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UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass takes part in a German language immersion program

n.germanyProfessor Kyle Frackman and Ph.D. student Victoria Lenshyn, of the University of Massachusetts german and scandinavian studies department, traveled on Sept. 18-20 to Sweet Briar College, in Virginia, to present at an intensive german-language immersion weekend.  Thirty German teachers and faculty from across Virginia attended the program, which focused on the collaborative development of teaching materials for high school and college courses. 

This annual gathering represents an opportunity for both high school and college german teachers to come together, practice the language and develop new teaching materials for their students. Beginning Friday morning and continuing through Sunday afternoon, the conference was conducted entirely in German. 

Frackman and Lenshyn’s program focused on using films made in East Germany as teaching tools.  East and West Germany were reunified on October 3, 1990 and, according to the presenters, a decreasing number of students have any memory of the separated nations. Frackman explains that these younger students need to be aware of history.

”It is important to remind [the students] of the complete image of East Germany,” said Frackman.   

Frackman and Lenshyn sought to help teachers incorporate these films into classroom teaching, for a multitude of purposes.  In addition to critical analysis, Frackman and Lenshyn explained how the films can serve other educational functions. 

Frackman said that, “The teachers enjoyed seeing more of East Germany that just the image of the Communist, totalitarian government… more than just the oppression.”

Lenshyn elaborated that these films offer a view of “day-to-day life,” providing a more complete vision of East Germany.  Frackman and Lenshyn explained that this wider perspective allows these films to be analyzed in broad historical and social contexts, allowing teachers to include lessons on such topics as politics or social change.  Frackman additionally suggested that the films could be utilized for lessons on language and grammar. 

In conjunction with the UMass DEFA Film Library—which is the only archive and study center outside of Europe devoted to films from and about East Germany—Frackman and Lenshyn presented a number of East German films, and ways they could be included in various lesson plans. Those attending the conferences had watched and critically analyzed the films, much in the way students in a classroom would. Programs like this benefit both students and teachers, noted Frackman and Lenshyn.  These seminars, according to Frackman and Lenshyn, provide new and interesting material for students, as well as provide teachers with opportunities to cultivate and improve teaching approaches. 

Frackman had commented on the timing of the intensive german-language immersion weekend, as November 9th, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  The films studied at the conference were all selected from WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany, a film series organized by the DEFA Film Library commemorating the enormous changes that took place in Germany 20 years ago.

Frackman continued on to note that WENDE FLICKS is part of a series of original events taking place on campus relating to the fall of the Berlin wall; these will include the construction of a mock Berlin Wall that students will be able, and encouraged to graffiti. 

The intensive german-language immersion weekend was the result of a shared effort between the Virginia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), the Goethe Institute in Washington D.C., Sweet Briar College and the DEFA Film Library.

Rachel Tumin can be reached at rtumin@student.umass.edu

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