Welcome to the website of the German Language Program at Stanford!
The German Language Program at Stanford, as stated in the Language Center's mission statement, prepares students to live, work, study and research in German-speaking environments. Students will need to be able to initiate interactions and engage with persons of other cultures on issues of mutual concern.
Here, we are committed to developing measurable language proficiency. To these means, German is taught through creating a unique interactive and participatory communicative learning environment in and outside the classroom. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills are all interactively invoked in creating this environment and experience. Here, Stanford and Bay Area community speakers and events, and virtual communities and the Internet offer additional space for language learning and use.
We work with a textbook (Deutsch: Na Klar in the First-year) as a sort of tangible guide, but further inform and activate our language with culturally relevant, historical and contemporary, authentic materials (written, audio/video, visual, a.o.) which play a central part of creating language proficiency and gaining insight into these themes and discussions. Our spatial focus dynamically shifts from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, to German-speaking communities in other parts of the world,, both from the past, into the present and future.
Our goals are for you to be being able to actively engage in the German speaking world, to understand spoken as well as written German, present yourself, information, questions, and ideas in developing your language proficiency, with reflection and strategies, beyond the parameters of the class.
As with other language programs at Stanford, the German language Program has stated clear measurable objectives, such as:
Interpersonal Objectives: e.g. interacting with others
Interpretive Objectives: e.g. concerned with understanding German (spoken and written)
Presentational Objectives: e.g. using academic language in presentations (oral and written)
To these means, we work with a Student Progress Card throughout each quarter, where each student can self-evaluate their progress towards the stated-proficiency goals in each quarter, and each year of German study.
Specific proficiency goals are to reach an Intermediate-Mid speaking and Intermediate-High writing by the end of the first year, and Intermediate-High/Advanced-Low speaking and Advanced-Low/Mid writing by the end of the second-year (ratings according to ACTFL, the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages).
First-Year German can be taken as part of a three-course sequence, which successfully completed, fulfills the language requirement. We also offer the unique opportunity to do this individually/personalized (Gerlang 11P). An intensive Gerlang 1-2-3 sequence is also available over the summer (Gerlang 5A/5B/5C – undergrads, Gerlang 205A – graduate students).
Further classes are offered for students who only need to gain reading ability, Gerlang 10 (seniors, grad students), or proficiency (Gerlang 52).
Second-year German continues with focus on developing proficiency through a variety of classes, focusing on both conversation and content (Gerlang 21-22-23).
Completing German Language in first and second years can contribute to either a Minor or Major in German Studies or Modern Languages as well as lead to a Language Proficiency Notation in one’s transcript.
Students can further engage their German in activities and events at Stanford’s German-Language themed house, House Mitteleuropa (HausMitt), as well as take part in courses abroad through Bing Overseas Program in Berlin and gain professional-language experience by participating in the Stanford Krupp Internship Program.
Additionally, many unique interdisciplinary projects and opportunities are available at Stanford through studying German language.