Beginning College German
“You judge the success of your textbooks not by student exam scores, but by their connection with the language and culture studied in five years’ time.”
Professor Lee Forester
Founder & coauthor | Evia Learning
A different approach
Auf geht’s! is a completely different take beginning college German textbook options: A program that emphasizes language use and cultural content rather than traditional linguistic knowledge. It is crucial to focus first on actual speaking proficiency and training students to communicate across cultures. This gives students useful learning experiences now that motivate them to continue their German studies and connect with German speakers, especially through study abroad. This refreshing approach will help make German study more attractive and relevant to your students.
From speaking to listening
Auf geht’s! provides a wealth of texts, audio, and videos that promote language acquisition via comprehensible (and interesting!) input and serve as the basis for student work and classroom activities. Speaking activities throughout the program provide give your learners many opportunities to communicate in German about what they are learning and how their viewpoints are changing.
Five driving forces behind Auf geht’s!
Five driving forces
behind Auf geht’s!
1. Culture as context
Auf geht’s! is designed around cultural content that builds context. This means addressing topics that create interest in and curiosity about German-speaking countries. Students gain skills and cultural information they can use to begin conversations with German speakers, even at the novice and intermediate-low level. This cultural content also promotes study abroad and motivates students to continue beyond the first-year courses.
2. Transformative learning
It is less important how much language or content students cover in a course than who they become as a result. Auf geht’s! is designed to make your beginning German course a life-changing experience for your students. Aim high!
3. Meaningful interactive component
The majority of content with Auf geht’s! is in the online interactive component. Students have access to hundreds of interviews, cultural texts and vocabulary activities. This makes Auf geht’s! an excellent choice for online and blended instruction, as students have plenty to do and learn from outside the classroom. Students repeatedly mention the online component as key to their German learning and motivation.
4. Quality input
Learning German takes lots of listening and reading. Auf geht’s!provides an abundance of comprehensible input from native speakers and residents in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Scaffolding activities and preparation enable students to successfully engage with these texts. Emphasizing native-level listening prepares students to communicate with native speakers outside of the classroom since they will already be accustomed to the patterns and rhythm of natural speech.
5. Classroom community
Learner activities and tasks build relationships and connections both among students in your classes as well as out to German speakers. Speaking tasks are not rote drills to practice language but genuine opportunities for authentic communication. Better relationships mean better learning and also greatly increases the chances that your students will continue studying German as a group of friends and want to study abroad as well!
Two essential components
Auf geht’s! features a robust textbook/workbook hybrid, or Lernbuch, as well as an equally important interactive online platform for work that happens best outside of class. Each of these supports the other and is vitally important to a complete course.
Online Interactive Program
The Auf geht’s! online interactive program features hundreds of audio and video clips from German speakers across the world, with appropriate scaffolding to ensure students understand what they hear. The quantity and quality of this authentic, content-rich input ensures that your students will be used to native German after a year with Auf geht’s!, and that they will have more courage to engage with German speakers outside of your classroom.
The Auf geht’s! Lernbuch helps students transition from the receptive mode of the website to guided comprehension of authentic texts and then production in the classroom and written assignments. Many small group and conversational activity prompts in the Lernbuch encourage learners to talk about their own lives, helping create a real community in your classroom as students get to know one another as people.
Click the image to the right to see a short sample from unit 3 of the Auf geht’s! Lernbuch, with special callouts of important features.
Let’s move forward
If you are interested in learning more about Auf geht’s! check out our section on Working with Auf geht’s!. Designed for new adopters, it will give you an idea of the ‘nuts and bolts’ about how Auf geht’s! works in the classroom.
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