Tuesday, October 23, 2012

German Class lately

This year I'm teaching German III for the first time in several years.  I've been slowly building my German program for years now, but the humanities based curriculum at my high school does not allow for many upper division language credits (ironic I know.)  I really enjoy the challenge of teaching German III.  I have six students in my class.  We are doing some grammar this first semester but soon I hope to start reading any of the following German Novels:

Emil und die Detektive
Das doppelte Lottchen both by Erich Kästner

Teaching German III is a challenge.  My students are sharp.  I'm fairly certain a few of them are much smarter than I am. I can't make up words on the spot...they remember every single word I tell them.  In my defense I'm almost certain that the word for impale is aufspeisen or something like unto it.  Who knows that kind of vocab?
This is what happens when I'm still talking to another teacher in the hall when German III class is supposed to start.   They all just stood in the door way with their backs to me until I apologized for being late (2 min!) to class.  Look at 'em all clamoring to conjugate verbs.  I do realize this is not normal.  I'm just very lucky to have such teenagers!

Here are a few funny stories from this year and last year.

I'd taught the word damit meaning 'their with' but used much in the same way we use 'with it' in English.  It sounds a lot like damn it.  Which is always very exciting for the students as is ass: the past tense of ate, dick: fat and hell: light.

I'd handed out quizzes and was eager to have them returned and move on to some other task.  I asked "Seid Ihr fertig damit?" "Are you finished with it -the quizzes?" one too many times.  One of my quietest most humble students piped up and said "NO DAMIT!"  The entire class erupted in laughter.  I sent her to the office...just kidding.

"My student named Porker"
I had a student in my German II class named Parker and another in the same class named Porter.  Both were males, about 6'1 and a little quiet.  If you say Porter, Parker,Porter, Parker, Porter, Parker about five times fast you will get Porker.  sigh.  Neither of them thought it was very funny, but try as I might I asked "Porker" to volunteer several times over the course of last year.  Eventually my students made me this sign.
Porter is on the left.
Parker is on the right.
Their is no Porker. 
And in case you forgot about the duct tape incidents of years past.

  For my own German studies I've been enjoying the Tintenherz (Inkheart) trilogy which I listen to on my commute to work every morning.  It is young adult fiction and right about my comfort zone.


Becca said...

This makes me laugh out loud, all of it. I miss my jr high and high school German classes; consistently fun and entertaining. Also, I've read both Emil und die Detektive and das doppelte Lotchen, and I vote for Emil! He's adorable.

The UnMighty said...

Mmmmmm... German grammer. Sounds fun.
It has been too damn long. Your womb bore fruit and I didn't even know. Congrats. The lot of us need to catch up soon.

Or I could just read more of your blog.

Yeah, let's just leave it at that and not talk.

Denise said...

Ha, ich habe noch gar nicht darüber nachgedacht, was Wörter wie dick, hell und ass für englischsprachige Schüler bedeuten ;) Obwohl ass eigentlich aß geschrieben wird. Auf der Computertastatur habt ihr den Buchstaben zwar nicht, aber die Schüler lernen schon das ß, oder? Und impale heißt wirklich aufspießen (wieder mit ß). Ich wäre gern mal Gast in deinem Deutschunterricht.

Whitney said...

I've taught a bunch of German books if you need help with teaching ideas. The AATG has a lot of online materials you can use and ideas, too. They have a bunch of stuff for "Emil" and for "Im Land der Schokolade und Bananen". Man, I need to get back to teaching German, I love it!

Whitney said...

And, btw., I now want to explain all the different uses of "damit", it's a da- wo- compound, it's a conjunction, etc, etc. Means "so that","therefore", "with that", blah blah blah. I love that word! (sorry, I'm a dork. Too bad explaining all of that at once is way too much of a grammar overload, and students just need to learn to use it in various situations)

Barbara @ Nähtante Quilts said...

Hey there! German is a mean language, there are some things to be really careful with...
-- impale is "aufspießen", it means that you put something on a stick or any other long and thin implement, "aufspeisen" on the other hand is eat of finish off food. take care of the order of "e" and "i", it changes the meaning of the word dramatically. :-)
-- "damit" is basically the same as "that" when introducing a subordinary clause, you can't translate it literally...

Be in touch if you need something for German grammar of vocab.
Best wishes!