Here are some sample posts that should give you an idea of the range of things you could do with this assignment! Make it fun! Click in the list below to go directly to the idea(s) you like.
Remember: In 101, your first posts will be mostly in English. Just stick in German words and expressions where you can, however funny it sounds. Gradually you will be able to use more German. The examples below start with ideas for the beginning of the semester, and gradually use more German.
- Example 1: Reading about German Culture in English
- Example 2: Facebook auf Deutsch
- Example 3: Speaking German (or text chatting in German) with a partner/group
- Example 4: Watching a Movie
- Example 5: Listening to German music
- Example 6: Playing a Video Game auf Deutsch
- Example 7: South Park auf Deutsch
- Example 8: Reading a book in German
- For MANY MORE IDEAS, click on AMD Ideen at the top of this page!
Example 1: Reading about German Culture in English (an early 101 AMD ==> English with just a few German words):
Example 2: Facebook auf Deutsch: This is a great idea for learning some simple German early in 101: assuming you’re familiar with facebook, you’ll be able to learn a lot from setting your facebook language to German for a few days, since you know what the English equivalents are for all the things you’re suddenly seeing in German. The sample post below is too short, since we don’t want to spoil the fun…for a real post, you would want to write down a lot more examples of the German you saw, and what you think it means in English. What’s the German equivalent of the “Like” button, for example?
Example 3: Speaking German with a partner/group: This can happen in person, on the phone, or via Skype; you can speak or it can be a text chat; you can do this with friends, family, or strangers; you can find your own conversation partner or attend an event like the conversation hours in the Max Kade House or the MLB. The following is a minimally edited version of a post by a 101 student who used Skype with a friend in the first weeks of the semester:
Example 4: Watching a Movie: If you watch an entire feature film, your blog post can be very short. It just needs to convince your instructor that you did really watch the movie. The sample below goes well beyond the minimum.
Example 5: Listening to German music: You should spend about 45-55 minutes on the activity that you “do” for your AMD, and then 5 to 15 minutes on your blog post. So if you post about a single YouTube video, which doesn’t take long to watch, you should watch it a couple of times, and then spend some extra time writing about what you could understand from the lyrics, and whatever else was interesting about it. Alternatively (probably much more fun/interesting), you could watch and write about multiple videos by one or more artists/bands, as in the following sample post:
Example 6: Playing a Video Game auf Deutsch: For this to be worthwhile, the game should obviously require you to use lots of German, either for the game itself, or while you chat with other players (from Germany/Austria/Switzerland!?) online. The following was posted by a 101 student in the first half of the semester:
Example 7: South Park auf Deutsch: Great opportunity to learn (and post) lots of fun colloquial German! All South Park episodes have been dubbed in German, and used to be freely available online with the option to change the audio to German (via an icon that looks like a weird mouth), while showing English subtitles using the CC (closed captions) button, to help you follow along. Even if you can’t find them anymore in this ideal format, perhaps you still know the show well enough to be able to follow a dubbed episode even without subtitles. The German South Park website (southpark.de) might be a good starting point – see the links in the sample post below. You could obviously do something similar with any other show that’s been dubbed into German (The Simpsons, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, etc.). Note that there are also a lot of feature films dubbed into German available in the LRC (Der große Lebowski, the original Star Wars trilogy, the first two Matrix movies, Shrek, the Monty Python movies, etc.).
Example 8: Reading a book in German: This is a great choice for an AMD: you’ll have fun and learn a lot. For 101, this will probably be too hard until the end of the course, but if you do this for your last AMD, then you could continue reading the same book for your 102 AMDs, and maybe even into 231. If you’re reading a German book, your blog post can consist of a very brief summary of what you read, plus some vocabulary you learned while reading, or expressions/quotes you liked. Reading Harry Potter, as in the following sample post, would be ambitious, but could be doable if e.g. you read the chapter in English first, and then read it again in German. Hartmut could also send you a link to a detailed vocab list for the entire first Harry Potter book (!).