The curriculum is divided into five levels:
- Levels I – III, the so-called sequenced courses, must be taken consecutively.
- Levels IV – V are non-sequenced courses, except that Text in Context, a level IV course, is strongly recommended before students enroll in other non-sequenced courses at Level IV and, ultimately, in Level V courses.
The sequenced courses (Levels I – III) are taught on two tracks: a non-intensive track with two 3-credit courses per level; and an intensive track, with one 6-credit course per level. A two-track approach was chosen to give students maximum flexibility and the possibility to shift as necessary so as to accommodate their various programs of study. This structure is also maximally inclusive of all types of students and encourages students to study German at a later point of their undergraduate career or to re-enter after some interruption and still attain a usable level of proficiency.
For levels II and III and Text in Context, teams of faculty and graduate students have chosen and didacticized all content- and theme-oriented materials. Only Level I uses a commercial textbook. However, here too a variety of additional authentic materials and pedagogical and authentic tasks support the primacy which the curriculum gives to content and meaning-full communication and its emphasis on the development of literacy abilities right from the beginning. The themes, topics, and a wide variety of texts and tasks have been carefully chosen for maximum fit between meaning and language form and increasing appreciation of the intricate relationships between form and function in different communicative contexts of use.
Members of the ordinary faculty teach at all five instructional levels. Graduate students primarily teach in levels I-III. However, with appropriate preparation in the Department’s mentored TA development sequence, they also regularly teach Level IV courses. In addition, graduate students may be invited to teach newly developed upper-level courses after having submitted a proposal for approval by the Department.
The undergraduate curricular initiative is supported by a mentored TA development program that expands over several semesters (see the document TA Development, Supervision, and Curriculum Maintenance). The supervisor and the level coordinators work closely with all faculty who themselves are engaged in a number of critical activities in support of TA development, among them regular class visits, participation in level-specific meetings and, where possible, mentored teaching for an entire semester.
With the completion of the three-year implementational phase of the curriculum Developing Multiple Literacies, at the end of the spring semester of 2000, departmental faculty will adhere to a system of curriculum maintenance that involves regularly ascertaining the fit between curricular goals and objectives and learning outcomes; determining appropriate adjustments in terms of curricular goals, materials, pedagogies, and modes of assessment; and making available targeted faculty development opportunities (see the document TA Development, Supervision, and Curriculum Maintenance).
Posted September 1, 2000; revised July 2011