Create your future. Shape your world.
The curriculum of Earlham's German Program anticipates the future as much as it honors the past. To come to know the rich cultural heritage and the political and intellectual history of German-speaking countries is an educational end in itself. However, our work as teachers is equally intent on presenting the complexities of today's increasingly diverse German-speaking world and its many future challenges. One of our central goals, therefore, is to help students understand and appreciate that world from its earliest beginnings to the present.
All of our courses adhere to the nationally articulated Standards for Foreign Language Learning. In our basic language courses, we focus on both language and culture, while introducing students to authentic texts, literary as well as non-literary. In upper-level literature, culture and film courses, students learn to describe, analyze and interpret a broad variety of texts in social, cultural and historical contexts. In all of our courses students work toward raising their level of proficiency in the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational. Through the texts they study, they also learn to appreciate the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of the German-speaking world.
Communication and cooperation are essential ingredients in the way Earlham students and faculty learn and work together. All of our courses, whether they focus on language, literature or culture, afford students some opportunity to work with others in a group setting. Many upper-level students also work with faculty on a Ford/Knight collaborative project. All students of German, whether majors or not, may choose to live in German House, where they use the language in an informal setting. Each year an International Language Assistant also lives in German House. Students wanting to spend time in a German-speaking country may choose the semester-long Germany/Austria Program or the May Term in Berlin.
German majors and minors often combine their work with study of another discipline. For example past graduates have majored in German and Psychology, German and Religion, German and Economics, and German and International Studies. Our minors use German to complement their studies in a number of other disciplines. German also is one of the languages that students may choose as part of the Comparative Languages and Linguistics (CLL) major. Many of our majors, both graduates and undergraduates, receive internships, scholarships or fellowships to work or study in German-speaking countries.
A combination of German with another field has proved to be invaluable to graduates as they have pursued further study or as they have entered into a profession. Recent graduates of our program now work in such diverse areas as the arts, information science, business education, journalism, psychology, the airline industry, translating and language testing. Their career successes and personal satisfaction tell us that we prepare our students well for the demands of the global world.