Scott Windham, associate professor of German, published the article “Redesigning Lower-Level Curricula for Learning Outcomes: A Case Study” in the most recent issue of ADFL Bulletin (vol. 39, nos. 2 & 3). ADFL Bulletin is a publication of the Modern Language Association.
In his article, Windham describes the string of reforms and innovations that have taken place in his lower-level German courses as a result of his focus on defining and assessing student learning outcomes.
Those reforms include: a content-based approach in which language is learned in order to explore serious, in-depth cultural or social issues in Germany; an intense focus on the capacity to speak and write, at length, beginning in the first weeks of introductory German; and an effort to situate beginning courses as introductions to the discipline of German Studies.