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Unit information: Business German in 2015/16

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Unit name Business German
Unit code GERM20029
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Fricker
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

GERM20001

School/department Department of German
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

The unit deals with fundamentals of German economic policy, business life, and management culture. With respect to Germany’s position in Europe, we address the Euro and the freedom of movement; policies covered include energy, welfare, and labour market issues. We get to know different cities and regions as places to do business, with a focus on infrastructure, and then explore marketing, media, and intercultural issues as well. Some of the unit’s content is approached through a study of the rhetoric of relevant texts, thus introducing a certain element of language work into this content course.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will enhance their communicative skills in German -- writing, speaking, listening, and reading -- while learning about the training, workday life, and goals of German businesspeople, and also about the various organizations in which they work. Students will become familiar with German standards for a variety of business documents, and will learn to interact confidently in professional situations, not least by developing an active command of specialized vocabulary and staging in-class role play exercises.

Teaching details

2 hours weekly

This unit is conducted in German and aims to maximize in-class communication. The instructor’s role will be restricted to introducing topics, formats, and terminology; students will then be encouraged to use them in discussions, presentations, role plays, and essays. In order to give students an opportunity to both apply the knowledge they gained through the course and put into practice their new communicative skills, the instructor will organise two skype conversations with (young) German enterpreneurs.

Assessment Details

Writing: A total of four pieces of written homework will comprise short essays introducing, in no more than 500 words, a particular topic, and exercises in one of the business-world formats studied in class (e.g., component parts of a business plan). (35 %)

Reading and speaking: A 15-minute class presentation on either a region (Standort), a company, a business leader, or a particular government policy. Presentations should be comprehensive, clear, and based on reliable sources. Presented in fluent German, they should engage the entire class and tie in with materials covered earlier. (30 %)

The 1.5-hour final exam will include reading comprehension and writing exercises. Its aim is to assess whether students have mastered essential vocabulary, the various genres, and basic information on both economic structures and business life. (35 %)

Reading and References

Landeshauptstadt München, München: Der Wirtschaftsstandort, 2012. (pdf online)

DIHK, Mittelstandsreport, 2012 (pdf online)

tagesschau dossier, Zehn Jahre Euro: Jubiläum ohne Jubel, 2012 (online)

tagesschau dossier, Energiekonzerne nach der Atomwende, 2012 (online)

Ilonka Kunow, Hans-D. Litke, and Heinz Schulz-Wimmer, Projektmanagement, Freiburg 2006

Current magazine and newspaper articles (taken from, e.g., faz.net, manager-magazin.de), as well as the websites of actors impacting on the economy (companies, interest groups, political parties), will facilitate a better understanding of the business culture shaping Germany today.

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