Conversation Class Lesson Plan
Section: Advanced Conversation
Date: 8. September 2009
Class theme/topics discussed: German dialects
How did you pick this theme or topic? I think it is important to know that not everyone in Germany speaks ‘Hochdeutsch’ and that there are numerous dialects.
How did you present the material? (handouts, group work, general discussion, student presentations, etc.)
I asked the students about their knowledge of German dialects, – they knew very little. Then I played five short audio files with conversations or songs in a certain dialect (Bayerisch, Berlinerisch, Kölsch, Hamburgisch und Sächsisch) and asked the students to guess which one was which. We talked about Berlinerisch for a bit and we read ‘Rotkäppchen’ in Berlinerisch. Then we talked about Turkish people in Germany and their accent / dialect. Then we read an exaggerated version of ‘Hänsel und Gretel’ in Turkish German. We talked about the way Turkish German sounds in that story and the way people might react, when they hear someone talk like that. Afterwards I asked the students to create a short dialogue or story together (there were 3 students), which we would later (next meeting) record on the computer in Hochdeutsch and Turkish German.
How did students react?
The students were very surprised about the different dialects, they knew very little. They enjoyed talking about Turkish German and were excited to create their own dialogue.
Did they engage with each other and you?
Yes, they did. Especially when working on the dialogue. They had a lot of ideas and wanted to write a longer and more complex story that I had asked of them.
What materials or media did you use? (articles, satellite tv, digital projector, etc.)
Sound files on my laptop
Documents: ‘Rotkäppchen’ and ‘Hänsel und Gretel’
Would you recommend this activity for a future class? Why or why not?
Yes, the students had fun and were eager to work on the given exercise. I don’t know, if they learned a lot about the different dialects though, since we only talked about some of them very briefly. I also thought about showing them a youtube-video about Erkan & Stefan, but I don’t think they would have understood, because it was difficult for them to understand the different dialects (even if they were spoken rather slowly).