Lake Zurich High School
Room B103
Dr. Andrew Ziarnik
Dept. phone: (847) 540-4674
Office (D226) hours: 7:20-7:50 or appointment
[email protected]
Why study German? Proficiency in a foreign language can contribute significantly to one’s understanding of other lands
and cultures and is often a requirement for college entrance and a college degree. Many LZHS students have received
substantial college credit and placed into advanced college courses after completing German 5-H or 5-AP. Foreign language
students also score higher on SAT and ACT college entrance exams.
Ability to speak a foreign language can help land a job, especially in today’s global society. After English, German is
the most widely used language in Europe, and Germany has been consistently the 3rd top exporting country in the world. The
ability to communicate in German can enable you to travel to new, exciting places, meet new friends, experience first-hand
the literature, music, art and history of another culture as well as increase your career options!
**Participate in Lake Zurich’s active Sister City exchange program with Nittenau, Bavaria—See Herr Z for details!
Course Description: German 5-H and 5-AP refine student skills in speaking, reading, writing and understanding spoken
German. German 5-AP includes special preparation for the German Advanced Placement exam in May. Depending on your
college, a score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam can be worth as many as 9 credit hours. Lake Zurich 5-H and 5-AP
students often have placed into advanced college German courses (second- and third-year or higher).
Knowledge of German-speaking culture and civilization is increased through audio-visual materials, authentic
publications and materials, the Internet, readings in the text and informal discussions. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary
building, reviewing key grammatical structures, and increasing speaking and writing fluency in preparation for the
German AP exam. Wherever possible during our studies, the following AP themes will be highlighted and discussed:
Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and
Communities, Beauty and Aesthetics. A variety of language skills will be further developed and honed during the year,
including Interpretive Communication (reading and listening), Interpersonal Communication (speaking and writing),
Presentational Speaking, and Presentational Writing.
A. Course Standards
We will strive for advanced to superior proficiency in the four modes of communication: writing, speaking, listening
and reading. Students will be expected to do their best to excel in these modes as reflected in the following guidelines:
communicate with accuracy and fluency in conversations on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings; discuss
their interests and special fields of competence, explain complex matters in detail, and provide lengthy and coherent
narrations, all with ease, fluency, and accuracy; present their opinions on a number of issues of interest to them, such as
social and political issues, and provide structured arguments to support these opinions; construct and develop hypotheses
to explore alternative possibilities (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012). These standards will be assessed formally and
informally throughout the course by means homework, quizzes, tests, oral reports and assessments, projects and in-class
B. Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. participate in complex conversations in German about personal, cultural, economic, political and historical topics
2. read with comprehension a variety of authentic literary and textual selections that incorporate the above topics
3. write paragraphs of advanced complexity that express and defend students’ opinions about the above topics
4. understand spoken German regarding the above topics when delivered at normal speed by a native speaker
5. demonstrate advanced knowledge of German grammar and syntax
C. Expectations of the Teacher
In order to successfully participate in this class, students will:
1. PARTICIPATE! You can only learn a second language if you actively practice—both in and out of
the classroom.
2. BE PREPARED. Homework, pens, notebook, textbook and workbook are required every day.
3. RAISE YOUR HAND to speak or get out of your seat. All constructive participation is welcome,
but students must raise their hands to speak so that others can hear and all have the same chance.
4. BE IN YOUR SEAT AND READY for class when the bell rings. Students who frequently are not
in their seats and ready to begin class on time may lose participation credit.
5. RESPECT THE TEACHER AND YOUR CLASSMATES. No behavior that interferes with
learning will be tolerated. Listen to the teacher and your classmates when they participate.
**CHEATING is unacceptable. Students caught cheating during assessments will receive a grade of
zero (0) on that assignment, and parents may be notified.
**DISCIPLINARY INFRACTIONS may negatively affect grades.
D. Evaluation of Student Progress (See Grading Policy Handout for more specific information!)
1. GRADING: The quarter and semester grades are determined by the total number of points received
for all tests, quizzes, homework, projects, in-class assignments and participation etc.
2. PARTICIPATION: Active use of a foreign language is essential for learning. Positive behavior and attitude, being
prepared and on time can affect your participation grade. Participation points make up ca. 6-10% of the quarter grade.
3. HOMEWORK typically will be evaluated for completion and/or accuracy. Students can expect some kind of homework
assignment most days of the week. Late assignments will be accepted, but will be awarded fewer points according to
how late they are received. Homework points make up ca. 10-15% of the quarter grade, so consistent homework
completion is important!
Doing original work is essential for learning.***Copying homework is not acceptable. It is o.k. to consult with
classmates about homework; however, any assignments that appear to have been copied—as well as the original
that was copied--may not receive credit. Students may always as the teacher for help!
4. HOME STUDY—Time spent learning outside of class is essential for success in German 5-H / 5-AP! The more you
practice, the better your German will be. Practicing only in class will not lead to proficiency. Speaking a foreign
language is a skill, and the German AP exam is very rigorous. The more you practice, the better!
**For the best chance of success on the German AP exam, students must maximize the time spent studying
and practicing German outside of class. A minimum of 30 minutes per day is recommended.
Dr. Ziarnik
Lake Zurich High School
Grading Policy for German 5-AP:
1. Letter grades are determined as follows:
Class Grades will not be rounded up.
100-97% = A+
96-93 = A
90-92 = A89-87 = B+
83-86 = B
80-82 = B-
77-79 = C+
73-76 = C
70-72 = C67-69 = D+
63-66 = D
60-62 = D59 and below = F
Your marking period and semester grades will be determined by the number of points you gain for your
ongoing, cumulative class point score.
(Points earned per Quarter) 485 / (Total possible points) 550
= 485/550 = 88.18% = B+
Total Possible Class Point Scores typically range from 500-600 per Quarter or more.
Semester Grades: Quarter 1 (40%) + Quarter 2 (40%) + Exam (20%)
2. Typical types of assignments and their approximate values:
Short Homework Assignments (overnight—for accuracy and/or completion credit) = 3-5 points
Long Homework Assignments (several days, e.g. readings and questions) = 10 – 20 points
Essays (Aufsӓtze) = 20-30 points
Short Quizzes = 8-15 points
Bi-Weekly Verb Quizzes = 25-30 points
Vocabulary Quizzes = 30-35 points
Chapter Tests = 70 – 100 points
Oral Presentations or Assessments= 30-50 points
Class Participation = 5 points per week (=ca. 6-10% of quarter grade)
3. Late Work. Late homework or other assignments will be accepted for reduced credit.
After one week, only minimal credit will be given for completing late assignments.
4. Make-up work: If you have a legitimate, excused absence, you will have the opportunity to make up
missed work for full credit. Make-up work must be done within several days of the absence for full credit.
5. Extra Credit: Extra credit opportunities will not be given, except occasionally to the entire class as part of a
test, quiz, or review assignment. Strive to do your best on all assignments!
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