German Program Mission Statement

22 February 2021

Mission Statement

We, the faculty of the German program, seek to provide students at Carleton College with engaging coursework and exceptional teaching of language and critical analysis. Our students develop intercultural awareness, examine global issues and contexts, and interrogate their own cultural practices and perspectives. We train our students to question their surroundings critically and see the complexity in cultures, languages, and individual speakers. Ultimately, we aim to teach German language and culture in a way that provides students with skills, knowledge, interests, and curiosity that will help them take on critical challenges of the world today. 

We offer rigorous courses that simultaneously and continually advance students’ language skills and build the sophistication of their cultural understanding. Students study media including literature, music, and film to learn about a wide range of historical periods and diverse German-speaking cultures through various theoretical lenses such as Frankfurt school critical theory, gender studies, and critical race theory. In all courses, students develop skills of research, analysis of texts and other cultural products, interpretation, and presentation in both written and oral form. Multimedia tasks lead our students to engage with content creatively as well as critically. We build community within our courses so that students become active partners in the learning process. We connect this community of German learners with the diverse communities on and off campus that have an interest in learning about and sharing languages and cultures.

This is a “living document” which we will reflect on regularly, adjusting our approach where necessary. We welcome input and questions from students.