Peder with a D

[plays well with others]

Posts Tagged ‘nena’

Remebering German Music Videos

Posted by Peder on 12 January 2009

A while ago I wrote about my job with the Germanic-American Institute, where I have a lot of flexibility in developing lesson plans.  As one of my classes comes to a close I’ve been looking for some different pieces to bring to the class.  When I was a high school German student I loved the songs my teacher would bring out.  Dorky as they were, they were really helpful in remembering vocab.  And as a professional language teacher I’ve learned adding music to a lesson is a fantastic way to boost language retention — almost without equal, no kidding.  Back in the day we sang Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand and Sie Liebt Dich from the Beatles.  We ironically sang traditional beer-drinking songs too.  And we sang 99 Luftballons.

I love that song.  An symbolic anti-war song set to a rocking 80s beat.  If I had to pick a theme I’d paraphrase Vonnegut from Cat’s Cradle, “Where’s the threat, where’s the war?”  Here, enjoy it in all its proto-techno glory:

So here’s where am I going with this.  When I broadcast on Twitter that I was looking forward to teaching the song to my class, an old friend pointed me to some other less-heralded songs of the German persuasion … that I might einführ them instead.  Thus I present thee, die Ärtzte and die Prinzen.

“The Doctors” rock.  I’m a fan of their upbeat punkish rock.  Other favorite songs of theirs include Westerland and Wegen Dir.  Here is “Hurra” from 1995.

“The Princes” are significantly cornier, be warned.  But I had to learn this song in 10th grade.  Other songs we learned include Millionär and Küssen Verboten.  I can’t believe I’m admitting to this.  Whatever, here’s “Gabi und Klaus” from 1991.  The 1:25 mark is priceless!

Pretty sure I’m going to completely self-indulge and bring all three of these songs to class on Thursday night!

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My New Job: The Germanic-American Institute

Posted by Peder on 30 October 2008

Click to Watch the Music Video

Hang on, I gotta crank some 99 Luftballons before I start writing.

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich?  Dann singe ich ein Leid für dich … von meiner neuen Arbeit bei der GAI.

In this great Fall of Change that is my Autumnal 2008, there is one constant I’ve been banking on the last few weeks:  The Germanic-American Institute.  Located on scenic Summit Ave, near downtown St. Paul this organization was originally developed as a cultural/heritage society for local German immigrants around 100 years ago.  Nowadays it still stands at the center of Germanic culture in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.  They organize language classes, culture exchanges, dance lessons, wine/beer tastings …

I go there to teach – Ich bin Deutschlehrer.  I was first brought in at the end of September as a substitute teacher for a woman who went on maternity leave.  Seems now, by way of the mid-term course evaluations, the students have selected me to continue with them until the class is over in January.  I’m also starting to get some tutor students.  It appears all is good in the ‘hood.

Teaching isn’t completely new to me, in fact I’ve had a track record of success before.  I taught EFL in Shanghai for two years, first with these guys then with these guys (sorry, regular site is in Chinese & Flash).  I taught ESL and German for Berlitz as well for a stint.

I like teaching this group in particular.  First, they’re adults — infinitely easier to teach than children.  No one’s on a sugar buzz, everyone pays attention and I don’t have to use a “timeout” chair or the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song to keep the peace.  Second, they really like being there.  These courses are expensive and everyone is motivated to gain as much as they can from their time there.  Third, I learn so much from them — from travel stories, to cultural experiences, to what interesting things happened at work that week.  (I live vicariously through others’ work stories these days.  le sigh.)

Tonight we move further on our chapter regarding foods and being in restaurants.  We’re supposed to spend three weeks on each chapter, and this is our third week, meaning I have to make sure everything is covered.  Not a problem, normally, but two weeks ago we got behind with some games and lots of questions, and last week we were delayed by those mid-term evaluations and a surprise visit from the regular teacher with her new baby.  Cute kid and a welcome visit, but I couldn’t help shaking a feeling that her real intent was to check out what was going on and figure out why no one was calling her to come back and save her class from the ills of a substitute teacher.  Sorry ma’am, but there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Peder the Teacher.

Currywurt mit Pommes

Currywurst mit Pommes

But we’re cool, since we’ve gotten behind I have most of my lesson plan already written for tonight.  We got some grammar drills, a game and a stereotypical song about Currywurst.  All is good in the ‘hood.

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(I’m a little surprised we’re covering food topics so late in the course.  I’d cover it first, if I were writing the curriculum.  A couple years ago a friend was leaving for a Peace Corps mission in central Sichuan.  He asked me which words he should first learn in that language.  “Food words,” I told him, “you can learn whatever else you need to know once you get there, but you’ll have to eat on day one.”)

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99 Kriegsminister, Streichholz und Benzinkanister.
Hielten sich für schlaue Leute, witterten schon fette Beute.
Riefen “Krieg” und wollten Macht. Man wer hätte das gedacht?

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