Augenblicke: German through Film, Media, and Texts

Christina Frei


Authors: Christina Frei, Bridget Levine-West, Glenn Levine-West

Augenblicke was developed for beginning through intermediate German language and culture instruction, preparing students from the start for eventual coursework at the upper-level in a consistent manner with no interruption or jump between first-year and second-year curricula. The program’s systematic and contextualized language, culture, and grammar progression is structured around six themes essential to the 21st-century learner. Through the lens of these themes, students explore key issues across topics on national identity, multilingualism, technological advancements, citizenship, environmentalism, history, commemorative culture, and artistic representations as they build their language skills. Each module’s trajectory is structured around select authentic media and literary materials with which students engage and upon which students continually reflect as they deepen their linguistic and cultural knowledge. Communication in Augenblicke is usage-driven and consistently framed by the four modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and reflective), which helps center students’ attention on the target audience of communicative practices and helps prompt learners to make thoughtful choices regarding their language use. Lastly, Augenblicke’s process-based grammar and vocabulary progression helps students develop a fine eye and ear for grammatical paradigms while bolstering their communicative and symbolic competencies. These core features of Augenblicke embed language learning within genre-specific, authentic, and culturally relevant contexts and foster students’ language education with the ultimate goal in mind: effective communication. Augenblicke is an innovative and dynamic curriculum for teaching introductory and intermediate German published by AATG. Based on insights and findings from research in applied linguistics and language pedagogy and intermingled with many best practices for communicative language teaching approaches and techniques, Augenblicke helps learners develop personally meaningful intercultural communicative competence in German through Intermediate Mid to High (ACTFL) or B1 to lower B2 (CERF).