Section: Advanced Conversation
Date: 3. September
Class theme/topics discussed: Stereotypes about Germans and Germany
How did you pick this theme or topic? I though it was a good way to start talking about Germany and to see what impressions they might have of Germans and Germany.
How did you present the material? (handouts, group work, general discussion, student presentations, etc.)
I put about 10 different flashcards with pictures of German stereotypes (e.g. Bratwurst, Dirndl & Lederhosen, Mercedes & VW) on the table and asked the students to each chose one and say what they can see on the picture and what it might have to do with Germans / Germany. The students quickly guessed that those were all stereotypes. I asked them about their experiences and what they thought about those stereotypes. I had prepared three pieces of paper saying ‘Stimmt oft’, ‘Stimmt manchmal’ and ‘Stimmt gar nicht’ and asked the students to put the flashcards on either one of the papers to say whether they believed they are mostly true, sometimes, and not at all. I also asked them to say why they thought so, this way we had a very lively discussion. Then I asked them to think about positive things about Germans and Germany. I handed them each four little pieces of paper and asked them to write down four different words or phrases that came to their mind. After a few minutes the students presented their results and told the group what they liked about Germans / Germany (e.g. educational system, landscape, manners). Then I showed the students a video on youtube, ‘Frag nen Deutschen’, where a German man talks about German stereotypes. After I showed the video a 2nd time, we talked about the stereotypes and whether or not they are rather true or false. At the end of the class I asked the students, if they knew any stereotypes about the Claremont Colleges and they told me about stereotypes of each of the five colleges.
How did students react?
The students seemed to like the activities very much and were eager to tell their impressions and their experiences about certain stereotypes. They were laughing a lot and seemed to enjoy the topic.
Did they engage with each other and you?
Yes, they talked a lot with each other and we had a lively discussion. They were also very interested in my opinion and wanted to know, if those stereotypes were really true or not.
What materials or media did you use? (articles, satellite tv, digital projector, etc.)
Flashcards of German stereotypes (Flashcards are printed and in my ADV conversation folder).
Colored pieces of paper to write down signal words or short phrases about Germany.
My Laptop + TV in the German Lounge.
Video on youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ0Bgw2vkAM
Please attach a copy.
Would you recommend this activity for a future class? Why or why not?
Yes, definitely. The students were very motivated and eager to share their thoughts and experiences. However, I probably wouldn’t use the youtube video again, it had a bad sound quality and at times it was difficult for the students to understand it.