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Sigh Some Professors

  1. Oct 21, 2007 #1

    G01

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    I'm taking this course in German, GERM101. It is a course in basic German language and vocabulary. I really want to learn this language, but this professor is somewhat discouraging me. She expects ALOT of work. This usually not a problem. I like to think I have a good work ethic, but she is expecting way too much. I am spending more time doing my German homework than I am on my Mathematical Physics course. This shouldn't be the case. It is not because I am struggling or not doing well in German either. I just have that much work.

    For example. I had a big midterm in the class this Friday, and now I have a composition due for the class on Monday. She will then usually assign tons of exercises after every class, to the point where I spend the whole next morning writing them up, again more time then I spend on some of my technical major courses. (I put a good deal of time into my major courses, so this is saying something.) I then also have to go to our "language learning center" every week to do these listening comprehension exercises. I understand that all of this is important to learning a language, but she should remember that most if not all of us in this class are not German majors and have other priorities as well. I would really like to continue my studies of German, but I do not think I can sacrifice this much time to the next course in the spring. Does anyone have any ideas of how I can continue studying the language outside the classroom. For instance, how is the Rosetta Stone software, besides being ridiculously expensive?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2007 #2
    What are you doing now? The imperative du forms? Are you using Kontakte?
     
  4. Oct 21, 2007 #3

    G01

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    We are currently discussing accusative forms of personal and possessive pronouns. Also we are working with modal verbs such as möchten and können.
     
  5. Oct 21, 2007 #4
    It should all be relatively easy though. Excuse me though, i've been through the advance German coursework already, and I didn't take introduction German at college, I started at the third level. However, from my experience tutoring beginners, it's a lot of work, but most of it is easy. It just takes a lot of time to get it built into your system. Just smile and work your ass off. After a while you'll be able to conjugate verbs or use the right form within seconds and your current homework will only take 30 minutes.
     
  6. Oct 21, 2007 #5

    cristo

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    But then, everything's easy if you can do it! One can't just say to a student who's encountering work for the first time "but this is easy!" Besides, even if the work is relatively straightforward, it can still be time consuming.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2007 #6
    My Spanish 101 class took more time than all my jr. level courses.

    It required countless amounts of writings to be done, and web homework was absurd, it was page after page after page due every week. Probably around 400 questions total every week. All the web homework was just 10% of your grade.

    But its something you have to deal with, learning a language requires a lot of work or they think it does.

    I'm just glad next semester will be my last year of the language.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2007
  8. Oct 21, 2007 #7
    I have no doubt about that. I'm simply saying that perhaps some people feel the same way about calculus and such. Why should they have to spend so much time on a math class when they are majoring in chemistry? An introduction class is set up at a really fast speed for a reason. They expect you to have a very good grasp of the language within two years, and after that you are expected to practice taking courses called strategy for conversations , composition, or culture studies.

    It is a lot of work but all in all it is easy work. Once you learn some basic rules in German, the rest carries itself. Work hard to get the solid foundation first. It's a lot of work, I understand, but you have to understand that learning a language for the first time isn't easy. It will become easier by 202 though/
     
  9. Oct 21, 2007 #8
    GO1, some professors that teach intro and general Ed classes seem to have the opinion that it's their job to demonstrate to freshmen students how much work is required to make it through college. Unfortunately, they make no allowance that an experienced student, who might be taking junior or senior level courses, might be in the room.

    My econ professor was like this. He knew that most freshmen hadn't been exposed to a class where they actually had to apply anything they learned in algebra. Nothing he did put any strain on those of us who had already had calc, other then his requirement to write out equation solving steps that we had been doing in our heads for more then a year now. To those who were taking college algebra or intermediate algebra, I'm sure it was overwhelming.
     
  10. Oct 21, 2007 #9

    G01

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    This is a good point. I never thought of it like this. I guess it makes sense to try to show freshman how much work college is, but she definitely didn't assume I would be taking 400 physics courses at the same time!
     
  11. Oct 21, 2007 #10

    morphism

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    Maybe you can talk to her about it, and see if you can work out some sort of arrangement?
     
  12. Oct 21, 2007 #11

    G01

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    I guess I can talk to her, but I can't see this woman actually agreeing to something like that. She doesn't seem to be the type. Plus, I'm not one to accept special treatment in this case. I chose to take German and I chose to be a physics major, so there is no reason why I should get special treatment since no one has forced me to do what I'm doing. I think the only real fair way to handle this situation would be for the professor to take into account people in my situation when writing up her syllabi. This way, the work load is more bearable in my situation, and I, and people like me, are not getting treated differently than anyone else in the room.
     
  13. Oct 22, 2007 #12
    How crucial are languages in engineering professions? Is 2 fluent languages enough to keep you on the market?
     
  14. Oct 22, 2007 #13
    Ja also. Einfache lösung. GO1, schick mir sofort eine nachricht. Ich werde dir meine email geben, dann du schickst mir damit deine hausaufgaben und ich werde alles fertig machen. Ich bin jeden tag mindesten 1 stunde im internet. Meine Deutschkurslehrerin erwartet uns, dass wir unbedingt alles perfekt machen. Also weiß ich, wie der scheiße es ist. oder, oder :) gute idee oder? Komm doch schon, werde ich fließend müssen.

    Wenn du es diese nachricht übersetzt. Ich gebe dir meine hilfe nicht :(.
     
  15. Oct 22, 2007 #14
    So like I have learnt in the last year, that a second and third language, can, could, maybe will be something thats very important in your life.

    Yeah like, my english has really gone down the ****ter.
     
  16. Oct 22, 2007 #15

    G01

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    Danke Whitay, aber ich soll meine Hausaufgauben machen. Ich möchte Deutsch sehr gerne lernen. Das Problem ist, dass ich keine Zeit habe.

    Sorry! I know this is an English forum, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to practice!:smile: It may not be perfect but I hope I was clear in the above paragraphs. Any native German speakers on PF? It would be cool maybe to have a conversation partner on PF to practice with (perhaps through PM) and to give me an impetus to keep learning the language on my own if I decide not to take the next course. Any native speakers out there?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  17. Oct 22, 2007 #16
    Yes and yes. Comment: "möchte sehr viel" to me seems like a typical mistake made by english speakers (because it's the direct translation of "want ... very much"). It should be "möchte sehr gerne".

    On topic:
    Imho, at some level (where you have at least some basic knowledge) learning a language is easier done the natural way, i.e. by exposure to the language in whatever ways.
    Examples (ordered from most passive way to most active way) are german-speaking radio stations, movies (especially when you watch them several times - there's almost always new terms/verbs/nouns to be discovered), books or even an old physics article (e.g. the original GR paper).
    If your german coursework takes more time than your physics work, then I think it is not worth the time and effort. In contrast to physics, german (and probably any other language, too) can be learned by sitting at home watching a few popular documentries/movies and making thought of your own without knowing all the grammatical details. So my recommendation (from personal experience having learned english mostly due to exposure to the language) would be taking what you can from your current course and then not taking another german course but looking for easy and "natural" ways to learn the language.
     
  18. Oct 22, 2007 #17
    I'm not native, but i'm close enough lol!

    But for 1 semester in German, you're doing pretty good. Despite all the time it takes up, it's clear that you are learning the language and you should be proud that you have come so far in such a short time.
     
  19. Oct 22, 2007 #18
    Ugh, it may be more "natural" but I don't think it makes it any easier. I wouldn't be able to learn any language by merely watching movies or listening to the radio, but that's me. I'm very analytical in my thinking, so I like/need to learn the formal way. Of course, if you are thrown into a German speaking country, you'll pick up the language sooner rather than later, but it'll be tough at first.
     
  20. Oct 22, 2007 #19

    G01

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    I have edited my post, since I am obsessive about mistakes. Thanks for the tip!:smile:
     
  21. Oct 23, 2007 #20
    Ich schalge das Buch 'German Grammar by Oxford' vor. Lies es und du wirdst Perfekt. Ich meine in der Grammatik Sinn :P. Kauf dir einer Verben Buch, hilft es auch bestimmt. Versuch mal auch auf deutsch lesen. Also ein richtiges buch, alles auf deutsch gescbrieben (the works). Ich hatte Neue Vahr Süd heute gesehen, wollte ich kaufen. Aber ich hatte ja natürlich kein geld dabei.
     
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