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The German Language Program at Northern Virginia Community College welcomes you in learning the first second language in the U.S. That’s right: since at least 1776, more U.S. Americans have traced their ancestry to the German-speaking regions of Central Europe than anywhere else. Today, one quarter of the European Union speaks German as its native language, and nearly one-third of all Europeans use German as a second language. We invite you to join us in discovering the varied cultures of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Willkommen!

As the saying goes, “Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache.” (Roughly translated: ‘German ain’t easy.’) That said, the German faculty at NOVA-Alexandria teach their classes so that students can successfully fulfill the foreign language requirement for the A.A. degree at NOVA -- or, as important, transfer their German courses to another college with a similar language requirement.

To do so, students enroll in a four-semester course sequence of GER 101-102 (Beginning German) and GER 201-202 (Intermediate German). This curricululm, while emphasizing spoken communication, also includes the study of grammar, reading, and writing. Thus, by the end of Beginning German I and II (GER 101-102), you will be able to use simple sentences in present, past and future tenses to perform such functions as identifying and describing yourselves, expressing and inquiring about needs, responding to offers and requests, offering explanations and excuses, and expressing agreement and skepticism. Once you have completed Intermediate German I and II (GER 201-202), you’ll have added even more to those first-year skills involving the speaking and writing, listening and reading comprehension abilities you’ve acquired. For example, you’ll be able to express both your uncertainties and your convictions on such complex issues as history and politics, social stereotypes and multiculturalism, literature and the arts, as well as engage texts and other materials dealing with these topics.

Of course, we also welcome students who want to learn how to speak German simply for personal enjoyment and enrichment. If you’re not looking to earn college credit, consider signing up for any of our courses as an auditor during the fall or spring semesters. Over the summer, too, we offer a six-week intensive language course, GER 103 (Basic Spoken German), especially for those interested in giving German a go.

Hybrid Classes
To help meet the needs of our working- and commuter-student population, GER 201 and 202 are currently offered in an innovative hybrid format. “Hybrid” means that of the five credit hours you receive with each course, we spend three (the time shown in the catalog) in the usual face-to-face learning in-class and the remaining two hours in activities for learning on-line. These on-line interactions often include engaging your classmates in discussion groups, finding out about cultural topics, watching and listening to programs about contemporary issues, or other internet-oriented tasks. The course format is a good match for those who have less time to spend in the classroom, and are more motivated to work independently outside class.