Enrichment during the RC German Coffee hour

Enrichment during the RC German Coffee hour

Academic Year:
2021 - 2022 (June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Funds from the grant will be used to expand our German language coffee hour (Kaffeestunde) to include German-speaking guests, as well as field-trips to local sites. These required weekly co-curricular gatherings have long been central to the semi-immersive “learning beyond the classroom” pedagogy of the RC language programs. They are an excellent opportunity for current and former RC German students to mingle and speak German. Students dramatically improve their listening comprehension skills and become more comfortable speaking German.

These gatherings also provide the opportunity to present topics and materials that are not covered in the classroom.
Many of the Kaffeestunden are intentionally unstructured, with individual and group conversations evolving organically, much as they would in real life. However, we would like to include some more structured gatherings that allow students to meet with a wider range of German-speakers, to learn about particular cultural topics, and to go on fieldtrips out into the community to learn about local and regional German-related sites. Grant money would help defray the cost of honoraria, transportation and tickets. What follows is a list of proposed structured events for select coffeehours (Wednesdays 3-5 pm) this semester.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

The objective was to substantially enrich the co-curricular offering in the RC German Program. Co-curriculars are integral to the success of our program, giving students from different class levels the opportunity to speak German and learn about German culture in an informal setting. It also helps create a tight-knit sense of community which is particularly important now, during the pandemic.



Project Achievements:

We used the $500 funds to host the following events:

September 11: Field trip to the White Lotus Farms in Ann Arbor with German-language tour of the greenhouses, discussion of sustainable gardening practices, and picnic social (10 RC students attended)

September 15: UM German Club Director talked with RC students about UM German Club and German-language activities for students at the RC Coffeehour with German Pastries and Coffee to (12 RC students attended)

September 15: Hour-long zoom call with Ralf Keil, MA student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt to talk about the German elections (23 RC and LSA students attended, as well as some faculty)

October 6: German-language "Yoga against Stress" session with Iris Zapf-Garcia in the East Quad Garden (5 students attended)

October 13: Conversation with Author/Journalist Jochen Metzger about his book, Alle Macht den Kindern, in which he discusses an experiment in anti-authoritarian parenting (15 RC and LSA students attended)

October 15: Field Trip to the AADL to see the "Visualizing Translation: Homeland and Heimat in Detroit and Dortmund" exhibit (10 students)

November 17: T-shirt making workshop in the RC Art Studio with an original block-print design by an RC German student (9 students)


Plans to visit the Ann Arbor-based German-language Technology Company Zoller has been postponed due to rising Covid numbers, so we hope to do that later next term. We are also planning to host another zoom call with Germany in the winter term. We moved the UMMA visit to the winter term to do this with current students who will be continuing next term and the new group of First Year students starting in the Winter. We are also going to have another t-shirt making workshop with a second block print design next term, since the first one was so successful, but not everyone was able to join us.
We advertised the German elections event and German yoga class via email/newsletter to RC and GLL. Most of the other events were directed to students in our program, and some (t-shirt workshop) extending to former students.
Advice to your Colleagues:
Having a wide range of activities beyond the classroom has energized our program and brought students and faculty together.