German immersion workshop series

March 11, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-A UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund grant was allocated for the establishment of a series of five summer immersion workshops sponsored by the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. The first workshop of the series is scheduled for Friday, June 13-15. The workshop, entitled "Teaching Diversity in the German Language Classroom: Cross Cultural Divide with Jugendliteratur," is aimed at fulfilling two main goals. These goals are to provide German teachers with an opportunity to spend two full days speaking German with each other and also to introduce films, literature and curricula encouraging German studies.

The UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund as well as two other grants heavily subsidized the workshops. The UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund awarded nearly $45,000 for 15 grants this year. The UWP Foundation initiated the fund program in 1998-99, and the total number of grants thus far is 86, with a total monetary value of $411,000.

"One of the goals of the workshop is to provide high school students with learning materials that are interesting and accessible," said Patrick Hagen, assistant professor of German at UWP.

Presenting at the two-day workshop will be Jennifer Peterson, professor at the University of Minnesota, and Gisela Hoecherl-Alden, professor at the University of Maine, and Hagen from UWP.

A literary work called "Neben mir ist noch Platz," written by Paul Maar, will be presented as a strong option for use in German studies by high school students. According to Hagen, translated, the title means, "there is still room next to me." The novelette is an example of adolescent literature and tells the story of two girls: a German girl and another girl that travels to Germany from another country. The story illustrates the relationship that grows with the two girls.

The two presenters, Hoechen-Alden and Peterson have created a teaching unit to complement the award-winning work and will present it in its entirety to the group of teachers.

At the workshop, teachers will attain examples of other works and films that they can use in their classrooms and will have an opportunity to work on material development.

A group of 25 high school teachers and college professors are expected to attend the immersion workshop in June. Participant fee is $75 and includes a single-occupancy dorm room, board and instructional material. Registration for the workshop is due by Thursday, May 15. Applications can be acquired through Patrick Hagen at (608) 342-1116.

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