Course Syllabus

If you are not able to attend Back to School night in person, please watch this video from the 2021/2022 school year, which will give you an idea of what you and your child can expect from German 4 this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email. I'm so thrilled to be a part of your and your child's experience this year!


Devon Ellis/Frau Ellis/Frellis


Please take a minute to look at our German 3 course syllabus (also linked below). I look forward to working with you this year, and I hope you are excited about being in German 3! If you are unable to make it to our back to school night, I encourage you to watch the above video introduction from the 2021/2022 school year. 

OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are by appointment only. I am free the following blocks for extra help.

Blocks: A BLOCK / BLUE BLOCK / PURPLE BLOCK (by appointment only)

After school: Wednesdays (2:30-3:00)

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Frau Ellis

German 3 Syllabus (Text of syllabus copied below)

What to expect:

German 31/32 is a fast-paced, jam-packed and exciting year of German study.  Students are exposed to authentic German literature and film through the study of the following topics: fears in life, money/love/relationships, and human/civil rights.  Students will learn to speak, listen, read and write about various literary, cultural and historical concepts--in German!  Students will complete and participate in discussions, guided conversations, presentations and projects. German 31/32 reviews grammar from years 1 and 2 and tackles a lot of new grammar concepts.  Although German 31/32 is much faster-paced and more dense than German 21, students enjoy the course and always feel well-prepared for German 4. My goal for all of us this year is to grow in our understanding and appreciation of the German language and culture as well as to have a LOT of fun!


German 31/32 is taught exclusively in German. Students are expected to speak German to each other as well as to the teacher. All questions, opinions, answers etc should be posed and answered in German. Speaking in German both with the class as a whole as well as with individual peers during group/partner work makes up a large portion of the participation grade at the end of the term. 


There are no textbooks in German 31/32. Instead, students will use full-text stories, films, articles from magazines or accredited online sources, short videos and short stories. The readings will range from easy-readers to more advanced texts meant for native speakers of German.


Because there is no textbook for German 31/32, I require students to have and bring a notebook to school everyday exclusively for German.  In lieu of a textbook, students will receive one Kurspaket from me for each unit as well as a text of each story we are reading. 


Homework is not generally assigned in the German 31/32 classroom. Instead of homework, I ask students to remain in the target language 100% of the time. If they are unable to do this, I will return to assigning daily homework.

Tardiness and Attendance:

The attendance policy is outlined in the student handbook. I adhere to all guidelines surrounding tardiness and absence from German class.

Grading Policy:

Your grade in this class will consist of Interpretive work (reading/listening), Interpersonal work (unrehearsed speaking/interacting with a partner), Presentational work (prepared, individual speaking and writing work) and Active Engagement (class/group/pair work, homework completion, achievement assessments etc).  The 3 modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal and presentational) will account for 90% of your term/semester/year grade. Active Engagement (as defined above) will account for 10% of your term/semester/year grade.

On the first page of every Kurspaket this year, you will find a breakdown of every single assessment: what type of assessment it is, what the topic is and in what section of the unit it will be given. This should enable you to prepare effectively for each assessment. A breakdown of the grading policy can be found on the next page of this syllabus. In addition to these breakdowns within a term, the CML department also has a sequential grading policy. The term weights are as follows: Term 1--12%; Term 2--19%; Term 3--26%; Term 4--31%; Final Exam--12%.  You can read more about this policy in the student handbook. In keeping with the WL sequential grading policy, each performance assessment throughout the term will be worth slightly more than the assessment before it. 

In addition to the grading system, the WHS WL department uses rubrics aligned with the three modes of communication: interpersonal, presentational and interpretive. The rubrics can all be found in your Course Packets.

Instructor Information:

If you have questions about the course, the homework, the grading or anything regarding German 31/32, please email me. My email address is: I will do my best to answer within 1 work day. If you would like to call me, my direct line is: (781) 446-6210 x4334. In addition to this contact information, students can also find everything they need to know about their course on our Canvas classroom site. Students are also always welcome to stop by my room (334) at the high school with questions or concerns.

Grading Category Weights and descriptors:

Category Weights and Descriptors for German 31/32


Presentational Communication

·     One-way speaking and/or writing done individually

Interpretive Communication

·     One-way reading, listening or viewing tasks in the target language

Interpersonal Communication

·     Two-way speaking and writing tasks that are completed and/or performed in the target language with another member of the class (this can be face-to-face, online, synchronous or asynchronous)


Language Use, Active Engagement, Achievement/effort Assessments

·      Memorized, “learned” material (forms, grammar, vocabulary)

·      Completion of homework

·      Use of the target language

·      Readiness for class (on time with necessary materials)