Professors Sunka Simon and Matthew Miller teach Intermediate German as an intensive language class that meets four days a week on campus at Swarthmore College and Colgate University respectively. The curriculum is built to enhance the four language skills (oral, aural, reading and writing composition) through a combination of up-to-date, authentic print and audio-visual geo-political and cultural material to move students from A2 to B1 level proficiency within the span of one semester. Both classes work from a textbook (e.g. Stationen) that integrates Landeskunde (learning about the specificities of German-speaking regions and cities) with B1-level grammar and vocabulary lessons.
We carved out the potential of holding a synchronous class together once a week as a joint web conference. Asynchronously, cross-college teams of students will prepare didacticized assignments consisting of blog-posts, a discussion forum and Zoom video-conferencing tools utilizing newly acquired linguistic concepts to react to consecutive weekly episodes of German-language original dramas such as Dark, Skylines, Dogs of Berlin or Berlin Babylon. To further link the students in their studies, we will bring everyone together for a face-to-face event at Swarthmore in mid-October. The semester will culminate with a virtual symposium and/or video-essay student presentations.
On the benefits of linking courses across two campuses, Professor Simon notes:
Our linked class creates a broader cohort of language learners. We are “in it together.”