Love and Marriage: A Modern Approach to Conversation


  • Margit M. Sinka

  • Margit M. Sinka (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is Assistant Professor in the Language Department at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.


ABSTRACT  Most conversation courses in a foreign language, centered on reading selections and speeches prepared by students, lack animated discussions. In order to ensure personal involvement in and eagerness for verbal communication, the German intermediate conversational course at Clemson University centers on love, marriage, and family life. Students fill out ‘computer dating sheets,’ are matched with each other, have dates, prepare wedding ceremonies for class, and enjoy a few weeks of blissful marriage-related activities until they undergo marital crises and divorces. In the final class session, they pose as old people imparting wisdom to the young. Student proficiency in German improves remarkably, and the course generates enthusiasm as well as self-awareness and awareness of others.