• GER 1004, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Ginny Steinhagen
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistant: Kathleen Berube
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Meets U of M degree credit requirements, such as departmental major, minor, or elective requirements
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

Course Information

Herzlich Willkommen! In German 1004 you will improve your ability to understand and communicate in German, learn about German history and current events, and discuss cultural artifacts that influence our daily life, such as social media and film. Communicating involves understanding the cultural context as well as knowing vocabulary and grammatical structures.  

The first chapter, “Wer ich bin, was ich studiere, und wie ich mich darstelle,” focuses on us as individuals, how we describe our interests and academic goals, and how we establish our personal and public personalities. The second and third chapters, “Die abwechslungsreiche Geschichte Deutschlands” and “Aktuelle Themen,” continue this question of identity, exploring major events of the 20th century to see how Germany's past influences the present and discussing current issues in Germany from immigration to the pandemic. The fourth chapter, “Film,” looks at film as an important art form that also offers important insights into the society and cultures in which it was made.

You will do extensive reading and listening and participate regularly in discussions, group work, and role-playing. Writing and revising essays and interviews give you a chance to practice your writing and speaking skills in structured contexts. You will also participate in self-assessment activities to learn how to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses and improve your language skills.

Sample Syllabus

Other Considerations

The collegial atmosphere fostered by our German teachers is a real strength of our program. CIS teachers work together and share materials and ideas regularly.

Class size limit: 26

U of M Catalog Description

Listening, reading, speaking, writing. Contextualized grammar/vocabulary. Authentic readings. Essay assignments.

Student Qualification Requirements

Students enrolling in GER 1004 must be juniors or seniors in high school who have completed GER 1003 or its equivalent, or have instructor approval, to participate. Qualified ninth- or tenth-grade students may apply if they have instructor approval.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


German 1003 and 1004 use course packets created by members of the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch. Interested teachers can get information by emailing Ginny Steinhagen, faculty coordinator of the CIS German program, at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all of the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
German teachers offering U of M courses through College in the Schools use the same materials as their counterparts teaching on the U of M campus. Teachers have choices in the supplementary materials, such as readers, films, and internet exercises.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
Teachers are required to teach the material, but they have flexibility in how they do this. Individual teachers adjust the syllabus to fit their school’s schedule.

Who creates the exams?
Quizzes, exams, exercises, and classroom activities for each course are posted on a secure website. Teachers are free to modify the materials to fit their teaching styles and program needs.

Is there a training and mentoring system for German teachers new to CIS?
Yes. Experienced instructors help new teachers get accustomed to the system. Teachers frequently email one another with questions and share materials with the whole group. New teachers also benefit from workshops that focus on course content and University processes, as well as an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS and prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M German?
Yes. Although the fast pace is a challenge, several teachers offer German on the block schedule and can provide insight into how to make the course a successful learning experience for the students. All CIS courses have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include sharing best practices, discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; planning field days; receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. The German fall field day includes classroom visits, campus tours, and panel discussions with undergraduate and graduate students majoring in German. A highlight of the German spring field day is the video competition; each CIS class enters one video in the competition and everyone enjoys viewing the winning videos.

High Schools Offering This Course

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Buffalo High School
  • Cambridge-Isanti High School (Cambridge)
  • Eden Prairie High School
  • Eden Valley-Watkins High School
  • Hinckley-Finlayson High School
  • Mora High School
  • New Prague High School
  • Pine City High School
  • Red Wing High School
  • Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School
  • Rosemount High School
  • Simley High School (Inver Grove Heights)
  • Spring Lake Park High School
  • Two Rivers High School (Mendota Heights)
  • Watertown-Mayer High School