Learning Outcomes for our majors and minors

All of our German courses and their respective learning outcomes are aligned with a CEFR proficiency level ranging from A1 to B2. German majors will achieve CEFR proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing at the level B2, minors at the level B1. The learning outcomes are measured either by Goethe Institute language exams, telc language exams, ACTFL test or similar exams, such as an exit exam approved and administered by German faculty at OSU. Our capstone course is GER 413, the final course in our Fourth-Year sequence.

NB: While the original version of Bloom’s taxonomy from 1956 did not include “to understand” as a measurable verb, we follow best practices in the field of foreign language acquisition and use “Understand” in the way suggested in the revised taxonomy published by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001: see also page 214 in https://www.depauw.edu/files/resources/krathwohl.pdf). In our learning outcomes, we use “understand” as umbrella term that reflects the varieties in language learning, to determine “the meaning of instructional messages, including oral, written, and graphic communication” (Krathwohl 215).

  1. Reception
    1. Listening
      1. Majors: Can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonable familiar. Can understand most TV news and current affairs programs. Can understand the majority of films in high German. (Measured via the Final Exam Listening Comprehension in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure etc. Can understand the main point of many radio and TV programs on current affairs or topics of personal and professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear. (Measured via the Final Exam Listening Comprehension in GER 313)
    2. Reading
      1. Majors: Can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular stances or viewpoints. Can understand contemporary literary prose. (Measured via the Final Exam Reading Comprehension in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. Can understand the description of events, feelings, and wishes in personal letters. (Measured via the Final Exam Reading Comprehension in GER 313)
  2. Interaction
    1. Spoken Interaction
      1. Majors: Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with other German speakers of the C2 level quite possible. Can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining their views. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Comprehension in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can deal with most situations likely to arise when traveling in an area where German is spoken. Can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life such as family, hobbies, work, travel, and current events. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Comprehension in GER 313)
    2. Written and online interaction
      1. Majors: Can interact with several people, linking one’s interaction to theirs, and handle misunderstandings or disagreements, provided the others avoid complex language, allow time and are generally cooperative. Can highlight the significance of facts, events and experiences, justify ideas and support collaboration. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Comprehension in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can interact about experiences, events, impressions and feelings, provided they can prepare beforehand. Can ask for or give simple clarifications and can respond to comments and questions in some detail. Can interact with other people on a project, provided there are visual aids such as images, statistics and graphs to clarify more complex concepts. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Comprehension in GER 313)
  3. Production
    1. Spoken Production
      1. Majors: Can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to their field of interest. Can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options. (Measured via the Final Exam Speaking Test in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can connect phrases in a simple way to describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions. Can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe their reactions. (Measured via the Final Exam Speaking Test in GER 313)
    2. Written Production
      1. Majors: Can write clear, detailed texts on a wide range of subjects related to their interests. Can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Test in GER 413)
      2. Minors: Can write a straightforward connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. (Measured via the Final Exam Writing Test in GER 313)