The UM RC German Program is one of the oldest proficiency-based programs in the country, with proficiency standards dating back to 1967. An all-German semi-immersion approach is what makes this program particularly successful. RC German students have the advantage of being in small classes (usually 10-15 students), where each student gets individual attention. The rotation of instructors exposes students to different accents and teaching styles. Daily co-curricular activities bring students into contact with other German speakers at all levels of proficiency.

German students are well-qualified for study and work abroad, for advanced studies in German, and for primary research in other fields using German-language resources. A key objective of the program is to give students competence and the confidence to engage in use of the language for meaningful purposes. The program's small size allows instructors to tailor assignments to individual needs and interests, and prepare students for life in a global community. RC students have a unique advantage of learning within a small program within the RC's living-learning community, and having, at the same time, all of the benefits of an excellent large university which hosts numerous conferences and lectures and offers one of the finest libraries in the world to prepare students as scholars and put their learning in a real context.

The RC German Program provides a variety of opportunities for students to use their German. About 25-30 students eat at the German lunch table every day and there is a weekly German coffee hour in the Greene Lounge of East Quad. There are regular German film showings and opportunities to interact with native speakers. During the semester, classes are sometimes held outside the RC, at the library, at U-M's own excellent Art Museum or at an art gallery exhibiting works by German artists. In recent years, grant money has made it possible for the RC to bring in native-speaking German artists and writers to work directly with students. The RC German Program has its own German Theater company ("Deutsches Theater") which has staged multi-media productions in German at the U-M and at schools around Michigan since 1985. RC Deutsches Theater also hosts workshops, including theater workshops by Augusto Boal and others, movement workshops, mask design, and speech and diction workshops. The annual play production has been a benefit fund-raiser with food and money proceeds going to local homeless shelters, flood victims, food gatherers, war refugees, the Red Cross and other groups.

In characteristic RC fashion, students' learning often goes beyond the traditional classroom. Students have performed at and presented theater workshops for public schools, for example. An overnight retreat to a rustic camp in Winter 1992 kicked off a tradition for German theater students to take their learning off-campus. Class trips are regular fare for RC German classes. (Why limit learning to the classroom?) Students from the German Program enrolled in the Berlin course traveled to Berlin with course instructors to do video mapping of the city and try out their German over Spring Break. Over Spring Break 2002 - 2007, students traveled to Munich. In May 2004, 11 paid student interns traveled to Munich for 3 weeks for the GIEU Munich Arts and Identity trip, led by RC Instructor, Janet Hegman Shier. Their internship immersed them in the daily arts scene oof Munich, where they had drawing and painting lessons, and workshops in intercultural communication and theater. By night, they saw the spectacular theater offerings Munich provides. In 2006, we offered a new course with the RC Spanish Program: Cultures in Dialogue: Crossing External and Internal Borders, which was taught in English and German or Spanish(depending on which language students spoke). Students in this course learned about Muslims and Jews in Germany today. The class developed and staged a performance about issues staged in class: Displaced Stories which featured scenes in English, Spanish, and German. A culminating highlight of the course was a two week immersion in Granada Spain and Berlin Germany, where students witnessed issues surrounding immigration and intercultural dialogue firsthand. In Fall 2006, we invited young German artists (documentary film makers, hip hop musicians and world-class break dancers for a one week residency in the RC. These special activities all give students an excellent opportunity to apply and practice the skills acquired in the classroom and use their German for "real world" activities.

We hope that you will surf our website to learn about the special features of the program.

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