What are Case Studies? Case Studies as Teaching Method
On February 26, 2021, our TRENDS Global partners Volker and Lina held a workshop titled “How to Use Case Studies in the Foreign Language Classroom.” The workshop had two parts. The first part was an interactive lecture about case studies as active learning method, core elements of a case study, and various types of case studies giving specific examples. The second part was a group discussion where foreign language instructors shared ideas and experiences working with case studies. The recording of the lecture can be viewed here:
For editable versions of the material (Word) please contact the Co-PI at email@example.com.
Tesla in Grünheide – Ein Bürgerforum
This case study is a role-play simulation of a town hall situated in Grünheide, the location of Tesla’s fourth Gigafactory and first in Europe. Despite welcoming voiced from German politicians and economists, opposition from environmental groups has delayed the construction of the factory. During the town hall, all stakeholders discuss if Tesla should be given the final construction permit. This exercise is student-led and task-based. Students research the complexity of the Tesla case in Grünheide and embody the various perspectives, such as Tesla’s site manager, environmental activists, politicians, and trade union representatives, promoting and defending the view of their role during the town hall. The goal of this exercise, beyond fostering German skills, is to develop a deeper understanding of a complex problem and differentiated perspectives – crucial aspects of intercultural competence. Detailed background information about Grünheide in Brandenburg and Tesla in Grünheide as well as comprehensive teaching material, including a unit plan and work sheets, for the role-play simulation can be downloaded here:
- Language: German
- Level: Advanced
- Duration: About 6 class units à 75 min.
Tesla in Grünheide – Eine Debatte
This exercise has been developed in addition to the “Tesla in Grünheide – Ein Bürgerforum” case study. It is designed as a debate to discuss the pros and cons of Tesla’s fourth Gigafactory, “Giga Berlin”. The goal of this exercise is to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of an ecological balance in the pursuit for more sustainable solutions. The debate character also serves to practice communication strategies using complex grammar structures such as subordination or subjunctive. Teaching material can be downloaded here:
- Language: German
- Level: Intermediate
- Duration: About 2 class units à 75 min.