German Courses

da hocken sie sign

Dialect (Swabian) for “The people who always sit there are sitting there.”

What’s your reason for learning German? Does your family have German heritage? Did you meet an interesting German exchange student in school? Do you want to travel to some of Europe’s most interesting countries? Or do you just want to enhance your career chances? Whatever your reason for taking German, our classes will train your communicative abilities while we also give you the cultural learning tools today’s employers most want.

What will you be learning in our German courses? More than you might think!

Beginning Courses: It’s not all beer and bratwurst

German students at tableHow do you behave when you meet someone? How does your family celebrate important milestones? What do you do if you need toothpaste at three in the morning? The answers to these questions are all determined by your own culture, and the German answers to these questions might surprise you. In German 110 (Identity and Culture) and German 111 (Memory and Culture) we’ll investigate daily life in Germany by direct contact with native speakers of German using Skype, blogs, and face-to-face interactions to try to understand the deeper meanings behind everyday actions. Sure, you’ll learn to speak, read, and understand basic Geman, but more importantly you’ll learn how to make real communication about real-life issues happen.

Intermediate Courses: Compare, contrast, context!

german immigration projectHow can you be most effective in presenting issues that are important to you to a speaker of German? What will help them to best understand your intentions? German 222 will help you work on your intercultural communication skills while comparing cultural aspects such as happiness, family ties, and role models in both the US and in the various German-speaking cultures. In German 221 students re-create the voyage of an immigrant family from Austria-Hungary in about the year 1900 and search with them for the hard-won American Dream. The German 220 course compares one theme in contemporary German and American society.

Upper-level Courses: Deepening understanding and bridging cultures

Our upper-level classes are designed to help you deepen your understanding of focused topics in both American culture and the culture of German-speaking countries. Thus a language-focused course such as German for Professional Purposes builds your communicative abilities while also providing explicit comparisons of the working world in American culture and in German culture.  Germany and the Environment teases out the differences between American and German perspectives on the environment while it challenges students to explain environmental practices on Simpson’s campus to speakers of German. Intercultural learning and language learning go hand in hand at Simpson.

Our courses at the upper level:

Ger 342 German for Professional Purposes
Ger 344 Spoken Language through Film
Ger 350 Contemporary Germany
Ger 351 Turning Points in German History
Ger 354 Germany since 1945
Ger 355 Germany and the Environment

Workshop Classes

Workshop classes are modular courses, each focusing on a specific skill in German. Topics include:

Ger 231 Reading Workshop (.5 course)*
Ger 232 Vocabulary Workshop (.5 course)*
Ger 233 Writing Workshop (.5 course)*
Ger 234 Grammar Workshop (.5 course)*
*- Two workshops must be taken to count as 1 course.

The German major at Simpson:

The major consists of 10 4-credit courses plus the capstone courses. Required courses are:

  • At least two courses from the intermediate level: 220, 221, 222
  • At least one course from the 300 level; choose others from a menu of options
  • WLCS 150: Decoding Cultures
  • Study Abroad Capstone and Senior Capstone
  • 8 credits from study abroad

See Simpson’s study abroad page for details on the German Semester in Schorndorf.