The main goal of the German language program at Yale is to help students develop the ability to communicate effectively in German, in both written and oral modes, while they develop an appreciation of the cultures of German-speaking countries, especially their rich literary and philosophical traditions.
Methods and Objectives
The German language program promotes the study of language, culture, and literature, while at the same time assisting students in becoming global citizens with strong intercultural competence. In line with the university’s mission, we also aim to contribute to the development of liberal learning goals, including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and creative expression. We also support Yale College’s general goal, to help develop students’ intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities through open and lively class discussions and analyses of a variety of literary and cultural artifacts, participation in a strong cultural program, and engagement in the wider community.
Content-based throughout, the language program promotes the integration of language, culture, and literature across its curriculum. Especially in the elementary and intermediate German courses, a task-based communicative language approach is emphasized. In order to enable our students to achieve high levels of linguistic and literary proficiency as well as deep intercultural competence, we structure our courses around the five C’s, as suggested by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. As outlined in the document “Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century,” we design our classes and extracurricular program offerings around cultures, communication, comparisons, connections, and communities. Through these modes, the German language program endeavors to promote life-long learning of language and literature.
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