Learning Goals

Learning goals for students who declare a major in German at Johns Hopkins:

  1. German majors develop a solid proficiency in German allowing them to effectively participate in discussions, read complex material, write critical essays, and give oral presentations in the foreign language. In addition to achieving communicative competencies, students will be capable of critically reflecting on language learning experiences. They conceive language and other media as meaning-making practices and are sensitive to the inextricable relationship of language/media and culture.
  1. Upon graduation, majors are capable of analyzing a wide array of German texts and cultural objects with attention to the role of genre (poetry, novel, drama, film, etc.), style, and socio-historical context. In so doing, they are aware of the accepted critical vocabulary and a variety of methods including close reading, discourse analysis, and interdisciplinary approaches to literature.
  1. German majors acquire a familiarity with the literature, philosophy, and culture of the German-speaking world and understand its contribution to international issues of contemporary and historical concern. This familiarity includes advanced knowledge of historical periods of German literature with its major authors/works, and the broad intellectual tradition of German thought from the Enlightenment to the present.
  1. German majors develop the capacity for rigorous critical thinking in an interdisciplinary and trans-national context. They are aware of cultural diversity and can view themselves and the world from multiple perspectives. Against this backdrop, students will be able to evaluate and interpret texts and cultural objects with respect to their premises, implicit meanings and underlying power relations. They can judge the claims of competing points of view and use this critical perspective to build their own arguments, which is the starting point for all original and valid scholarly research.