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2008 Faculty & Staff News

Dr. John Reynolds was recently selected for an annual Certificate of Merit Award

September 9, 2008

Dr. John Reynolds, Professor of Modern Languages, was recently selected for an annual Certificate of Merit Award from the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and the Goethe Institute of New York. He is one of only seven teachers in the United States chosen for the award, presented for outstanding achievement in furthering the teaching of German. A presentation ceremony will take place Nov. 21 during the AATG’s annual meeting in Orlando. A panel of AATG and Goethe Institute personnel selects the winners from those nominated from AATG chapters in the recipient’s home state or through individual AATG members.

The next day, at a session of the AATG/German Honor Society, Dr. Reynolds will give a talk on "Enhancing German Studies." He will discuss a teaching method he uses in advanced composition classes in which students rewrite and perform plays from the standard canon of literary works, which he says gives them practice in writing and speaking the language. The performances are recorded, and students receive a DVD of the play at the end of the semester. "Works from the 18th and 19th centuries often do not resonate with American students, who sometimes find it hard to appreciate works from the Enlightenment, Romanticism or Realism periods written in German," said Dr. Reynolds. "One of the favorites is Goethe’s Faust, which one class performed as Die Faustin (The female Faust), and we’ve also done G.E. Lessing’s Emilia Galotti, an Enlightenment play, and Fritz Wedekind’s Liebelei (Flirtation), a post-naturalist play. Several of my students who have become German teachers show the DVD to their students, some of whom have come to Longwood to study languages because of the impact these films have had on them. This method, which I’ve used in my German 402 class since 1990, also helps make students more aware of the value of these works."