Specific outcomes for Linguistic Competency The German Program applies the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to evaluate the linguistic competency of its graduates.
- Speaking Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a speaking proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to speak clearly and with precision about personal, professional, and academic topics.
- Writing Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a written proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to write clearly about professional or academic topics, including introductory research in the area of literature and culture studies.
- Listening Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a listening proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced High, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to understand conventional as well as complex narratives that may use uncommon vocabulary or address difficult topics, such as theater plays in the target language.
- Reading Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a reading proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to read and interpret conventional quotidian texts as well as complicated narratives from the 18th-21st centuries, addressing a wide range of topics and genres, including literary, scientific, and cultural theory.
II. Specific outcomes for Integrative Knowledge Accompanying the acquisition of German language skills is the study of cultural phenomena, which provides German majors with a breadth of knowledge as found in a traditional liberal arts program. The acquired knowledge helps students engage with various additional fields of study across the UNH campus. Through transferable practice in abstract reasoning, critical examination, and constructive articulation, students extend their intellectual curiosity and learn to aspire to life-long learning.
- Interpretive Reasoning Particularly in the advanced courses that analyze art in its various forms – literature, film, painting, performance art, et. al. -, we (students and faculty alike) wrestle with interpretation and contextualization. In these courses, we are invested in humanistic inquiry and address tough questions – those concerning value and meaning, realms of knowledge ungraspable by natural science alone. Patterns of narrative, traditions of rhetoric, and history all inform the analyses of the cultural artifacts under study. By fostering the skills of close reading and listening, German majors become more articulate (both in German and their native language) and more proficient in analyzing and synthesizing the various types of knowledge.
- Critical-Constructive Thinking In the analysis of cultural artifacts, students learn to consider a multitude of perspectives. In addition to critical thinking skills, German majors become better versed at the constructive synthesis. Term papers and presentations in the target language are the culmination of linguistic comprehension and production as well as of interpretation and critique. In assembling such larger projects, German majors learn to construct well-informed arguments that are based on interpretation and scholarly critique.
- Interdisciplinarity Language study entails a wide range of applications, both personal and professional. It opens up possibilities for travel, genuine encounter, and the fostering of diplomatic and business relationships. German is of particular interest for political, economic, historical, and cultural reasons. With strengths in engineering and heavy manufacturing, Germany is of vital political-economic importance. Our students are encouraged to explore the connections in various scientific fields, the business world, and the humanities at large.
- Transformative Education Close mentoring of our German majors leads to relevant study-abroad opportunities in which our students make tangible use of their intellectual skillsets in the target culture. Of equal importance, however, is the notion that the actual application of the skillsets during the study abroad experience (but also in our classrooms) offers an opportunity for students to achieve meaningful personal growth by realizing their own cultural underpinnings. As a result of their study of German, some students choose to go to or to return to Germany for work or travel. Thus, the study of German can result in transformative moments in the lives of our students.