1134 Elementary German

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2013
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 12-12:50 PM

Dr. Yvonne Franke (view Profile)


Deutsch: Na Klar! 6th edition
Deutsch: Na Klar! 6th edition

Course Objectives


We will cover the first five chapters of the textbook and begin the 6th one. This is a four-skills language course, in which you will develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in German. By the completion of this course, students who have attended classes regularly and successfully completed all listening, written, lab, and computer assignments, as well as ALL exams (with a minimum grade of B-) should be able to:

(a)       Provide basic information about themselves, their families, interests, likes and dislikes, as well as daily activities in German;

(b)       Understand and participate in a simple conversation on a variety of everyday topics (e.g. weather, meeting new people, shopping etc.)

(c)       Read edited texts on familiar topics, understand the main ideas, and pick out important information from a variety of  “authentic” texts (e.g. menus, signs, train schedules, etc.);

(d)       Fill in forms requesting general information, as well as write letters, notes, postcards, or messages providing simple information;

(e)       Provide general information about German-speaking countries (e.g. geography, size, weather, du/Sie distinctions, customs);

(f)        Use and understand a range of essential vocabulary words related to everyday life;

(g)       Pronounce German well enough to be comprehensible to a German speaker accustomed to speaking to foreigners.

Course Expectations

1. Class Participation and Attendance

            A Student receiving the grade


A          for this portion of the course grade shows high level of preparation, willingly participates in class activities, uses German almost exclusively, asks questions, in     addition to volunteering relevant information.


B          for this portion of the course grade is regularly prepared, answers when asked,

            willingly participates and makes a conscious effort to use German.


C          for this portion of the course grade is usually prepared, but inconsistent, answers

            when called upon, uses German when required but lapses into English when not

            reminded, volunteers inconsistently.


D          for this portion of the course grade is rarely prepared for class, is often unable to

            answer and rarely volunteers, hardly answers in German.


F          for this portion of the course grade is not prepared for class, does not answer when

            called upon, and refuses to speak German.


NOTE: Missing more than 3 days of instruction will lower the grade for class participation one full letter grade (i.e. B to C).


Students will be expected to come to class prepared to participate actively in all discussions and activities. Participation grades will be given daily on a 0-10 scale based on both QUALITY and QUANTITY of your contributions, according to the following criteria:


            0 =      absent

            7 =      absolute minimal (present, but doesn’t contribute)

            8 =      average participation (contributed only once)

            9 =      above average participation (contributed twice)

         10 =       exceptional participation (contributed three times or more)


2. Daily Homework

No LATE HOMEWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. Unlike your essays, you will not receive a letter grade, but are rather graded based on a + / √  / - / 0-scale. (+/plus = good; √  / check = satisfactory;  -/ minus = marginal; 0 / zero = not handed in).

NOTE: This is a four-credit course. If you want to pass it successfully, be prepared to do a MINIMUM of four hours of homework a week.


Any assignment for which an answer key is provided will only be noted as submitted, but not graded. Only those assignments for which students CREATE answers will be assigned grades.


3. Compositions

You will write six compositions/essays during the course of the semester. Students are expected to write a coherent text (of about 60-80 words) on the assigned topic. The purpose of this activity is to strengthen your ability to use German to communicate on a range of everyday topics. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how well they can use the language that they are learning.

Therefore, there is no need for extensive use of dictionaries to find new vocabulary words.

Compositions will be graded on 

            - comprehensibility/communication

            - quality of the content/information provided

            - appropriate use of familiar vocabulary

            - grammatical accuracy


BE PREPARED TO RE-WRITE YOUR COMPOSITIONS. Writing and re-writing short essays provides excellent language practice and gives you the opportunity to use the language you are learning to convey your own thoughts and ideas. Take these composition assignments seriously, and don’t wait until the last minute to write them. Allow yourself enough time to write a couple of drafts before turning the paper in to your instructor.


NOTE THAT EACH COMPOSITION MUST BE WRITTEN TWICE. The first time, students will receive comments about the content and indication of errors. The second time, students should have incorporated the suggestions and have made the appropriate corrections. Students will only receive a grade AFTER they have handed in their second, corrected version of a given essay. NO partial credit will be given if a student writes a rough draft but does not turn in a corrected final version of the assignment. (Exception: students write one version of the final essay.)


4. Quizzes

There will be 8 announced quizzes that will show you how you have mastered the material of the previous week. Quizzes may NOT be made up unless students can provide appropriate documentation for their absences. At the end of the term, the lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Quizzes in the different sections may vary.


5. Chapter Tests

There will be five chapter tests that will be administered on the dates announced and are departmentally prepared. They will cover the material in individual chapters and will review previously covered material. All students from the various sections are tested and graded uniformly.


NOTE: No chapter tests will be made up without a valid medical excuse. You must call your instructor or write an e-mail to her BEFORE the exam is administered. If you miss a quiz or test, and are not properly excused, your grade is calculated as 0.

ALSO NOTE: Tests may be corrected within one week for a final 5% improvement in the grade. This can only be achieved if ALL errors have been corrected. The corrections have to be written on a separate sheet of paper, and each error needs to be corrected, using a different color, within a complete sentence.


Any student attaining a grade of B- or less on a quiz, test, or essay MUST see the me within one week to go over the errors.


6. Two Oral Exams

Brief 5-7 minute long German interviews will evaluate your oral progress during the term. One of them will be a telephone conversation.


7. The Final Written Exam

Any student with a D grade prior to the final exam must receive at least a D on the written final to pass the course. The final exam covers the material of the whole semester.

Grading Standards

Your course grade is based upon the following:



Class work (attendance, participation)                       15%

Daily Homework                                                          5%              

Compositions                                                              15%

Quizzes                                                                       10%

Chapter Tests                                                              20%

Oral Midterm and Final Exams                                   10%

Written Comprehensive Final Exam                           25%


93-100% =A

90-92% =A-

88-89% =B+

83-88% =B

80-82% =B-

78-79% =C+

73-78% =C

70-72% =C-

68-69% =D+

63-67% =D

60-62% =D-

0-59% =F



Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

REGULAR ATTENDANCE AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in class, written, lab, and computer assignments, short quizzes, chapter tests, compositions, oral midterm and oral final, and a comprehensive written two-hour final exam.


Other Policies


I will speak German from the first day of class. I do not expect you to understand every word, and certainly not at the beginning. But you will only learn German by hearing and speaking it.



ATTEND CLASS DAILY AND BE “PÜNKTLICH” (ON TIME). German 1134 moves very quickly and you cannot really afford to miss class. If you are absent or come late, you will find yourself getting behind and being unable to follow and participate in class activities. You might miss important information, e.g. a quiz or explanation of a homework assignment.


UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR INSTRUCTOR IS YOUR MAIN LANGUAGE RESOURCE (which is also why I speak German in class). If I don’t expose you to the language “in action,” where else are you going to hear it? Let me know if you need help by using the following German phrases:


            Wie bitte?                                                        I beg your pardon?

            Wiederholen Sie das, bitte.                             Repeat that please.

            Ich verstehe das nicht.                                     I don’t understand that.

            Wie heißt ... auf Deutsch?                               How do you say ... in German?

            Was bedeutet das?                                          What does that mean?

            Können Sie das noch einmal erklären?           Could you explain that again?

            Entschuldigung. Ich habe mich verspätet.        I’m sorry I’m late.

            Kann ich mit Ihnen sprechen?                          Can I speak with you?



DO YOUR HOMEWORK DAILY. This means completing all assigned homework BEFORE you come to class. This pre-class preparation, which may take up to one and a half hours per class session, is essential as a basis for understanding what your instructor will do IN CLASS. If you absolutely have to miss class, make sure you find out from your instructor or a classmate what the assignments were.


REGULARLY LISTEN TO THE AUDIO PROGAM THAT ACCOMPANIES THE TEXTBOOK. Developing the ability to understand spoken German will require you to “train your ears.” Listen to the website while you drive or walk to class.


USE MY OFFICE HOURS (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11 AM, 1:30-2:30 PM & by appointment). While you should definitely see me if you have a problem, I suggest that you also visit me if you don’t. Get to know your instructor; tell me how things are going and why. Talk to me about the class. If you are not free during my office hours, I will be able to schedule an appointment with you. 


PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN ALL CLASS ACTIVITIES. You must now learn basic German vocabulary and expressions and also try to express your complex, adult thoughts in simplistic language. In order to simplify the language acquisition process, I employ lots of pictures, real objects, simple games, small group and other activities that are fun and will make you relax. Such activities will make it easier for you to learn and remember new vocabulary and grammatical structures. So stay on task and do not switch to English during these activities. They provide you with opportunities to speak German and use the language in realistic situations.


In addition, watch out for the CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES in the Foreign Languages Department and organizations like Arts & Literatures offer (such as film screenings, field trips, and fairs). How about taking initiative and founding a German Club that organizes a weekly “Stammtisch” where you can meet other learners and native German speakers, actively engaging in German conversation. I will be happy to assist you with that!


RESEARCH AND CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES AT MSU. Enhancing Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (EURECA) is a program that provides opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in high-quality research and creative activities with faculty. EURECA provides incentives and funding through a system that supports faculty and students in a cooperative research process. For more information contact the Office of Undergraduate Research, (940) 397-6275 or Information and resources are available at



Contact me about questions you might have at or stop by in Bea Wood 102 for a Pläuschchen (little chat).

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at