activities: this means both asking and answering questions, creating dialogues and scenes and in general being able to contribute to the activities in the classroom.  Preparation outside of class will increase your ability to participate during class. You will not be evaluated so much on correct answers, as simply participating.  This active use of the language in a learning environment is vital in your language proficiency development.

c. Workbook
Corresponding thematic and grammar exercises for each chapter (Einführung through Kapitel 14) accompany our in-class activities. These exercises should be done before and during our discussion and use in class (NOT AFTER). You should correct the exercises in the Workbook (Arbeitsbuch) prior to submitting it with a red pen. Long-answers should be written on the page, if room permits, or typed and submitted in Dropbox in your section’s coursework site.  All completed Chapter exercises (in WB) should be turned in on the assigned due date, or earlier (i.e. before the quiz). No late homework will be accepted.

d. Portfolios

In the first few weeks you will be asked to find a number of readings online in German to evaluate. Hereafter you will search for and listen to/watch a number of online audio/video clips in German. A video project constitutes the 3rd portfolio (see below). In Gerlang 2 and 3 you will meet and converse with a native speaker of German. At the end of the quarter you will reflect on your German learning experience. Details for these assignments will be provided in your section's coursework site.

d.Other assignments
Further short writing, presentational or online/Internet activities (e.g. shopping, planning a trip, exploring the media) will be periodically assigned, according to class and instructor.  These should be done on time. No late work will be accepted.

e. Supplementary readings
In gaining a greater cultural awareness of historical German-speaking world, you will have supplementary readings.  Weekly comments to the assigned readings (chapters in Fulbrook for Gerlang 1, H. Böll for Gerlang 2, or a collection of Lektüre in Gerlang 3) should be timely uploaded to the appropriate discussion site in your section’s coursework site.

f. Video project (portfolio 3)
As part of presentational language, you will work with 1-3 other students in weeks 5-7 on a video project. Depending on instructor and section, your group will either (a) put together a short video clip in German (i.e. create own scene or show), (b) present a clip already online - with introduction and activity or (c) present a German song (with background information and class activity).

g. Composition(s)/schriftliche Arbeit
In each course you will write, and edit, short compositions (typed, 12 pt. font, double-spaced, regular margins, 1-2 pages, etc.) appropriate to the themes and grammar being learned (e.g. Gerlang 1 – biographical essay, Gerlang 2 – hobbys/interests, then narrating an experience, Gerlang 3 – professional letter, then essay on media &/or local/global problems).

h. Presentation
You will give a shorter (mid-quarter) and a longer (end of quarter) oral presentation in German.  Presentational language, guidelines and strategies for your presentation will be discussed in each individual section of German. It is important to start early, investigating and developing a certain level of competence and linguistic comfort with the theme before you present.  Powerpoint, Prezi or other presentational media are encouraged; you should not read the whole time, but will be allowed to use some notes.  Please prepare yourself as well for a short question & answer session after presenting. Also, class members will be expected to upload further questions/comments to an online page in your coursework section, according to instructor's guidelines..

i. Quizzes.  Quizzes will include both language and cultural information covered in the course.  The quizzes are composed of authentic materials (written, visual, audio) and situations that will evaluate your Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading and Writing skills/proficiency.
Note: You will be completing assignments and taking quizzes and tests through
CourseWork (unless otherwise noted in your course schedule). (To self-register for CourseWork, go to  If you already have a CourseWork account, please Login. If you have a SUNet ID but have not yet registered for a CourseWork account, please Register.  After logging in, click on the Add-Course link, find your German language course, click on the link, and follow the instructions for “Adding.”). The Quiz/Test will be available to take on coursework for a period of time specified by your instructor. 
Language Lab is located on the second floor of Meyer Library and is a part of the Meyer Media Center.

h. Progress Card & SOPI/Interview – in the course of the quarter, you will periodically reference a German Language “Progress Card” – found on coursework – and evaluate areas where you feel confident and others where you don’t and work on these.  Then, in weeks 9 & 10 you will sign up to meet your instructor in his/her office for a 15-20-minute conversation/interview, which will be conducted entirely in German. This is a critical part of monitoring development of and evaluating your language proficiency.  
Spring quarter Gerlang 3 students will perform an automated Interview online (SOPI) instead of an in-person with their instructor.