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Schreibprojekt 2: Einen Brief schreiben

For your second writing project, you will be writing a letter, much like Anna’s fax, to introduce yourself to a family friend in Vienna (Wien). Imagine that you are planning to attend a language course (der Deutschkurs) at the university in Vienna in December. Write a short letter to this friend, telling him/her that you are coming and saying that you would like to visit him/her. You should introduce yourself, include some basic information about your age and studies, and also include some scheduling information. Ask your friend two or three questions about himself/herself or about life in Austria (Österreich).

When writing your letter, you should include some of the following information. (Make notes here before starting to write your letter.) You do not have to cover every single topic.

how old are you
where do you come from
do you have brothers and sisters (accusative!)
what do you study at college (an der Uni)
what other classes do you have
what do you like (gern) to do
    keep this part simple, since we don’t have a lot
    of vocabulary for interests yet, but you can use
    verbs like spielen, trinken, hören, reisen, etc.

You will also need to invent some scheduling information. Make up answers to the following questions and include them in your letter:

when do you arrive (ankommen) in Vienna
when does the course (der Kurs) begin
when do you go back (zurückgehen) to the US (in die USA)

Remember to ask your friend a few questions, maybe some of the following, or others that you might think up:

does s/he have brothers and sisters
what does s/he study
what does s/he like to do
does s/he like (gern haben) Vienna

I would urge you to re-read Anna’s fax on p. 60 in the textbook. You can model much of your letter on hers, especially the beginning section. You will, of course, need to change some areas and add your own ideas, but Anna’s letter can get you started. (You should address your friend as ‘du’.)

Here are some extra useful phrases that you might want to use in your letter. Other important vocabulary can be found in your textbook and in the vocabulary lists for the first two chapters.

ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch ...... I speak a little Germanich habe viele Fragen ........... I have a lot of questions
ich möchte + infinitive verb ............... I would like to (verb)schreib bitte zurück! ........... please write back!

Your letter should be about 40-50 words long (that’s about 8 to 10 sentences), and it should be typewritten, not handwritten. We will be talking in class about how to type special characters like ß and ü on the computer.

Grading criteria: please proofread your letter carefully! When typing, it’s easy to let spelling mistakes get by, but a careful eye can catch these quite simply. I will be counting spelling, and errors will definitely affect your grade. In addition, you should try to vary your sentence structure. Remember that not every sentence in German has to start with the subject: start a few sentences with the time element, or some other element (but remember to put the verb in second position!). Finally, I will be taking into account your ability to express your thoughts using the patterns and structures that we have practiced. Other than an occasional word or two, you should not have to look too many things up in a dictionary; we have practiced all of these topics in class and on homework. As always, feel free to ask your TA if there is a particular phrase that you can’t figure out how to say. Good luck!

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