ERIC Number: EJ946388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
Competition, Connection, and Collaboration in Smaller German Programs
Braunbeck, Helga G.
Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, v44 n2 p146-153 Fall 2011
The MLA Report on "Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World" has been criticized for focusing its proposals on large German programs. This article attempts to show how some of its recommendations can also be implemented in smaller language programs. These programs exist within a network of relations to other academic programs in their institution with which they both compete and collaborate in order to perform and grow, such as the proliferating International Studies major. Inter-institutional collaboration can also open up opportunities for richer course offerings than what one small German program could provide. Designing a curriculum that encourages students, especially those from the science and technology disciplines, to double major in German Studies and achieve a high level of proficiency, includes components such as flexible groups of electives, mandatory study abroad or internship abroad, and courses tailored to a student audience interested in science and technology. This includes cultural studies courses that follow a model of interdisciplinarity with the potential for connections with other disciplines. In this article these are explored and illustrated with examples from a course on "Green Germany." Finally, measures of success are addressed, including ways that even a small German Studies program can establish and maintain its relevance and value in a range of institutional contexts.
Descriptors: International Studies, Academic Achievement, Cooperation, Foreign Countries, Interdisciplinary Approach, German, Study Abroad, Competition, Second Language Programs, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Institutional Cooperation, Curriculum Design, Majors (Students), Language Proficiency, Science Education, Technology Education, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A