Scaffolded Reading for Advanced German


Post-secondary German, advanced-level, cultural history course
German 330
Brigham Young University

Purposes and background

  1. Increase accessibility to more authentic language materials in the target language

Students in a cultural history course are assigned to one of five groups, each of which is associated with an authentic, culturally significant text from German-speaking Europe. Three of these texts are old enough to be in the public domain, but are difficult to read in their original German, as the language in each is antiquated to some degree. One of these, an 1898 edition of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s medieval epic, Parzival, is particularly challenging.


With the collaboration of the professor who designed the course, I located a digital copy of the and imported it into EdTech books, a open-education platform for online textbook publishing. This allowed for a more seamless integration of resources and tools to scaffold the readings for students and to make their experience more engaging.


Objective 1: Increase access to authentic language materials
Because of the digital format, student are able to use chrome extensions like ReadLang to make the text more digestible. Additionally, in-text notations were left to further clarify details or obsolete vocabulary. Furthermore, online recourse such as summarizing videos or pictures are able to be more seamlessly imbedded into the text, improving the user experience and making the reading more interaction. Finally, questions that checked the readers understanding can be added.