Teacher training is central component of the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies. Both departments provide rigorous training in foreign language teaching, which includes an introduction to the interdisciplinary fields of applied linguistics and second language acquisition. Teaching Assistantships are normally available to students in their second through fifth years of study who continue to make satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degree.
It is crucial that teaching assistants (TAs) have highly advanced German language skills. During their first year, students' language proficiency in German will be evaluated. Only students who achieve a level of “Superior” (see ACTFL guidelines) will be asked to teach in the German language program. Students who do not possess the required proficiency in German will be expected to obtain this proficiency as soon as possible. Beginning TAs generally teach First Year German and take the Foreign Language Pedagogy course concurrently with their first semester of teaching. In later semesters, graduate students often teach Second Year German, and occasionally more advanced undergraduate courses as well (German Culture and Society, Advanced Composition, Introduction to German Literature). In addition, students may serve as discussion leaders in larger lecture courses or serve as a research assistant.