Processing and Acquisitional Foci for Level V

Processing and acquisitional foci at Level V

At this level the curriculum, which is intended to lead students toward multiple literacies within a content-oriented and task-based curriculum, challenges students to continue to develop and connect three areas: elaborated content-knowledge about the German-speaking cultural area, a high level of sensitivity and nuanced perspectivalism toward other and self in a cultural context, and the ability to function in the German language with academic level proficiency in terms of accuracy, fluency, and complexity. As aware learners students continue to reflect on the consequences of the choices they make in “languaging”, so that they may develop their own voice in the German language within the preferred forms of discourse which the culture continues to shape in various intellectual and professional contexts.

I. General observations
  • Emphasis at this level is even more explicitly on content learning through textual language as manifested in diverse genres; creation of sophisticated metalinguistic awareness of the special characteristics of diverse forms of academic discourse, spoken and written, in their generic manifestations and of diverse literary and public/institutional genres
  • Production of academic level work, oral and written, (e.g., Referat, summary, interpretive essay, literature review on a certain topic) needs to be extensively modeled, analyzed and practiced.
  • Extended academic argumentation with the help of (presentational) scaffolds (e.g., outlining, overheads, summaries, precis)
  • The conventions of information use in various genre environments, but particularly the academic paper need to be established. What counts as evidence for an argument (e.g., direct quote, exact copy, near copy, paraphrase, summary, original explanation, scaled according to degree of integration into learners’ thinking) needs to be practiced in a process writing approach with extensive feedback, particularly on the content and organizational side.
II. On the language side, refinement of vocabulary according to content areas, supported by selected emphasis on accuracy and complexity of language use as appropriate for diverse genres
III. Original interpretive work that is sensitive to language-culture connections should be encouraged to the greatest extent possible (e.g., the relationship of content terms — language terms — language masking content, metaphorical language use, irony/sarcasm, intertextual reference, cultural allusion).
  • Content terms: content vocabulary of a discipline, theme, topic (the “discourse” of a community, its common knowledge, its presuppositions, its ideologies, its historical contingency)
  • Language terms: metaphors, colloquial usages, class-based constructions, cultural idioms
  • Language masking content: variant meanings in different contexts.