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- ABOUT LAKELAND
On the most fundamental level, German students are practitioners whenever they use the language for genuine communication. While this occurs to some extent in lower-level classes, genuine communication occurs regularly in the classroom from the intermediate level forward. However, more formally defined Student-as-Practitioner activities require students to exit the classroom and develop their German skills in more social contexts. All students enrolled in classes from the intermediate level (GER 201) upward are required to attend a weekly German conversation table (Stammtisch), which features free-ranging conversation with all upper-level German students; German exchange students from Kassel, Germany; and German-speaking community members. Students in Conversation and Composition (GER 300) are required to work regularly with a native or near-native speaker in the community and to develop translations for community members.
German students can also use their language skills to serve the community more broadly. They may help with a weekly German playgroup for young children (Deutsche Kinderstube) and are involved with the planning and execution of Lakeland’s annual German Fair for high school students. In addition to developing their language skills, this activity involves coordinating a major literary event with high school students in the area and from Germany. For example, working on a short opera has required our students to learn the German parts, translate them for the English subtitles, help find host families for visiting students, and develop fair activities for the high school students to perform on campus.