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Tag: interpretation

DE S22 INT/ADV: Subjunctive & Artistic Freedom (Part 1) [Zoom-class]

Language Resident/Assistant Name:
Nicolai Diener

Class theme/topics discussed:
Konjunktiv & Kunstfreiheit (Teil 1) [Zoom-class]

Goal of the class:
Learn about “Konjunktiv II” (When and how to use it)
Discuss “Kunstfreiheit” (artistic freedom)
Put pictures in relation to “Kunstfreiheit” and discuss their historical context
Compare artistic freedom in Germany and the US
Discuss the content of a music video based on isolated pictures

How did you structure the class?

4.15 – 4.20:        Welcome (Welcoming students to class, talking about how they feel and getting all the technology starting)

4.20 – 4.33:        “Was würdest du machen, wenn…” (Practicing the Konjunktiv II with the “würde”-form, e.g. “What you would do if you were to win a million dollars?” “I would buy an island if…”. Students join breakout rooms and ask each other one of the two questions in groups of 2-3 people. Three rounds with 2 questions each + always different groups)

4.33 – 4.37:        Review Konjunktiv II (short review of when to use and how to use the Konjunktiv II with its two forms. One of them the “würde”-Form, which we practiced in the task before)

4.37 – 4.45:        “Kunstfreiheit” + pictures (The term “Kunstfreiheit“ (artistic freedom) is introduced and students are then asked to look at 4 pictures, describe them, tell the group what is depicted in the pictures (and the context) and then put that in relation to “Kunstfreiheit”. If the students do not know about some of the pictures, the teacher can help them and explain their context. After that we take a quick look at how artistic freedom is embedded in the basic law for Germany)

4.45 – 4.55:        “Kunstfreiheit” experiences (students join breakout rooms first, and then come back to share with the group. They are asked to share their experiences with artistic freedom. Either because something that they themselves were involved, or something they have heard of and that has a relation to artistic freedom

4.55 – 5.00:        “Danger Dan” impression (“Danger Dan” is the name of the musician we are going to hear a song from. The students are asked to share their impressions when hearing the name)

5.00 – 5.05:        Pictures from the song (students see 4 pictures from the music video to the song “Das ist alles von der Kunstfreiheit gedeckt”. They are rather provocative and can be interpreted in different ways and the students are supposed to share their impressions of those pictures, and also what they think the video could be about and what it is supposed to express. Students discuss that in breakout rooms)

5.05 – 5.10:        Watch music video

5.10 – 5.15:        Music video impressions (students share their impressions from the music video and compare it with what they had shared before, when they just saw 4 isolated pictures from the music video)

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

Power Point Presentation
Zoom (+ Breakout rooms)
Pictures & videos (see Power Point Presentation)

What worked well in this class? What did not work (and how could it be improved)?

The introduction worked really well because the students seemed to be really engaged with the questions, as they had a lot of fun thinking about those scenarios and “what they could do, if…”. Also, it was a really good introduction and transition to explaining the Konjunktiv II, which is used a lot by Danger Dan in his song and therefore offers a great grammatical foundation for working with the song later on.

When we looked at the pictures, the students were able to identify most of them and put them in connection to artistic freedom. I chose the pictures because two of them are important pieces in the history of Germany, the Charlie Hebdo-picture is important in the context of contemporary European affairs, and the last one was a fun, little story that is connected to artistic freedom. We took a look at the basic law, and the exchange of their “Kunstfreiheit” experiences was really interesting. Same can be said for talking about the name “Danger Dan” and the pictures from the music video. Finally, we watched the music video and the students shared their impressions. Generally, it was a good mix of learning about current affairs in Germany, pop-culture and Konjunktiv II on the one hand, and sharing their impressions, thoughts and experiences on the other hand.

DE S22 INT/ADV: Subjunctive & Artistic Freedom (Part 2) [Zoom-class]

Language Resident/Assistant Name:
Nicolai Diener

Class theme/topics discussed:
Konjunktiv & Kunstfreiheit (Teil 2) [Zoom-class]

Goal of the class:
Analyze the lyrics of a song (describe in own words/research context/interpret what artist wants to express)
Compare different parts of a song with each other
Discuss differences and possible interpretations
Discuss whether the song “Das ist alles von der Kunstfreiheit gedeckt“ is an example for Kunstfreiheit or Beleidigung (insult)
Discuss whether Böhmermanns „Schmähgedicht“ is an example for Kunstfreiheit or Beleidigung

How did you structure the class?

4.15 – 4.23:        Recap (Recap last class and thereby make a transition to this class’ topic)

4.23 – 4.35:        Group work (students have to get together in 3 groups and analyze the lyrics of one verse based on 3 questions that ask them to describe the lyrics in their own words, research the context of the song and interpret what the artist wants to say and how he writes his song in order to achieve that message. Each group meets in one breakout room, while they have access to the questions and a vocabulary list on our GoogleDoc)

4.35 – 4.55:        Presentation group work (Each group presents their findings according to the 3 questions that were given to them – there is a particular emphasis on finding the Konjunktiv-forms, as they are an important instrument for Danger Dan in his song and also connect to the last class and the grammatical topic)

4.55 – 5.00:        Bridge (We look at the bridge of the song and try to analyze in which ways it is different from the rest of the song and why that is the case)

5.00 – 5.07:        Positionsline + discussion (students have to locate themselves along a position line ranging from Kunstfreiheit to Beleidigung. Based on that they have to discuss their own position)

5.07 – 5.13:        Böhmermann-Affäre introduction + video (Most students probably see the song as an obvious example for Kunstfreiheit, thus I present them a case that could be more critical to evaluate. The so-called “Böhmermann-Affäre” is introduced in a few minutes, and then we watch the video of it)

5.13 – 5.20:        Positionsline + discussion (students are again asked to locate themselves along the same position line and then discuss what led them to their judgements)

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

Power Point Presentation
Google Doc (Questions + vocabulary list)
Zoom (+ Breakout rooms & annotate functions)
Pictures & videos (see Power Point Presentation)
(Jan Boehmermann Erdogan poem) https://vimeo.com/163537121

What worked well in this class? What did not work (and how could it be improved)?

This class worked really well! It was a good conclusion to this 2-class-topic, which connected a song as a cultural element, with an important contemporary topic and a grammatical input. The class had different elements (discussions, group work, interpretations, media consumption etc.), a coherent structure and a few take-home messages.

The addition of a vocabulary list to the group work was very important and ensured efficiency, which allowed for a greater focus on the presentations and the discussions later. In those discussions, the students were really engaged and seemed interested in both the topic as well as the others’ opinions.  The position line worked really well and also as I expected (everybody saying it is Kunstfreiheit), which allowed me to introduce the “Böhmermann-Affäre” as a less clear-cut example for that topic. It is worth mentioning that the class ended about 5 minutes later – which is acceptable considering the complexity of the topic and the importance of the last discussion.

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