Peter Weise engaged in conversation in his office on the MIT campus.
Below, Peter Weise describes various aspects of how he teaches 21G.410 Advanced German: Professional Communication.
- When There Is No Textbook for What You Want to Teach
- Encouraging Active Participation
- Using Video and Native Speakers to Provide Feedback
- Language Models: The Role of Guest Speakers
- Using Hot Button Issues to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
- Engaging in Reflective Practice
- To Learn a Language, Communicate
21G.404 German IV
or permission of instructor
Every other spring semester
The students’ grades were based on the following activities:
- 40% Active participation
- 30% Homework & presentations
- 30% Exams (2)
Instructor Insights on Assessment
Peter Weise uses video recordings and feedback from native German speakers to help students assess their language development.
Fewer than 10 students
Breakdown by Year
Mostly juniors and seniors
Breakdown by Major
Variety of majors
Typical Student Background
Students are motivated to take this course for a variety of reasons. Some are heritage learners. Others took German in high school and want to continue their studies, while another group of students wants to be able to read academic literature in the original German. Finally, some students are motivated to learn German because they want to work in Germany.
How Student Time Was Spent
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 26 sessions total.
- Class sessions included communicative activities, student presentations, and guest speakers.
Out of Class
- Students completed homework and prepared presentations outside of class.