Notes for Students

Dear student:

Welcome to our e-textbook Willkommen: Deutsch für alle. This e-textbook will accompany you through two semesters of learning German. It is designed to be cost-free, user-friendly, and flexible to be used on a variety of digital devices (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone).

You will learn about the German language and the culture of the German-speaking countries. The topics that we will cover first focus on you personally, then branch out to larger topics (family and friends, leisure time, weather, university studies, making plans, shopping, living arrangements, travelling, food, holidays and celebrations). In second semester, we even read a short novel! Starting with the second semester, each unit also features a UNESCO world heritage site which provides further cultural information on the topic of the unit. These topics will allow you to gain functional proficiency in the German language in case you want to travel there. We use both native speakers and language learners (who at some point started learning German just like yourself).

Here are some important things you need to know:

  • Structure:

Willkommen: Deutsch für alle follows a blended-learning format, which is a combination of in-class lessons (face-to-face with your instructor) and online, self-paced individual lessons. The online lessons are more than just homework. It is crucial that you complete the online lessons on your own in between the in-class lessons because they are not only designed to let you practice and review what you have learned in the previous class, but they also help you learn something new that you need to prepare for your next class.

A typical week could look like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Weekend
Unit 1.1 in-class Unit 1.3 in-class Unit 1.5 in-class
Unit 1.2 online Unit 1.4 online Unit  1.6 online
  • Student Handouts:

You will practice listening, speaking, reading and writing in a variety of activities in class. Some of these activities require you to take notes or have additional materials which we provide as a PDF. Please print out the Student Handouts (Einheit 1 – 5/ Einheit 6 – 10) before classes start so that you have everything handy for your in-class instruction.

  • Online lessons:

Each online lesson is clearly laid out in a vertical manner, you scroll from the top of the page to the bottom. You have to complete these lessons at your own pace at home in between the in-class lessons. The lessons feature listening, viewing, and reading activities as well as easy-to-understand grammatical explanations and practice exercises. You have unlimited attempts to practice with these exercises, just refresh the webpage. If you don’t complete the online lessons before you come to class, you will not be prepared to participate in the next in-class lesson.

At the end of each online lesson there is a link to a quiz “Was wissen Sie jetzt?” where you can show what you have learned. These quizzes are housed on a different platform and are only accessible to students at the University of Alberta who are registered in our classes.

Some online lessons also feature a section called “Extra Practice (optional)”. Throughout the semester we will use clips from the video series “Nicos Weg” to help you practice what you are learning in this course. Nicos Weg is a video series developed by Deutsche Welle. Feel free to use other parts of the series if you want to practice more. You can watch the videos and also do the accompanying exercises, it’s all free and easily accessible. The activities do function a little differently. Please read scroll to the section called Exercises for guidance on how the activities work.

  • Vocabulary:

Most of the new vocabulary will be taught in class, but sometimes you will also learn new vocabulary in an online lesson. In order to practice the new vocabulary, we recommend that you study the new vocabulary after each sub-topic in each unit, using the Quizlet vocabulary sets that we provide. You need to sign up for a free Quizlet account to access these sets and all their study options. Our username in Quizlet is germanuofa. There is also a list of the new vocabulary as a PDF at the end of each unit if you like to print it out.

  • Tasks:

Each unit features a task (oral or written) which provides you with the opportunity to use your language skills in a meaningful context and show what you have learned in the unit. These tasks are intended to replace more traditional assessments like unit exams or midterms and prepare you for real-life language use so that you can function in a German-speaking context. For each task, we also provide rubrics so that you know exactly what is expected of you and to help you accomplish the task successfully.

  • Roll the dice:

We sometimes use an activity that requires you to roll the dice. If you don’t have any dice, you can use this website.

  • Zum Spaβ:

Each unit ends with a section “Zum Spaβ” (for fun) with links to additional activities, German music, and funny videos which will enhance your understanding of German culture.

  • Grammatik:

Under “contents” on the left hand side of the book and below all the units,  we put a reference section that lists all of the grammar items that you learn here. This is an easy way for you to find a specific grammar item (it is either linked back to the unit where it was covered or is has the PPT linked right there).


We hope you will enjoy learning the German language and about the culture in the German-speaking countries with Willkommen: Deutsch für alle!

Please note: Some instructors might teach with this e-textbook via remote delivery due to COVID-19. Therefore, they might change the instructions for activities for the in-class lessons to fit the remote environment.


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Willkommen: Deutsch für alle by Claudia Kost and Crystal Sawatzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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