Course Description

One of the most fun topics in foreign language courses is customs & traditions. This is where you find out about all the things that bring joy and honor to the people whose language you are learning. 

Becoming familiar with the customs and traditions of the German-speaking people also means you can feel more comfortable when visiting abroad and you'll feel more welcome when people see how you fit in with the customs and celebrations going on around you. 

This course is huge, because there are so many wonderful things about the German way of life! You may want to pick just one culture chapter (Oktoberfest, or Christmas, or Karneval, etc.) and follow the course through to the end, and then come back and do the course again, but pick a new culture topic and a new essay topic, etc. 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction To This Theme: "Bräuche und Traditionen" (Customs & Traditions)

  • 2

    CULTURE: Food In Deutschland

    • Video: Frau Doktor Bogard Präsentiert "Essen In Deutschland"

    • Optional: German Food Quizlets

    • Video: Germans Have A Daily Break From 3-4pm Called "Kaffee und Kuchen"

    • Am American Living In Germany Explains How Much She Now Loves Kaffee und Kuchen Time

    • Video: Kaffee und Kuchen Explained auf Deutsch

  • 3

    CULTURE: German Superstitions

    • Video: 5 German Superstitions You Should Know About

    • Video: German Superstitions and Unusual Cultural Beliefs

    • Video: Things That Bring You BAD Luck in German Culture

    • Video: Things That Bring You GOOD Luck

    • Video: Was sind die Glücksbringer? (auf deutsch)

  • 4

    CULTURE: Germans Have Many Rules For Everything

    • Read: You Must Shake Hands On Hello and Good-Bye (Outside Of A Global Pandemic)

    • Read: Be Quiet- Unless You Are In a Soccer Stadium

    • An American In Germany Mentions Some Rules

    • Read This German Article & Write Down What the 15 Recycling Rules Are in English.

  • 5

    CULTURE: Table Manners and Eating Out

    • Video: Germany versus America: Table Manners

    • Video: Customs in a German Restaurant From an American's Perspective

    • Video: Educate Yourself On Proper Table Manners in the US and in Europe

    • Video: Both Germans and Americans Follow the Same Rules For Making a Great First Impression

  • 6

    CULTURE: The Deep-Seated Aversion to Drafts

    • Read This And Remember It: Germans Hate Feeling Any Wind On Their Body

    • Print Version Of The Draft Article.

  • 7

    CULTURE: Summer Time Offers Regional Events- Rhein Wine Festivals, Leipzig Book Fair, Berlin Film Festival, Village Fests (ex. Dampfnudelfest)

    • Read: Dampfnudelfest

    • Foto: Regional Foods Map (right-click to rotate clockwise)

  • 8

    CULTURE: Im September ist "die Einschulung" (First Day of School for First Graders)

    • Video: die Schultute: First Graders Throughout Germany Get This Big Present On Their First Day of School

  • 9

    CULTURE: Bavarian Oktoberfest-The World's Largest Folk Festival (Starts The Last Week Of September)

    • Video: History of the Oktoberfest

    • Listening Comprehension Quiz: History of the Oktoberfest

    • Video: An American Explains the Oktoberfest

    • Video: Come Take a Tour of the Oktoberfest

    • Video: History of the Biergarten

    • Video: Learn How to Do the Schuhplattler Dance

    • Video: Here's How To Put The Dance Sections Together

    • Video: Learn German Oktoberfest Vocabulary

    • Video: The First Day Of Oktoberfest Is In September

  • 10

    CULTURE: Traditional Oktoberfest Songs- Learn One & Present It

    • Video: See Inside A Beer Tent at the Oktoberfest

    • Video: The Easist Oktoberfest Song To Learn

    • Video: Learn to Sing and Dance this German Party Song

    • Video: Marianne und Michael singen "In München Steht Ein Hofbräuhaus"

    • Video: Learn the Lyrics to the REFRAIN of this Oktoberfest Song So You Can Join in the Fun

    • Video Testimonial: An American Tells You How Important It Is To Learn German Party Songs

    • Video: This Bavarian Band is Reviving the Bavarian Dialect

    • List of Links: Learn to Sing In Bavarian With This Fun Party Song "Rock Mi"

  • 11

    CULTURE: Tage der Deutschen Einheit

    • Video: The Fall Of The Wall & The Resulting German "Unity Day"

  • 12

    CULTURE: November Holidays = Allerheilgen/Allerseelen u. St. Martinstag

    • Video: Warum feiern wir Allerheiligen?

    • Video: Before The November 1st Holiday, Graves Are Cleaned, and Flowers and Candles Are Refreshed

    • Video: Bilingual Explanation Of St. Martinstag

    • Video: On Nov 11th Is St. Martinstag

    • Video: Here Is What A St. Martinstag Celebration Looks Like

  • 13

    CULTURE: The Traditional Christmas Celebration in German-speaking Countries

    • How to Wish Germans a Merry Christmas

    • Video: It All Starts With the Advent Wreath

    • Video: What Is Advent Sonntag?

    • The World's Most Famous Handmade Christmas Decorations (English & German Video With German Subtitles)

    • Video: What Is an Advent Calendar (Make Your Own)

    • Video: An Introduction to Christmas (English)

    • Build Your Head List: What's The Difference Between Sankt Nikolaus, der Weihnachtsmann and das Christkind?

    • HL Only Video: Wer Sind Denn Alle Diese Weihnachtsfiguren?

    • HL Only Video: Sankt Nikolaus versus der Weihnachtsmann

    • Video: Come Meet the Christkind! She explains her role in English.

    • Video: The Christkind Speech That Opens the Christmas Season Each Year

    • The Most Famous Classical German Christmas Poem. Read The English Translation So You Know What It Means.

    • Video: Listen To The Poem As You Read The Text. The Practice It Aloud. (Probably Every Adult German Knows This Poem)

    • Video: Listen To The Poem Sung As A Heavy Meatal Song (Lyrics Start 0:51)

    • HL Only Video: Jumbo: XXL Lebkuchenhaus: Weihnachten Spezial | Galileo | ProSieben

    • Video: Spend a Minute at the Christmas Market in Nürnberg

    • Assignment: Find German Phrases For Your Head List From This Video: "Was ist ein Weihnachtsmarkt?"

    • Video: Get an English-speaking Tour of a German Christmas Market!

    • Video: Was Ist Heiligabend?

    • Optional Video: Bach's Christmas Oratorio (One Of The Most Famous German Music Compositions As Mentioned In the Previous Video)

    • Video: Look at the Real Lights on this German Christmas Tree

    • Video: Christmas Tree Safety (in German)

    • Video: Christmas Tree Humor

    • Video: Video: Baby Max's First Christmas. See What Happens Inside A German Home On A German Christmas Eve (Bescherung mit Baby Max)

    • Video: die Sternsinger am Drei Königstag

    • HL Only Video: Explanation in German of the Three Kings (die Drei Könige )

    • Article: How Do Muslims In Germany Celebrate The Christmas Season?

  • 14

    CULTURE: Saint Nikolaus Day Is On December 6th, But The Prep & Event Begin On The Evening Of The 5th.

    • What is Saint Nikolaus Day?

    • Video: Watch Sankt Nikolaus And Knecht Ruprecht Walk Through Their Town And Visit The Children on December 5th.

    • Video: Video: See Sankt Nikolaus and Knecht Ruprecht Walk Through a German Department Store (Knecht Ruprecht und Sankt Nikolaus Verteilen Geschenke)

    • Video: Who is Krampus? (Jimmy Fallon Show)

    • Video: Krampus in Osttirol

    • Video: Brave Girl Plays Her Recorder At A Home Visit

    • Video: Krampus Day at School

    • Video: A Home Visit from Sankt Nikolaus and His Servant

  • 15

    CULTURE: New Year's Eve is Called "Silvester" (= game, punch, food, movie, speech, toasting, finally fireworks)

    • Learn How to Wish Someone a Happy New Year in German

    • Video: Example Of A Typical New Year's Celebration At Home

    • Video: The Most Traditional German New Year's Eve Game

    • Video: Recipe for the Most Famous Holiday Beverage

    • HL Only Video: Watch the Famous Feuerzangebowle Scene From The 1944 German Film Of The Same Name

    • Video: The Most Traditional New Year's Eve Meal (10 minutes in German)

    • Video: The Traditional New Year's Eve Film That Every German Watches "Dinner for One"

    • Video: Yes, Germans Also Toast To the New Year With Champagne

    • Video: Exampe Of The Annual New Year's Eve Political Speech By The Leader Of Germany

    • Video: Silvester Fireworks at the Brandenburger Tor

    • Video: The World's Most Famous Classical Concert is Broadcast from Wien on New Year's Day

    • A Slow German Dialog About Celebrating Christmas & New Year. Try To Add Phrases To Your Headlist.

    • Assignment: Stimmungskiller Silvester

    • Video: What Do Germans Typically Do On The First Day Of The New Year?

  • 16

    CULTURE: The Fifth Season = Fasching, Karneval

    • Video: What is Lent?

    • Video: What Is Fasching? (Feli Explains)

    • Video: Fasching Erklärt (The Origins of Karneval)

    • Video: Look At The Three Major Carnival City Celebrations in Germany

    • HL Only Video: "Weiberfastnacht" in Köln

    • Video: Women Surround Colleague At The Office On Weiberfastnacht To Claim His Tie

    • Video: The Most Important Karneval Treat is the "Faschingskrapfen"

    • Video: Rosenmontag, "Kamelle Kamelle" and the Greeting of the Day

    • Video: The Traditional Karneval and Fasching's Speeches (Büttenrede 2017)

    • HL Only Video: Eine Geschichte Von Weiberfastnacht

    • Valentine's Day Is Not A German Thing

  • 17

    Culture: Ostern

    • Ten Traditional German Easter Customs

    • Go On A Walking Tour Through Downtown Vienna's Easter Market (Market Begins at 5:50)

    • Video: How Is Easter Sunday Celebrated?

    • On Easter Monday There Is A Traditional Horse Pilgrimage Through The Beautiful Bavarian Countryside.

    • The Sword Dance That Opens The Georgiritt Parade

    • The 3rd Monday In April Is A Big Celebration In Switzerland: Sechseläutern (The burning of the Böög - a figure of a snowman symbolizing winter)

    • April 30th Is Walpurgisnacht: Celebration Of The Arrival Of Spring

  • 18

    Culture: Religious Holidays In June (Some Years They Begin In May)

    • What is Ascension Day?

    • Was ist Christi Himmelfahrt? (Called Ascension Day in English)

    • What Is Pentecost?

    • Was ist Pfingsten? (called Pentecost in English)

    • The History Of The Feast Of Corpus Christi (called Fronleichnam in German)

    • Fronleichnam Einfach Erklärt

  • 19

    Let's Wrap Up The Content For This Theme

    • Video: An Overall Discussion About All German Holidays & Celebrations

    • Video: Review All German Holidays & Add More Short Vocabulary Phrases To Your Notebook

    • Culture Summary Sheet- Print & Complete

  • 20

    READING: Take this Practice Text-Handling Test (closed book, no resources)

    • Original Text (farbig)

    • Text mit Zeilen

    • Text-Handling Test for "Adventskranz" (30 minute timed test- show it to your teacher when finished)

    • Text-handling Wrap-up Project (can also be done as a warm-up activity, if new to German language studies)

  • 21

    WRITING: Study Your Text Type Features

    • List Of Interesting Beginnings = Inverted Word Order

    • Popular Phrases To Use In A Writing Task (Many End With A Subordinating Conjunction So Use Transposed Word Order)

    • Samples Of The Most Popular IB Wrtiting Exam Text Types

    • The Rules For Required Features In Each Type Of Text: Put At Least 5 In Your Writing Assignments and IB Exam Paper

    • Watch This Email Formatting Lesson

    • Bonus Handout: Knowledge Organizer for "Feste"

  • 22

    WRITING: How To Improve Your First Draft

    • How to Fix Your First Draft- Checklist

    • Add 6 Cohesive Words- They Usually Need Inverted Word Order

    • Add A Few "Satzanfänge und Konnektoren"

    • Add Some Filler Phrases




  • 23

    Mock IA Oral Exam Script. Practice with a Partner Using Your Script Then Both Present To Teacher/Class.

    • Learn About the IB Oral Exam Happening in March of Your Senior Year

    • Create Your Individual Oral Photo Prompt

    • SL Senior Oral Exam Instructions and Script = This Is Your Template For The Best Oral Exam

    • Add Phrases of Disagreement (This Can Stimulate Conversation)

    • Individual Oral Practice Script For The March Ab Initio IA (SL Juniors Should Use This One As Well)

    • SL Audio: Pronunciation Help For Your Script

    • AB Initio Senior IA Exam Script- Complete This After The Shorter Practice Worksheets

    • Ab Initio Oral Exam Format & Rubrics

    • Read This Before The Day Of The Exam

    • ***Conversation Questions About "Feste" (Festivals)

    • ***Sample Answers (Set 1) for "Feste" Questions

    • ***Sample Answers (Set 2) for "Feste" Questions

    • ***Conversation Questions about "Feiern" (Celebrations)

    • Assignment: Partner IA Practice

  • 24

    GRAMMAR: Compete the Assigned Grammar Textbook Exercises

    • Grammar Textbook Pacing and Topics

    • Grammar Help With Frau Doktor Bogard's Grammar Videos

State Certified German Teacher For 30 Years

Dr. Bogard

The owner and creator of the Time To Learn German website is Eva Bogard, Ph.D. She was born in Manhattan (NYC) to a German mother and a German-American father. She earned her bachelor's degree in foreign languages at snowy SUNY-Oswego and completed her graduate studies in Second Language Education and Instructional Technology at sunny USF-Tampa, where she earned her Master's and Doctorate degrees. She has spent several colorful summers in France enjoying the language and culture in Paris, St. Malo and Tours, but is usually found during her long summer breaks on the beach in Florida, or in the mountains of southwest Germany. Professionally, she is very interested in online hybrid education, especially using instructional technology in both her classroom and online courses to teach foreign languages. Eva is an International Baccalaureate teacher, and a Montessori education enthusiast. She has taught German, French and Spanish, as well as, Information Technology and Business Management over the last 30 years.

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