Organization of this OER

Willkommen: Deutsch für alle is an innovative first-year German language e-textbook, designed as Open Educational Resource (OER), for learning German at the college level. The materials cover approximately two semesters (semester 1: units 1-5; semester 2: units 6-12) and are equivalent to the A1 level (semester 1) and the A2 level (semester 2) of the CEFR.

Willkommen: Deutsch für alle follows a blended-learning model. In-class sessions taught by an instructor (odd numbered lessons: 1.1, 1.3, etc.) alternate with online sessions (even numbered lessons: 1.2, 1.4, etc.) which students complete at their own pace at home.

Each unit is prefaced by clear learning outcomes so that students know what they are expected to achieve by the end of the unit in terms of skills and knowledge. At the end of each unit, students demonstrate what they can do by accomplishing a specific task. These tasks resemble real-world tasks, requiring students to combine their accumulated skills and knowledge, in either oral or written form.

Each unit provides ample materials to practice all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) with culturally authentic materials. Students practice their interactive language skills in a collaborative environment through a variety of in-class activities (e.g., signature search, info-gap, role plays, interviews). Listening and viewing activities (employing learners of German as well as speakers from German-speaking countries) sharpen students’ aural and interpretive skills. Pedagogical and authentic texts enhance students’ reading skills and cultural awareness.

New vocabulary is often introduced in class using a specific teaching technique (see Notes for instructors), but also sometimes learned by the students at home. Students are encouraged to practice the new vocabulary via Quizlet. Each unit features a number of Quizlet stacks organized by topic (sign up for free account is required for access). Our Quizlet username is
germanuofa. All vocabulary of a unit is also compiled in a list at the end of each unit (printable as PDF).

New grammatical structures are introduced implicitly in their authentic context (text or audio), then followed up by a section asking “Was ist neu hier?” which allows students to discover the new forms themselves and to hypothesize how they are being used. Grammatical explanations are part of the online sessions where students can read through the explanations at their own pace and do practice activities. Longer grammatical explanations are provided in a pdf format for those students who would like to print them out. There is also a grammar reference page at the end of the e-textbook which lists and links again to all structures that were covered in the units.

Each unit also features a collection of useful phrases (“Redemittel”) for students to use in interactive activities in class as well as for quick reference. Cultural notes (in English) throughout the OER provide students with more insights into the German-speaking cultures. At the end of each unit, a section “Zum Spaβ” offers further practice activities, and links to German music and videos. Starting in the materials for the second semester, each unit features a UNESCO world heritage site which provides further cultural information on the topic of the unit. Specific sections throughout the OER are also highlighted by the use of different coloured boxes:

  • green: learning outcomes at the beginning of each unit
  • blue: a collection of useful phrases (“Redemittel”)
  • orange: grammar explanation
  • purple: cultural notes

Willkommen: Deutsch für alle employs a scaffolded approach regarding the use of English and German. Instructions for in-class lessons are entirely in German, from the first day on. Instructions for the online sessions start out in English to ensure that students working at home don’t struggle with understanding what they are supposed to do. As students progress through the units and acquire more German, instructions slowly change from English to German. In the second semester (units 6-12), instructions for the online sessions (including in the h5p activities) are entirely in German.

The following icons are used to indicate different activity types:

short grammar explanations in English video
H5P activities (for students to do at home in the online lessons) listening
pair/group work activity: In class, you will hear instructions such as “Arbeiten Sie mit einer Partnerin oder mit einem Partner.” reading
whole class (for warm-up or brainstorming activities) when entire class is involved Internet search
speaking (with several classmates, for example in interviews, signature search activities, etc.) writing or taking notes
Student Handouts (Einheit 1 – 5/Einheit 6 – 12) (provide space for taking notes or information required for certain activities, for example info-gap; available as PDF for students to print out) tasks (the culminating activity of each unit where students demonstrate what they have learned by combining their skills and knowledge)
presenting material (when the instructor is presenting new materials in class, for example vocabulary, or through self-study at home) oral presentations
Was ist neu? (allows students to discover and speculate about underlying grammatical patterns after they used the new forms in context) Was wissen Sie jetzt? Quiz (for students enrolled in a German class at the University of Alberta, this link connects them to the quizzes on eClass)
external link vocabulary list at the end of each unit

 

 

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License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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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