February 7, 2018

Now You’re Speaking My Language


Each semester, German Professor Dave Limburg takes teaching back to the basics by running his German 101 class just like your 5-year-old cousin’s kindergarten teacher would. 

The coolest thing you can do here at Guilford is study abroad,” Dave says. “Joining German Club is a close second.

Dave Limburg
Professor of German

Dave’s approach to teaching a second language is more fun — and it’s more effective. Guilford has a running streak of nearly 20 years of Fulbright Scholars teaching or conducting research in Germany or Austria. 

“Students in my Intro to German course will learn the language just like they learned vocabulary from their first language when they started school — through fun, joy, singing and toys,” he explains. 

Dave is the sole German professor at Guilford, so you get him right from the start. Sharp, charismatic and enthusiastic about the discipline, Dave is frequently named by current students and alumni alike when asked about impactful faculty relationships. 

“I teach all three sections of German every semester,” he says. “It is a lot of work, but doing it this way ensures that every student who takes German can work toward a major or a minor if they want to. If you can’t take a certain German course one semester, you can take an independent study on a topic we decide on together.”

“Stammtisch”

German students at Guilford break the barriers of the classroom in more ways than one. 

Every Thursday for the last 20 years, Dave has led groups of German students in a practice called Stammtisch  — essentially getting together to talk, in German of course. The meeting takes place from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Starbucks Coffee shop across the street from campus. At these meetings, students are sometimes joined by German-speaking community members, giving students the opportunity to practice their language skills with native speakers. 

At Guilford, all Modern Language Studies majors are required to spend a semester abroad, studying in a country where their language concentration is spoken. The Munich program is one of the most popular. 

“The uniqueness of our program in Munich,” Dave explains, “lies in its longevity, consistency and the fact that it is run by Guilford faculty, rather than faculty from international institutions.” Should you decide to study abroad while at Guilford, members of faculty with whom you’ve already developed a close relationship, like Dave, guide you through the experience.

Decades of Dedication

Dave joined the faculty of the Modern Language Studies Department about 25 years ago after completing his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University. 

“I fell in love with the campus from the first time I visited,” says Dave, sounding like many students and alumni when they reminisce about choosing Guilford. “My wife, Laura, and I stayed during the interview process and went on to live by the lake for the first few years of my time here.” The Modern Language Studies Department, Dave says, is full of “wonderful, creative people” and he gets excited every time a new Guilfordian becomes part of that family. 

Celebrating a milestone of its own is the study abroad program in Munich, which turns 40 years old this summer. More than 100 Guilford alumni and their families and friends have expressed interest in a 10-day trip, led by Dave, that will celebrate the program’s success and remember all the contributions of past faculty and alumni.

Alumni interested in the Munich trip can contact Dave Limburg or check out the Guilford Munich Reunion 2018 Facebook group. 

Want to meet Dave and get to know the Modern Language Studies Department? Schedule a visit!


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