Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Woche 5: Frühstücken im Kaffeehaus

Don't judge me, but it's exhilarating to eavesdrop in a language that you are learning! Occasionally, when out and about, I'll catch a phrase of German floating on the air, and I'll slowly inch (or millimeter) my way subtly, of course, in the direction of the conversation. Not because I really care about what the people are saying to each other, but because I want to know if I can UNDERSTAND them. I crave to hear that fluid, authentic, native speech. No scripted textbook exchanges please, but rather real, spontaneous, error-filled, reversed, fast-forwarded, muffled conversation! 

Maybe when my students are working with this lesson, they can close their eyes for a second and imagine that they are sitting in a Kaffeehaus in Vienna and leaning slightly in one direction towards some people ordering their food and drinks. Maybe it'll help them to feel more confident when they then place their own order and ask their questions, because they will have heard others doing it first. 

Unit Essential Question
How does language empower me?

Daily Learning Target: I can interpret conversations that others are having.

Alabama Course of Study Standards Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
1. Use the target language in oral form to exchange ideas and explain.
2. Interpret culturally authentic oral and written texts in the target language about familiar topics to determine main ideas and supporting details.
4. Analyze information learned about the perspectives and practices of a target culture to describe patterns of behavior typically associated with those cultures.  

ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 
Interpretive Listening: (Intermediate High)
I can easily understand straightforward interactions.

Before strategies: 
Using page 29 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book, read together the introductory paragraph that describes how a Kaffeehaus is a very popular breakfast destination and presents the terms "Wiener Frühstück" and "Erweitertes Wiener Frühstück". I think that this would be an excellent spot to hand out a copy of or view with a device the breakfast menu at Café Landtmann.

During strategy:
Hören: Ss listen to Hörbeispiel 04 on the CD that accompanies the "Ins Kaffeehaus" book and listen for what foods and/or beverages that are ordered by the customer.

Sprechen: Ss use the following prompts for discussion

  • Wie sieht ein “typisches” Frühstück in den USA aus?
  • Bei uns isst man zum Frühstück…..
  • Bei uns trinkt man zum Frühstück….
  • Was unbedingt dazugehört ist….
Hören: Ss listen to Hörbeispiel 05 and hear how the customer, who's from Hamburg, learns how to order his breakfast while in a Viennese Kaffeehaus! Ss can easily make notes of their conversation with a simple graphic organizer: 
  • In Wien sagt man...
  • In Hamburg sagt man...
After strategy: 
Nach dem Hören: Ss receive this as a handout:

It's page 134 from Baedecker's "Weltwissen." It's a cool cultural piece that illustrates how you just don't order a "Kaffee" when in a Kaffeehaus, as I experienced when visiting the Cafe Sperl for the first time in 2013

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Woche 4: Atmosphäre ist alles

A Viennese Kaffeehaus is more than just a café or a place to grab a coffee. It was explained to me, that because many people live in such small apartments in the city, a Kaffeehaus is, in a way, an extension of a person's living space. Unlike a park, city garden, or other outdoor space, Kaffeehäuser are not dependent on the weather to provide a private space in the public sphere. Snow or shine, you can sit and have the space to chat, read, write, observe, listen, eat, drink, play, flirt, argue, or doze without interruption. Well, I suppose you have to pay your bill eventually.

Unit Essential Question
How do words shape our view of culture?

Daily Learning Target: I can describe the atmosphere of a traditional Viennese Kaffeehaus.

Alabama Course of Study Standards Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
2. Interpret culturally authentic written texts in the target language about familiar topics to determine main ideas and supporting details.  

ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 
Interpretative Reading: (Intermediate Mid)
I can understand basic information in simple texts (quotes all related to the same topic.)

Before strategies: 
Vor dem Lesen: Ss receive quotes from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book (page 18) cut up into chunks and must reassemble them.
  1. Quote 1: "Das Kaffeehaus ist das erweiterte Wohnzimmer des Wieners."
  2. Quote 2: "Kaffee ist im Kaffeehaus nicht Zweck, sondern Kaffeehaus ist das Haus tausendmal wichtiger als der Kaffee. Er ist nicht der Inhalt, sondern die Form, er ist der Vorwand, ein Kaffeehaus aufzusuchen. Er ist Katalysator. Er ist die Eintrittskarte."
  3. Quote 3: "Das Kaffeehaus ist ein Ort für Leute, die allein sein wollen, dazu aber Gesellschaft brauchen.
After correctly reassembling the quotes, Ss present in small groups what each quote means.

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss have a copy of page 18 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book
  • Preview: read silently statements on Aufgabe 1 list
  • View: Think-Pair-Share strategy working with Aufgabe 1 on p. 18. Ss decide which statements match the quotes on upper part of page.
  • Review:  [I want to do some kind of synonym activity with critical words from quotes and statements, but I haven't figured that out open to ideas! Words for focus: Mittel, Zweck, Gesellschaft, Inhalt, Form, Ober.]
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen:  Read the Duden definition of the word Gemütlichkeit and look at this photo to discuss this word.
(not my photo)
Ss in small groups brainstorm for nouns/verbs/adjectives that all relate to the idea of Gemütlichkeit. Ss use a "Wortigel" to organize and collect their data.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Woche 3: Wer geht in welches Kaffeehaus und macht dort was?

This lesson is saturated with language organized to move from simple sentences to word groupings to short texts to inserting words into texts to complete meaning to producing language to accomplish everyday tasks.

Unit Essential Question
How does language empower me?

Daily Learning Target: I can interpret and produce strings of sentences with connectors.

Alabama Course of Study Standards Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
1. Use the target language in oral form to exchange ideas and explain.
2. Interpret culturally authentic written texts in the target language about familiar topics to determine main ideas and supporting details.  

ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 
Presentational Writing: (Intermediate Mid)
I can write on a wide variety of familiar topics using connected sentences.
Interpretative Reading: (Intermediate Mid)
I can understand the main idea of texts related to everyday life and personal interests or studies.
Interpersonal Communication Speaking: (Intermediate Mid)
I can use my language to handle tasks related to my personal needs.

Before strategies: 
Frage des Tages: Ss complete 5-10 minute writing prompt: "Wo bist du Stammgast? Warum gehst du gern dorthin? Mit wem? Wann? Wie oft? Wo liegt es Was machst du dort? Usw."

Vor dem Lesen: Vocabulary Word Sort Activity a.k.a. Concept Sort

  • Words used: Freundin, Briefe, Studentin, Sommer, Leitungswasser, Wasser, Cappuccino, Gulash, Soda-Himbeer, Schinken-Käse-Toast, Frühstück, konsumieren, angenehm, Terrasse, Stunden, Mittagsmenü, Büros, Arbeit, rauchen, Mittagszeit, Gäste, Kellnerinnen, Vorlesungen, Stammgast, Kellner, Mail, Kollegen, plaudern, durstig, Kaffeehaus, Kaffeehäuser, gemütlich, Stadt, Zeitungen, freundlich, Universität, satt
  • Possible differentiation add-on for language learners with higher proficiency: give extra blank cards for students to add words of their own for each category
  • To reinforce learning, Ss may write completed sorts or make any of their own vocabulary notes as needed individually 

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss have a copy of pages 12 & 13 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book
  • Preview: read out loud texts (4)
  • Each text describes a typical Austrian Kaffeehaus guest (retired professor, college student, widow, and office worker)
  • View: Ss discuss in small groups each of the texts and the people that are described
Before the Review portion of this lesson, it's critical to explicitly teach the following cultural products, which I do using vocabulary root words and word origins:
  1. Melange: "mêler" is French for 'to mix.' In Deutsch-Deutsch, Milchkaffee, most similar to a latte. Food always sounds fancier if it has a French name! :)
  2. Punschkrapfen: "Punsch" refers to the rum or Cointreau that the cake layers are soaked in; "Krapfen" is the jelly-filled aspect of this confection. This little cake is similar to a French-style petit-four
  3. Rehrücken: "Reh" is deer/venison. "Rücken" points to the back part of the animal. No venison meat here however! It's a chocolate cake shaped to resemble a venison roast.  
  4. Butterkipferl: "Kipf" means 'post' and refers to a (as best as I understand it) to a part of a wagon that connects to the main part of the wagon and keeps the animals pulling it in front of the wagon going straight. This pastry is shaped like this wagon part.
Wappen des Marktes Kipfenberg
Coat of arms from Kipfenberg, Oberbayern
  • Review: with a partner, Ss work to complete Aufgabe cloze activity on page 13 and then Aufgabe 2 on the same page which asks them to the cloze texts to the people and their descriptions from page 12 
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen: Ss receive a copy of a recipe for Punschkrapfen and task cards. Working in partners they use the recipe as content for their exchanges.
  1. Ask a question/Answer a question
  2. Express a want/Refuse to fulfill
  3. Describe a problem/Offer a solution
  4. Give a direction/Ask for clarification
  5. Express a need/Agree to assist
  6. Express gratitude/Respond politely
This feedback form developed by the Shelby County School District in Tennesse would be amazing for assessing the Ss performance on this task. I'm going to try it out this next time around!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Woche 2: Das Kaffeehaus, ein Ort mit vielen Funktionen

For me the core of this lesson is centered on this question "Who are the people that visit a Kaffeehaus?" The lesson begins with a very specific example, Peter Altenberg, and then branches out to more and more general descriptions of everyday people doing everyday things. I think it's nice for a change to flip the convention of teaching general to specific and to flip that model on it's head.

You can also easily connect this lesson to examining a cultural perspective, "Where do Austrians go to connect with and within their community?" You can compare and contrast this with what is done in your students' community.

Unit Essential Question
How do cultural products and practices reveal information about a culture's values or perspectives?

Daily Learning Target: I can describe a scene at an Austrian Kaffeehaus.

Alabama Course of Study Standards Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
3. Use target language to create oral presentations on a variety of topics using familiar vocabulary and learned structures and time frames.
4. Analyze information learned about the perspectives and practices of a target culture to describe patterns of behavior typically associated with those cultures.

ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 
Interpretative Reading (Intermediate-High) 
I can understand the main idea and a few supporting facts about famous people.
Presentational Speaking (Novice-­‐High) 
I can present information about others using phrases and simple sentences.
Interpersonal Speaking (Novice-High)
I can usually handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking simple questions.

Before strategy: 
Vor dem Lesen: Ss discuss the words: Stammgast, Stammcafé, Stammtisch

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss have a copy of page 53 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book and have read the biographical text as homework
  • Preview: read out loud biographical text about Peter Altenberg
  • View: Ss present "ich" statements that they created as homework based on the biographical text and back up with textual evidence from the original, then as a group, compose and collaborate on one common text
  • Review: as individuals, fill out a Lebenslauf form for Altenberg
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen: Large group discussion of Altenbergs's cemetery stone in the Wiener Zentralfriedhof "Er liebte und sah!" *Altenberg requested that this was what was put on his gravestone.*

Vocabulary/Reading activity: page 8 "Ins Kaffeehaus" book 
  • Aufgabe 2 Ss match images with verb phrases (individual)
  • Aufgabe 3 Ss describe in complete sentences what the people are doing in the images (partner work)
  • Aufgabe 4 (I would recommend this for a more advanced group)
Exit strategy: 
Ss view photo of mine from one of my visits to Café Sperl* in Vienna. Ss compete against one another to see who can make the most questions in German about the photo. Ss do not formulate answers to those questions. They just simply ask questions. 

This activity I found in a document titled "Using Visual Material in the Foreign Language Classroom" by Harry Grover Tuttle. It's listed as #5.

*Interesting factoid about Café Sperl: It was featured in the film "Before Sunrise (1995)" with Ethan Hawke. There's a quick little scene in the cafe available on YouTube that illustrates the atmosphere of a Kaffeehaus before the two main actors enter. Chuckle-worthy for sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kaffeehaus Mittwoch: a unit for level 3

Not only am I a German teacher, I also moonlight, on occasion, as a Latin teacher. Running and planning a classical language course and a modern language course simultaneously is an extremely rewarding endeavor, because each kind of language instruction requires different pedagogical strategies. The magic happens, however, when a strategy for the instruction of one of the languages informs and inspires for the instruction of the other.

Thus was "Kaffeehaus Mittwoch" born for German, level 3.

For Latin 1, I had created "Monday Mythology."
For Latin 2, I had created "Time Machine Tuesday."
If ever I skipped one of these, my Latin students protested loudly! I imagine they appreciated the predictability and the interdisciplinary nature of these days (relevance!) along with the mental break that it offered them from the daily grind of language acquisition.

My primary source of inspiration for this curriculum is the book published by the Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur called Ins Kaffeehaus: Materialien zur Österreichischen Landeskunde für den Unterricht von Deutsch als Fremdsprache.

You can order this book here from AATG.

The book (which includes a CD for listening tasks) contains 14 chapters with many activities for all three communication modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. The book also gave me several ideas for ways in which I could search out or create my own additional activities.

Over the course of the fall semester, I was able to plan out and execute seven "Kaffeehaus" Wednesdays. I intend to develop a few more of them for next fall. The schedule ended up looking like this:

Central to all of this curriculum, was that the students themselves also created their own Stammtisch in my classroom. On these set aside days, students took turns bringing in treats to share, and I housed in the classroom a water boiler for tea and hot chocolate. We created our own Stammcafe. Observers became practitioners! This is something that we rarely are able to do on this side of the pond. All of a sudden, I'm envisioning a week's lesson in which the students reenact a Kaffeehaus scene. It would fit in perfectly following the week three lesson!

I will outline in more detail each lesson in subsequent postings. Gott sei Dank für die Sommerferien! :) Read here more about my initial first-hand experience in a Viennese Kaffeehaus.

Woche 1: Ins Kaffeehaus

Unit Essential Question
How do cultural products and practices reveal information about a culture's values or perspectives?

Daily Learning Target: I can extrapolate a cultural practice from reading a text

Alabama Course of Study Standard Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
2. Interpret culturally authentic written texts in the target language about familiar and unfamiliar topics to determine main ideas and supporting details

ACTFL Can-Do Statement: Interpretative Reading (Intermediate-High) 
I can understand the main idea and a few supporting facts about famous people.

Before strategy: 
Vor dem Lesen: Ss receive 10 previously learned vocabulary words and are instructed to illustrate simply their understanding of each word

  1. die Zeitung
  2. der Treffpunkt
  3. die Mehlspeisen
  4. die Rechnung
  5. die Tasse
  6. die Speisekarte
  7. einladen
  8. sitzen
  9. bleiben
  10. bestellen
Einstieg ins Thema: Ss are asked to answer the question "Was möchten Sie über Wiener Kaffeehauskultur lernen?" (What would you like to learn about Viennese coffeehouse culture?) The intent here is to invest the Ss personally in what we will be learning and to collect ideas for future lessons and activities for this unit. 

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss receive a copy of page 53 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book
  • read out loud Peter Altenberg's poem "Kaffeehaus"
  • discuss the poem
  • complete Aufgabe 1, Ss write reasons in their own words why someone would visit a Kaffeehaus based on what is described in the poem (partner work, then large group share)
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen: Large group discussion of questions 1 and 2 on p. 53 handout

Homework: Read the short biographical text about Peter Altenberg on p. 53 handout. Based on what you read and understand, write a text in the first-person auf Deutsch, in which Peter Altenberg is introducing himself. What kinds of things does he tell us about himself? Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: education, work, family, friends, likes/dislikes, strengths, problems, etc.  

This reading comprehension strategy is a variation of the "Dramatic Monologue" activity described in the article "103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cultural Comparisons and Contrasts: Utilizing Google Voice

As a teacher on a 4x4 block system, I typically have about 90 students at a time. As a teacher on a traditional 7 block system, one can have about 150 students at a time. It is a slice of my proverbial work pie that I must work to know, see, speak with, and hear all of my student every day to the best of my ability.
How I view my role as an educator, 2014
Additionally, as a modern language teacher, I need to assess my students' speaking production on a regular basis. I have experienced that with a classroom of 25-30 students, it is difficult to give up that precious learning time, so that I can hear each student speak and give feedback. 

This year, I experimented with a new tool that I believe will free up some of that time formally spent on speaking assessment. Much less often will my students sit and patiently (passively) wait for their turn at the language steering wheel. That new tool is Google Voice

Old teaching practice: assign students a guided conversation task to role play with a partner with a set amount of time to prepare, assess their progress by having them perform that conversation in front of the class, enter grade in gradebook

National Standards for Foreign Language Education
Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions
Alabama Course of Study Languages Other Than English
Modern Languages Level 1.3.: Present oral and written information in the target language using familiar vocabulary and correct structure in the present time frame.
New paradigm: assign students a guided conversation task to role play with a partner, give students an allotted amount of time and then WHEN THEY ARE READY, they submit their speaking sample IN A PRIVATE SPACE with their cellphones using Google Voice, return to the classroom to WORK ON ANOTHER TASK while other students finish, assess their speaking samples when I choose, FORWARD STELLAR SAMPLES to parents of students using Gmail with a note of encouragement (Look! Your student is speaking German! Prima!), enter grade in gradebook

Last year, I was able to do this type of activity twice with German 2 students. Both times, it went so well, that it seemed too good to be true. Only a couple of technical glitches occurred, and I just asked those pairs to resubmit their speaking samples with no penalty. No complaints, no resistance, and the students were all engaged using the target language and technology. It's truly an administrator's dream. In fact, I tweeted about my first run with Google Voice on February 5th, which was Digital Learning Day (#DLDay). My instructional partner retweeted that, which then got retweeted by the Alabama State Superintendent of Education, Tommy Bice. (Apologies for the tooting of my horn, but I thought it was nice to having world language learning recognized at the state level!)

Screenshot from my Twitter @frauboynton, 2014
I'm now considering ways in which students can use Google Voice at another level. I'd like to see them use it for culture discussion, for example. Maybe at the end of a unit of Austrian culture, like this one about the city of Salzburg, students could speak for 2-3 minutes about the similarities and differences between Salzburg and their own hometown. For novice learners, I believe that this can totally be done in English. For intermediate to advanced learners, this can be done in German. For those students at all levels, who are continuing on to Advanced Placement, this is an excellent activity to prepare and vertical team for the Spoken Presentational portion of the exam.

Google Voice also allows opportunity to do collaborative work with other subjects and classrooms. At the end of the day, building COMMUNICATION skills should be a primary objective for all educators.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy. CCRA.SL.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
For a clear and concise perspective on the value of podcasting and students submitting digital work, watch this video. I believe that it applies to this arena of students using Google Voice, as well.

During the past two years, I have developed several interdisciplinary units with colleagues in my building. What if at the end of a lesson, we assessed our students' understanding of the connections between the world language and culture class and the other subject area (science, math, ELA, music, art, etc.) using Google Voice? I think that it could be even more powerful than before.

I presenting to at my school district's professional development day on this topic, so I've created a Padlet wall with the resources that I have found to be most helpful with getting ready to use Google Voice in the classroom. If you know of any others that are good, please leave a comment and share!