Warum machen die Deutschen das denn so?

In my German 420 course we are discussing cultural differences, specifically practices and products in German cultures. For some we understand the perspectives related to them, in others we do not. To learn more about the perspectives, we created this short interview and hope that many Germans will answer our questions: http://clear.msu.edu/mashups/19297

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Reflect

The Center for Language Teaching Advancement is producing a new tool to help students practice their speaking skills in a reflective way (http://webapp.llc.msu.edu/reflect). Since half my students this semester have to work hard to pass the SOPI for their internship placement, I have decided to let my students work with this program. The percentage of teacher candidates in the course is higher than usual and it warranted making some adjustments to the syllabus. Hopefully it will assist them in improving their language and passing the SOPI at Advanced Low.

Technologies and students

Every semester I try to integrate a variety of technologies for diverse purposes. This semester I am once again using a language learning software that can be adjusted to the students’ needs, a variety of computer-mediated communication tools, and also tools for content creation. This semester I am seeing some differences in preferences in my students. Some students are producing more than required on the blog but do not see a value in working with the language learning software, whereas others are enjoying the controlled environment and the immediate feedback from the software and dislike the social media tools used in class. I am trying to understand the origin of their preferences, so that I can then decide whether to give in to their preferences or purposefully stir them away from their preference.