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Teaching “Machen Computer dumm?” (DW)

Here are additional materials and activities I have created for teaching Deutsche Welle Top-Thema module “Machen Computer dumm?“. The original Deutsche Welle materials can be accessed from the theme webpage, or the text and exercises (pdf) and audio (mp3) can be downloaded for offline use.

In the post Teaching with Deutsche Welle’s Top-Thema and Video Thema, I outline how I use these Deutsche Welle modules in an intermediate- to advanced-level courses with varied goals. Visit that page to see how my students begin to work with the materials Deutsche Welle provides. Here I am presenting and explaining the extension activities that I use after we have exhausted all of the excellent materials Deutsche Welle provides to accompany the text. Downloads of exercises described below are linked at the bottom of the page.


Students work in pairs or small groups to come up with satisfactory definitions or explantions of each word or phrase. This is intended to be a speaking activity rather than a writing activity, though students may wish to jot down notes. At the front of the classroom, I display a copy of the text with the listed words underlined (document in downloads below) so they can quickly find them. They should refer to the article for context and use what German they already know to try to determinem meaning. In some cases, I ask them to take their definitions one step further. If they figure out the meaning of stundenlang, for example, then figuring out the meaning of words such as tagelangwochenlang, and jahrelang should be easy. This is a great way to draw their attention to language patterns and to help them expand their vocabulary knowledge.

Teaching Deutsche Welle Top-Thema "Machen Computer dumm?"-Definitionen



Students sit together in small groups. The discussion questions draw upon the content of the article, but also ask students to recall other theme-related vocabulary they may know and to express their own ideas and opinions.

Teaching Deutsche Welle Top-Thema "Machen Computer dumm?"-Diskussion


All three activities for “Machen Computer dumm?” are available as a single download in pdf-format: Machen Computer dumm?-weitere Übungen 

And the original Deutsche Welle Top-Thema page in HTML, with audio and comprehension exercises, is here: “Machen Computer dumm?“.


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