Students learn how to read, write, listen, and speak in German beginning in German 101 (IHGer101), and these skills diversify and deepen throughout the program, currently through the intermediate level of language proficiency. Students also begin to learn informal and formal ways of addressing people, which includes the workplace and the education system in Germany. Students learn about German-speaking artists of various fields (e.g., music, painting, literature, filmmaking) and this is often the way they also learn about diversity in German culture. For instance, many refugees and immigrants from various countries have chosen Germany as their new home, and students learn about current multicultural issues in Germany through studying prominent immigrant artists.
Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of diversity and global issues through the lens of studying German language and cultures. This not only reflects the courses that are part of ISP, but also the entire program.
The interdisciplinary German Studies minor, as proposed here, also guides students to address the first three of the college-wide learning outcomes: critical thinking, creative inquiry, and intercultural competence. One cannot have intercultural competency without knowing the language of the culture they are trying to understand. Language and intersectionality of culture and social location are central aspects of understanding Germany, and German-U.S. relationships in commerce and foreign relations. With Germany host to a variety of cultures in the 21st century, it is not simply another similar western country in comparison to the United States, but one that is strengthened by its multiculturalism and inclusion of people from various underdeveloped as well as war-torn countries.
Students learn critical thinking throughout the program, from IHGER 101 introducing them to the language through reading texts, watching videos and films, and speaking practice, to more advanced levels, where students can apply critical thinking to analyze language in literary and theoretical works. To reach the outcome of language proficiency at an advanced level, a major would be needed, which the College no longer offers. However, students could potentially transfer to the German program at the University of New Hampshire to complete the major and build language proficiency beyond the intermediate level. Students may also study abroad in Germany or Austria.
Students are expected to use creative inquiry and engage in research and creative work in the German program. With more of an interdisciplinary focus, as is proposed here, students could, for instance, combine their skills and learning of film production to a German topic. Students also have opportunities as early as the elementary levels of the German language to engage in research and projects related to their major or interests.