Course Description

Develops the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Basic grammar is reviewed and new grammatical concepts are presented. Contemporary culture in German-speaking countries is given additional emphasis. Students studying German should begin to synthesize their acquired linguistic and cultural knowledge toward an understanding of their native language and culture. This course is also designed to help prepare those students who would like to visit or study abroad in a German-speaking country. GERMAN 204 is a required course for the major Languages and Cultures: German, but is open to all students. It satisfies General Education Requirements: 2 GEPs for Goal 1 - Communication and 1 GEP for Goal 7 - Arts and Humanities. This course is offered once per year.

Prerequisites: GERMAN 102 (German 2) or the equivalent.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: By the end of GERMAN 204, students attain a functioning ability to communicate in German in speaking, writing, listening and reading. Students learn language skills on the basis of selected cultural topics. Objectives are based on the Novice-High to the Intermediate-Low level of proficiency as described in the standards of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).

Specific Goals of German 204:

Speaking and Writing Ability

◊ handle selected tasks and social situations requiring an exchange of basic information related to

        a. work,
        b. school,
        c. recreation,
        d. self, family, home,
        e. daily activities,
        f. interests and personal preferences,
        g. physical and social needs, such as food, shopping, travel and lodging;

◊ narrate and describe in familiar areas (personal information, common events) in all time frames;

◊ use cohesive devices (conjunctions, etc.) in connected discourse of several sentences or phrases;

◊ respond to direct questions or requests for information and ask a variety of questions to obtain information to satisfy basic needs, such as directions, prices and services;

◊ demonstrate emerging speaking abilities to use elements and conversational input to manage discursive tasks such as expressing opinions, narrating in various time frames, and describing people and things in increased detail.

Reading and Listening Ability

◊ skim and scan for information from texts at the intermediate-low level;

◊ read texts on contemporary society;

◊ understand and participate in basic conversational exchanges related to the desired speaking ability.

◊ For this semester, reading and listening skills will be developed on the basis of the drama by the Swiss author Friedrich Dürrenmatt Die Physiker.


  • With a recommended class size of twenty students or fewer, German 204 will further develop German language skills through a variety of activities, including use of electronic and print media.
  • Students are required to bring the textbook and notebook to class every day. Those who do not bring the materials will not be permitted to participate in class.
  • Students must have the textbook out and ready by the start of every class session.
  • Class sessions will be devoted to maximizing the amount of German spoken.
  • A good amount of paired and group work will take place during class.
  • Written and recorded assignments will usually be submitted electronically.
  • Some assignments may include collaborative activities outside regular class sessions.
  • It will be assumed that all students in this course will study abroad soon, therefore the course is designed to help prepare students for experience of living and studying in Germany.
  1. Study: Students are expected to study and learn the material, taking responsibility for their own learning. Attendance in class and completing assignments is not enough preparation to master the material. Students are expected to spend ten hours per week outside of classtime to prepare.
  2. Collaboration: Students work with another student in class and in small groups for both homework assignments and for in-class activities. Students may also grade each other on their performances.
  3. Role Playing: Students will perform role-playing activities. Situations will relate to the topics at hand and will be both prepared and extemporaneous.
  4. Presentations: Students may be required to make presentations in German. These could include forms such as simple oral reports, "show-and-tell," and power-point presentations.
  5. Reading and Listening: Reading and video assignments will increase in length and complexity as the semester progresses.
  6. Writing: Students will compose essays of slightly increasing length and complexity as the semester progresses. Unless otherwise instructed, essays will be submitted as MS-Word documents in the designated "assignment" folder on BOLT; no other format is acceptable. Essays may possibly receive a grade only after the second corrected draft.
  7. Social Application: Students may be required to meet with fellow students and possibly with German exchange students outside of class in order to prepare some assignments.
  8. Grammar: Lessons on linguistic structures will be integrated with the topics.

Standards of Conduct

Any act of misrepresentation or conflict with the order of the course, including, but not limited to plagiarism, cheating on tests, false excuses for absence, disruption of class, or engaging in activity during class other than the work at hand, constitutes academic misconduct. (See BU Policy #3512 "Academic Integrity.")

The following are some examples of disruptive acts during class:

  • Talking that interferes with class participation,
  • Not taking notes or not participating in class activities,
  • Unless used for an in-class assignment, Cell phones must be OFF and put away. If you use a cell phone in any way during class, you be ejected from class and will be counted absent.
  • Using a portable computer without permission,
  • Reading a newspaper,
  • Eating,
  • Sleeping,
  • Using smokeless tobacco,
  • Playing music on a portable electronic device,
  • Doing homework not related to the tasks at hand.
The instructor will request those who are disruptive to leave the classroom. If the request is ignored or contested, University Police will be called to provide assistance.

Any and every act of misconduct will affect grades; in the worst cases, such as plagiarism or cheating, students will fail the course.

Students who commit an act of academic misconduct will be subject to sanctions as stipulated by the university. See BU Policy 4802 secton H.

Attendance policy:

  1. (PRP 3506) "Regular classroom attendance is expected of all students. However, a student will be afforded reasonable assistance by a faculty member when class work is missed as a result of extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control, such as but not limited to: personal illness, death or critical illness in the immediate family, participation in a college-sponsored co-curricular activity. Mutually satisfactory arrangements for assistance must be made by the student when the activity is announced. Instructors are encouraged to use their professional judgment in deciding the legitimacy of each case and may request the student to provide official documentation to verify the reasons for the absence. The instructor is not required to give makeup examinations or review other class work missed as a result of unauthorized absences other than those authorized by this policy."

    NOTE: The Student Health Center (SHC) does not issue student illness excuses for missed classes.

  2. For every excused absence the student is responsible for furnishing adequate documentation.

  3. Every unexcused absence will diminish the student's grade.

  4. Students are responsible for classwork and assignments whether an absence is excused or not.

  5. Students can be marked as absent if late for class.

Basic Information

  • Credits: 3
  • Time: GERMAN 204-39: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:00AM-12:00PM.
  • Location: online and synchronous in Zoom.
  • Department: Languages and Cultures
  • Prerequisites: GERMAN 102 or the equivalent
  • Attendance Policy: Required to attend every class session

Luke Springman

Professor of German

Office: Arts and Administration Building 263
Email: (preferred method of contact)
tel. 389-4251
Website: BU German Program
Office Hours: (on Zoom)
MTWRF 08:00 - 09:00AM
And by appointment

◊ Attendance and regular active participation is essential. Every absence and lack of preparation will diminish the final grade.

◊ Students are responsible for any and all assignments sent to their BU email address or posted on BOLT.

◊ Written essays must be submitted as an MS-Word document in the disignated folder on BOLT. No assignments will be accepted as email attachments.

◊ Voice recordings will be submitted on BOLT. Students may be required to use the resources in the Language Laboratory in the Department of Languages and Cultures.

◊ Assignments are accepted on the due date only, unless there is compelling need to submit a late assignment.

◊ Students are responsible for all computer assignments and must use a computer that can access and operate all the required files and functions. The language laboratory is available for all computer activities.

◊ Two hours of preparation is expected for each hour in class--ten hours of preparation per week.

◊ Students are expected to study the material. Completing assignments and attending class are only part of the learning process.

Attitude will contribute significantly to the final grade, even though it is not evaluated in quantative terms.

◊ The final project for GERMAN 204-39 is due on Monday, 10 May 2021 by 11:00AM.

◊ Grades posted on BOLT do not represent the official grade record; grades posted on BOLT allow students to gauge their progress during the semester.

◊ No extra credit assignments will be given.

◊ These procedures are subject to change at any time.


Grade distribution (tentative):

◊ Quizzes and assignments: 25%

◊ Active participation in class and in other activities: 25%

◊ Three mini-projects: 25%

◊ Final project: 25%

Required Textbooks

◊ Dürrenmatt, Friedrich. Die Physiker. Ed. Robert E. Helblin. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1965.

◊ Standard 8½" by 11" lined writing paper, either loose-leaf in a binder or a bound notebook.

◊ Supplemental materials will be available as pdf files on BOLT.

◊ Other resources include Internet sites and apps as needed.


Lesson Plan

The lesson plan only sets approximate goals and can be changed at any time.

Please follow this link for the tentative plan for GERMAN 204.39