Kansas State University


Modern Languages

Kaffeestunde: Caffeinated Conversation

Kaffeestunde im April

Its Friday, 10:30 at the Radina’s Coffeehouse in the Leadership Studies Building.  Against a noisy backdrop of espresso machines and clattering coffee cups, a group of people is talking in German and laughing.  Every week at this time German majors, minors, language students as well as German-speaking faculty from around the university gather to socialize, relax, and improve their language skills. Kaffeestunde (German for “coffee hour“) was started in Fall 2011 by Dr. Necia Chronister in order to provide an opportunity for students to communicate in German in an informal setting.  Topics of conversation vary from weekend plans and weather to literature and film.  The group represents a variety of language abilities, from students in their first and second semesters of language class, to advanced students and native speakers. Hannah Rogers (pictured on the far left) views Kaffeestunde as a substitute for the daily language practice she had while studying abroad in high school.  Josh Zavala, a minor in German, has been attending Kaffeestunde regularly since it began.  For Josh, coffee hour is a way to prevent language attrition. “In my particular case, since I’m finished with the minor requirements, I’m worried I may start to forget the language, so I try to take advantage of every opportunity to practice wherever I find it.”  Kaffeestunde also builds community among K-State German-speakers.  Many of the participants go on to study abroad together and participate in other German campus activities.  “I think one of the greatest advantages to Kaffeestunde (outside to language improvement) would be the camaraderie that is created amongst fellow students of German,” says Jessica Long, a dual major in Philosophy and German.  Zavala echoes her sentiment. “It’s more than just practicing, it’s making friends along the way.”
Kaffeestunde is open to any speaker of German, and all levels are welcome.  For more information about meeting times and location, contact Dr. Necia Chronister at nchroni@ksu.edu .

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