In keeping with the Department’s overall mission of providing a solid liberal arts education, German language courses at Berkeley go beyond the teaching of grammar and vocabulary. Learning a foreign language involves learning new forms of expression that are also new ways of thinking. Studying German at Berkeley, students should become sensitive to the inextricable relationship of language and culture, providing a basis for critical awareness of both “things foreign” and their own native culture(s).
Central goals for the study of German language at Berkeley include acquiring
- communication skills
- interpretation skills
- cultural awareness
At the heart of the program’s teaching philosophy is a student-centered communicative teaching approach. Language structures such as grammar and vocabulary are learned in meaningful contexts-not in isolation. The classroom becomes a site for lively interaction, drawing on a wide range of German-language materials, including art, literature, film, theater, classical and popular music, political cartoons, television, press, and the world wide web. Students learn through participation in a variety of discourse modes: from casual conversation to dramatic performances and formal presentations; from e-mail exchanges to analytical essays and creative publications on the web.
Berkeley’s core elementary and intermediate program consists of four 5-unit courses. With this intensive, 5-day per week schedule, Berkeley students progress more rapidly than students at most other universities. Three-unit conversation and grammar review courses provide alternatives for students with a solid background who need to work on specific skills. In upper-division language courses a variety of cultural documents provide the context for refining writing and interpretive skills, and in German for Business, for practicing professional skills such as presentation and negotiation. For students looking for a jump-start in the language, the summer workshops that condense the first- and second-year programs into one ten-week session (each) offer an excellent alternative. And U.C.’s Education Abroad Program now offers opportunities for study in Germany at all levels of language ability.
For questions regarding placement in any of the courses listed below, see Placement Guidelines.
- German 1 Elementary German.
- German 2 Elementary German.
- German 10 German Workshop (1 & 2; summer only).
- German 3 Intermediate German.
- German 4 Advanced German.
- German 20 German Workshop (3 & 4; summer only)
- German 40 German Conversation.
- German 45 Intensive Grammar Review
- German 101 Reading and Composition I – special topics.
- German 102 Reading and Composition II – special topics.
- German 103 German for Business: Language and Culture.
- German 1G/2G German for Reading Knowledge (graduate students only).
- German 107 Reading German (grad students; summer only).