Strategies for Strengthening Small German Programs
AATG 3-Day Faculty Seminar on Curriculum Development at the College Level
October 23–25, 2015
Thanks for your interest in this program. Deadline for application was July 31, 2015.
About the Seminar
Association of Teachers of German is hosting a 3-day seminar for faculty working in small, undergraduate German programs. Working in a small German program brings many rewards, such as the opportunity to develop close relationships with students over four years. At the same time, faculty in small programs are often stretched thin. They frequently carry heavy teaching loads and must go to heroic lengths to recruit and retain students. The potential for burnout is great, especially in an era of budget cutting, as administrators turn a critical eye on low enrollments and small numbers of majors.
The seminar will provide an opportunity for German faculty from across the country to work together on strategies for addressing the challenges of teaching in a small program. Day one will focus on pedagogy, as participants explore how a multiliteracies-based language and culture curriculum can be tailored to a small German program as a means of addressing the challenges of recruitment and retention. The multiliteracies approach integrates language learning with theme-based authentic texts and tasks from the beginning to the end of the curriculum. The engagement with themes and texts generates student interest early on and shows learners that they can do something with the language, preparing the way for further study. This approach also allows for multiple linkages to other disciplinary areas (such as engineering, business, or environmental sciences) and enables programs to reach across the campus to attract students.
On day two, participants will engage with topics related to the German curriculum beyond the classroom. The rich and multifaceted "meta-curriculum" in German at Valparaiso University, an AATG Center of Excellence, provides students with opportunities to develop their proficiency in German and their sense of belonging to a community of German speakers. Recognizing that every institution is different, seminar participants will learn about the processes involved in building and maintaining Valparaiso’s program, as a means to consider what might work in their own institutional contexts.
In the final part of the seminar, participants will reflect on the insights gained over the previous days and how they could put them into practice on their own campuses. They will work in groups (based on size of program and type of institution) to begin thinking about possible changes to their curricular and co-curricular programs. The goal of the seminar is for participants to leave with a concrete set of strategies and an action plan for enhancing their recruitment and retention of students and for positioning the study of German at the forefront of innovative teaching and learning at their home institutions.
Meet the Facilitators
Jennifer Redmann is Associate Professor of German at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. She brings to the seminar insights from successful curricular reform work at three small liberal arts colleges over the last fifteen years. She has published articles in Die Unterrichtspraxis, Foreign Language Annals, and German Quarterly and is co-author (with Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim) of Schreiben lernen: A Writing Guide for Learners of German (Yale UP, 2011) as well as co-editor (also with Dykstra-Pruim) of Yale's World Language Writing Guides series. Redmann serves as Chief Reader and member of the Test Development Committee for the Advanced Placement German Language and Culture Exam; she is also a member of the executive committee for the Modern Language Association's Forum on Second Language Teaching and Learning. She is currently working on a book project entitled Doing Her Bit: German and Anglo-American Girls' Literature of the First World War.
Timothy B. Malchow is Associate Professor and heads the German section in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Valparaiso University. He teaches at all levels in his university’s exclusively undergraduate German program, which the AATG designated a German Center of Excellence in 2012. He served for two years as Resident Director of the Valparaiso University Study Center in Reutlingen, Germany. President of the Eta of Indiana Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, he is committed to making liberal arts education, including in-depth study of language and culture, accessible and interesting to undergraduates pursuing diverse academic and professional goals. His research and publications explore memory and identity in postwar and contemporary German-language literature and film, and his current book project examines gendered modes of memory in the works of Günter Grass.
Stipends of up to $500 for transportation costs and
meals will be awarded to individual participants. Accommodations will be
provided in double rooms at the Artmore Hotel, 1302 West Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA. Single rooms are available at a rate of $159 plus tax per
This seminar is made possible through funding from Netzwerk Deutsch of the Sonderprogramm zur Förderung von Deutsch in
USA und Kanada sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
in Washington, DC.
The seminar is
limited to 25 participants from small German programs (i.e. those with three or fewer faculty). Preference will be given to applications from
programs that are considering curricular reform. Participation of two faculty
members from the same institution is encouraged.
Deadline for application was July 31, 2015.