ACTFL (Continued)

Marion Gehlker

Friday, November 19

“The Lives of Others”: Classroom Approaches to the Film
In this one-hour session we were given interesting background information on the popular and well-known movie “The Lives of Others,” such as statistics on the East German Secret Service infiltration of East German society, and suggestions to look at the movie from the point of view of the female character, who is often not seen in a very favorable light.

Post-Unification Germany through the Voices of “Generation Gesamtdeutschland”
The title of this session was a little misleading. I did not learn much about “Generation Gesamtdeutschland.” But there is always one interesting idea one can take from a session, namely, having students explore the historical and political background in ‘stations’: in groups, students answer various questions or do assignments they find in folders at various ‘stations’/ tables in the classroom, some of which involve research on the web.

Saturday, November 20

“German Language Films in the 21st Century – Part II
”Following my own 8am session entitled “German Language Films in the 21st Century – Part I”, I attended “German Language Films in the 21st Century – Part II” a couple of hours later. One presenter showed a really hilarious short film, without subtitles, on ‘Beamtentum’ (civil servants) in Germany, which I plan to use in an advanced class next semester.

How American is the Berliner of the 21st Century?
This session was organized by the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation. The presenter contrasted, in a PowerPoint presentation, American emblems and customs, which East Germans would have recognized as typically East German or ‘socialist’, such as boy-scouts uniforms (which look very much like ‘Junge Pioniere’ uniforms), or having to wait to be seated in a restaurant rather than being allowed to choose freely one’s table. For copyright reasons I could not obtain the PowerPoint presentation. However, I discussed with the presenter/director of the Foundation possible cooperation during our study abroad classes in Berlin next summer.

AAUSC (American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators) Business Meeting, Panel Session, and Reception
We heard two presentations on graduate student teaching education

Focus Group on a First-Year German Textbook
I participated in a Focus Group on a First-Year German Textbook, organized by Vista Learning, because I am looking for a new first-year textbook. The new textbook sounds very promising.

Deutsche Welle Telenovelas
Deutsche Welle presented the many online and free learning opportunities for young people at all levels. I am considering for our classes, in particular “Jojo sucht das Glück”:,,13121,00.html. At the Deutsche Welle information booth, we discussed setting up a web box with relevant information and links for our classes.

As always, ACTFL was a very rewarding experience.

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