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Gisela Hoecherl-Alden


Assistant Dean and Director of Language Instruction working with four language departments, which teach 25 languages. As Professor of the Practice I also teach all levels of German language, literature and film and frequently provide professional development for K-16 language teachers.

Food & Culture: Cuisine, Immigration and National identity
K-16 instructors often fund-raise or celebrate cultures they teach with food, yet language curricular seldom provide opportunities for more in-depth study how food relates to German culture. Hands-on activities enable students all proficiency levels to move beyond stereotypes, make intercultural comparisons, and learn how food is linked to language and cultural identity. Keywords: History and Culture

Connecting German to STEM
Visual-spatial STEM students challenge traditionally structured language programs, designed to accommodate verbal-sequential learners. Their motivation for acquiring advanced-level language competency is tied to the need for more specialized global communication abilities. Presentation demonstrates how to adjust teaching approaches and enrich literature-based materials with hands-on, multi-sensory and interactive projects which reinforce creative and critical thinking. Keywords: Curriculum, German for Professional Purposes, Technology

Teaching Language and Culture through Folklore and Mythology
Versions of popular folktales and myths exist in all languages, illustrate cultural values and human desires. They are continuously reinvented in advertising, media, literature, music and art. Folklore-based activities allow learners to compare, contrast and analyze their own and German-language communities, gain cultural insights, and perform, narrative and interpret figurative language. Activities range from grammar practice and intercultural analysis to creative writing. Keywords: Authentic Resources, History and Culture, Literatur im Unterricht

Language, Literacy and Film(Making) at all Levels
Visual media stimulate students' intellectual curiosity and engages them affectively, behaviorally, and cognitively. Through intercultural comparisons, learners gain better understanding of their own cultural identity and learn how to engage successfully with German speakers. Using films, commercials and other visual media makes culture come alive but also poses challenges through fast speech, dialect, etc. Hands-on activities demonstrate how to integrate visual media and how simple assignments develop students' media literacy and analytic skills. Keywords: Authentic Resources, Film/TV

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