German Language Courses
German language courses involve study of vocabulary, grammar, history and culture. You can study the language through online courses and degree programs. Keep reading to learn more about German language courses in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
What Will I Learn in German Language Courses?
In undergraduate-level German language courses, you concentrate on learning the fundamentals of the language.
Intermediate and advanced students can take upper-division German language courses that weave in the analysis of German culture along with linguistics. Many of your classes could cover German literature, film, philosophy, and art, as well as current events, politics, and history.
In elementary German language courses, students concentrate on learning how to read, write, and speak German. A primary goal may be to gain a firm grasp of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Students may also have some listening activities, and begin to learn about the relationship between German language and culture.
Students can enroll in intermediate German courses after gaining a strong grasp of basic German. Intermediate courses will build on composition and conversation skills, and class discussions may be conducted entirely in German. Many classes could cover music, film, and literature to strengthen the student's literacy and cultural understanding.
As students advance in their language skills, they can take more advanced courses. Many programs offer a variety of German literature courses, from introductory to advanced. Classes can familiarize a student with historical or modern fiction, and how to understand and critique German literature. Classes may cover various literary themes, and help students attain a deeper understanding of German culture.
Linguistics is the study of a language and its structure. A German linguistics course will cover topics such as syntax, phonetics, and semantics. More advanced linguistics courses may also cover dialects, linguistic history, and variations of the language in different countries.
Advanced students can take conversation courses to improve their fluency. A student can learn speaking strategies to successfully engage face-to-face with native German speakers. A broad range of conversational topics will likely be covered so that the student can solidify their speaking skills.
At What Levels are German Language Courses Available?
German language courses are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Students earning a bachelor's degree in the German language should gain advanced language proficiency and an understanding of German culture, history, and politics.
German language courses at the master's degree level cover topics like the study of linguistics and German language history, such as the origins of Old Saxon and Middle High German. You also continue to advance your studies in German culture, philosophy, and, German literature. In doctoral-level German language courses, you may study dialects, phonology, structure, and syntax of historical and contemporary German. You could also be involved in research using various linguistic methods, and theoretical approaches.
What Courses Can I Take if I'm Not Pursuing a German Language Degree?
Many community colleges offer German language courses at various levels of proficiency for credit or no credit. Some colleges and universities also offer programs where you can earn a professional certificate indicating a specified proficiency level. If you're enrolled in almost any bachelor's degree program, you can take German language courses to fulfill a language requirement, typically four semesters, or you may even minor in German.
How Can I Study German Online?
Many college-level German language courses are available online. Technical requirements include a computer with internet access, a webcam, and a microphone. You may also need access to an internet phone service such as Skype.
Online German language courses include lectures, class discussions, written assignments, and the independent study of German literature, media, newspapers, and art. Some schools also offer credit for attending activities, such as German films or readings. Before you enroll in an intermediate or advanced online language course, you might be required to take a placement exam.