The German Department of Washington University provides graduate students with exceptional training and mentoring for their teaching both here at Washington University and in their future careers. Our students have an opportunity to teach and to serve as teaching assistants in a wide variety of courses, including introductory through advanced German, as well as courses in Comparative Literature, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Film and Media Studies. At the beginning of their teaching experience, students work in close collaboration with the Foreign Language Pedagogy Specialist, as well as other faculty members, who serve in a variety of capacities as mentors and advisers. As they gain more experience and prove themselves, students have the opportunity to teach their own sections of courses as well as to lead courses and mentor their less experienced peers.
As part of their training, all graduate students take a series of 1-2 unit seminars that facilitate and reinforce their development as teachers over the course of their graduate studies. These courses familiarize students with current and past strategies and theories of second language acquisition, with available materials on the market today and with the practices and approaches of German-language programs around the country. A unique, two-semester apprenticeship allows advanced graduate students to observe literature and culture classes taught by professors in the German Department as well as professors in other departments, to teach model classes themselves, and to develop draft syllabi.