The Foreign Language Department develops the skills needed for effective communication in the target language. This is accomplished by increasing the student’s ability to speak, listen to, read, and write the language with increasing accuracy, as well as to bring about a better knowledge of the people, geography, culture, and literature of the countries that speak the language. Since a very high percentage of the top American colleges and universities require three years of one language or two years of two foreign languages for admission, R-MA requires the same for its Advanced College Prep Diploma. At R-MA we offer a language seal to recognize advanced language students who complete four years in one language or a combination of five years in two languages. All students at each level take the National German Exam for national recognition of their achievements.
Students learn to feel at home with listening to, speaking, reading and writing German in an entertaining and supportive environment. A key part of the course is a complete video, DVD and CD program to promote listening and speaking skills supported by the most up-to-date textbook series "Deutsch Aktuell." The textbook and accompanying workbook support an interactive learning experience with an emphasis on conversational German, reading, writing and grammar structure. Students learn about German, Swiss, and Austrian cultures and customs with accompanying video materials. Students are introduced to literature with the book "Arme Anna" that promotes literature reading skills that will be required at the higher levels.
Students progress to more complex reading passages on real-life situations in typical German settings with more idiomatic language usage in the video and DVD materials. The course includes several subtitled German movies to promote listening skills and accompany the study of German culture and history. Throughout the year, the teacher communicates progressively with the students in German. Knowledge of vocabulary and language structure is enhanced throughout the year in the key areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students continue with their exposure to literature with a short detective novel entitled "Oktoberfest."
Honors German III
The reading texts in this class are more advanced and are supplemented by texts and short video segments taken from Internet news sites. The class is conducted increasingly in German as the year progresses to hone students’ listening and speaking skills. The use of audio and video materials includes subtitled movies on a variety of topics relevant to German culture. By the end of the year, students should feel confident in reading and listening to spoken German, with improved skills in speaking and writing. Students read two advanced literature selections: "Drei Männer im Schnee" and "Bitterschokolade."
Advanced Placement German IV/V
At this level the course combines the use of the Aspekte textbook, specifically designed for the AP level, with full-length novels by such prominent authors as Franz Kafka, Berthold Brecht and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Regular use is made of online websites, live news from the Internet, and full-length German movies. This is an immersion course concentrating on the achievement of greater fluency in the areas of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The Level V and VI classes function on the same basis as the Level IV class with more in-depth analysis of literature and advanced audiovisual materials. Students in level IV, V and VI all work on the same high level material in the same class, but with more advanced assignments for the higher levels.