German Conversation and Composition

I.     Course Prefix/Number: GER 205

       Course Name: German Conversation and Composition

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

German 202 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course reinforces oral and written communication skills. Content includes a variety of speaking and essay writing activities. Topics drawn from contemporary life and culture.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To use spoken German in class discussions, debates, role playing activities.
  2. To develop skills in written expression by composing essays on the topics of class discussion.
  3. To support deepening awareness of the culture and customs of German-speaking people.
  4. To specify a vocabulary base for authentic use of language in realistic situations.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week Topic
1 - 2 The individual in modern German Society.
3 The changing roles of men and women.
4 - 5 The family between tradition and change.
6 - 7 Mass media in German-speaking countries: transmission of information, opinions and culture.
8 The work-a-day world.
9 - 10 Leisure time activities.
11 - 12 Health and fitness.
13 The impact of technology.
14 The environment: crises and challenges.
15 - 16 Student reports/debates on cultural, social and/or political aspects of life in modern Austria, Germany, Switzerland.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Class work is organized around the communicative functions used in a variety of speaking and writing situations.  Students will engage in paired and small group activities, prepare oral reports, review and edit written work.  Listening activities in and out of class will involve students in the use of authentic audio and video materials.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Students are expected to come to class prepared for the day's activities; complete assigned exercises and submit them on the date specified in the syllabus.  Students are expected to spend two hours per week listening, viewing, and reading assigned audio-visual and authentic material and submit written or oral reports.  Students in this course are required to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester.  These may be assigned in a variety of ways including essays, journals, response papers, lab or project reports, etc.

The mid-term and final exams will include speaking, listening, reading, and writing components.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.

  1. Renate Hiller and Mark W. Rectanus,
  2. Prisma:  Dokumente, Literatur, Kommunikation. (D.C.Heath,1992)
  3. Deutsch Direkt Videos (selections from lesson 10-20)
  4. Schauplatz Deutschland (Germany Live) video series
  5. Schau-Ins-Land audio cassette series

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Equal weight will be given to oral and written skills in determining the final grade.  Instructors will evaluate students on the basis of attendance, participation, compositions, individual presentations and quizzes.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.