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Vorsprung : A Communicative Introduction to German Language and Culture

ISBN: 9780618669073 | 0618669078
Edition: 2nd
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Heinle
Pub. Date: 11/27/2006

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Vorsprung is an innovative and lively first-year program that uses a five-skills approach, emphasizing the acquisition of communicative as well as cultural competence without sacrificing attention to formal accuracy. Utilizing "focus on form" activities in an engaging, personalized fashion, Vorsprung helps students develop realistic abilities in speaking, listening, and reading German. The program presents a systematic, clear introduction to the essentials of German grammar and practices high-frequency structures and vocabulary in interactive activities. In addition, it provides students with the cultural knowledge that is relevant to their own lives and then asks them to compare their cultures to the habits and behaviors of the German-speaking peoples of Europe. In order to prepare students for successful communication in today\'s rapidly changing world, Vorsprung exposes them to a wealth of spoken and written authentic textual materials. To support this focus on spoken and written German, Vorsprung offers an array of in-class activities that foster accuracy and provide ample opportunities for students to practice German in authentic contexts. Streamlined grammar sequence enhances the balance in each chapter and enables instructors to more easily organize a semester-or quarter-long syllabus. Cross-cultural awareness activities (Kulturkreuzung) include thought-provoking questions following each cultural note that encourage students to reflect on the differences between the target culture and their own; raise awareness, sensitivity and appreciation of this diversity; and enable students to articulate the differences in German. Introduction of Austria as a chapter theme exposes students to another German-speaking country and helps them appreciate the Austrian cultural heritage. Added chapter material profiles three real-life American students who use their knowledge of German to study in Germany, providing motivation for students who might be uncertain about whether or not to continue their study of the language. Authentic readings represent more contemporary texts or recent editions of original texts, all chosen for their appeal to college students. Topics include updated rules and regulations for bicycling in Germany; a 21st-century online blog discussion of the meaning of friendship; and experiences of two foreign students at a German university. Integration of grammar with function enables students to see and learn how grammar is used to communicate and provides more focused instruction on the truly meaningful and worthwhile aspects of German grammar. Linear presentation of grammar and vocabulary provides the instructor and the student with a clear sense of progression through the material and a solid understanding of how vocabulary and structure are linked for communication.

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