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A Foreign Language Interim Program—“Auf deutsch, bitte!”


  • Harriet D. Semke

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      HARRIET D. SEMKE (M.A., Univ. of Colorado) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at Westmar College, Le Mars, Iowa. She has led two Interim programs in Germany and has spent a year of study at the University of Marburg. She is the author of “Wie gefällt Ihnen …?,” an article to be published by the AATG in the next issue of Die Unterrichtspraxis for the Teaching of German. She is a member of ACTFL, AATG, and AAUP


ABSTRACT  An increasing number of colleges are adopting a calendar which includes a short (three- to four-week) semester or Interim. During this time students study only one subject and thus are able to focus their complete attention on one area of interest. Teachers do not have to vie with other instructors for a student's time and are able to try innovative approaches to learning. The language teacher can give students an “immersion” experience which is nearly as good as visiting the foreign country. This “language-house-type” program is possible even with a small group of students, no special facilities, and only one instructor. If the instructor is not a native, the help of a native speaker as a resource person is desirable. Such a person usually can be found—either among the student population on the campus or among the local residents of the community. Students who participated in the interim program described in this article evaluated it as highly successful.