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“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
In an increasingly globalised world, learning a second language will open many doors. Not only will you become a confident speaker of German, but you will also develop an understanding of a different culture and understand the importance of challenging stereotypes and prejudices. The breadth and depth of the A-level, which includes literature, film, politics and culture, will also equip you with communication and critical thinking skills which are in demand by employers.
The course is focused on the study of German culture, including social issues, youth culture, art, history and politics. During the course you will also carry out an in-depth study of a play and a film. This is a great opportunity to gain the confidence to speak and write freely in German on a variety of topical issues, in addition to acquiring transferable research and analytical skills. You will improve your ability to problem solve, to be creative and above all to communicate well, all of which are vital skills for today’s job market.
You will study topics based around the themes of technological and social change, looking at the multicultural nature of German-speaking society. Within this, you will study highlights of German-speaking artistic culture, including art and architecture, and will learn how Germany's political landscape was formed.
You will explore the influence of the past on present-day German-speaking communities. Throughout your studies, you will learn the language in the context of German-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. You will study texts and film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of your choice, to be presented in the speaking exam.
At least 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above all from the core subjects.
Course Specific Entry Requirement: GCSE Grade 6 in German. If you have not completed GCSE German but have an equivalent or higher command of the language, you may be eligible to enrol on this course.
In German, we use a variety of teaching methods and activities including class and pair speaking tasks, authentic materials such as videos and films, online sources and textbooks along with quizzes and games. All of our classes are mixed ability, but standards are high. Native speakers or bilingual students are welcome and we differentiate the tasks accordingly.
Trips and enrichment activities are offered and help students to develop their speaking skills as well as cultural knowledge of the German-speaking countries.
- Assessment tasks are varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
- Assessment is through exams at the end of the second year, consisting of three papers, one of which is the speaking test.
- There is no coursework, but the speaking exam includes a discussion of the Individual Research Project which students will have worked on throughout their second year.
We usually offer a trip to Germany or Austria every year as well as other enrichment activities such as study days or theatre trips. All first-year German students are encouraged to apply for a work experience programme in Germany, offered by the Goethe Institut, along with a German language programme offered by the UK-Germany Connection programme, both of which are free of charge for successful applicants.
- You should expect some small costs for purchasing course booklets
- You may wish to buy your own copy of the play that we study (although you can borrow one from College)
- There are costs for trips, although you can apply for programmes such as work experience which are free to successful applicants.
German is spoken in class as much as possible, and you will soon become familiar with commands and questions. Some explanations will be given in English, where necessary. Students are also encouraged to speak as much German as possible both in and outside of the classroom.
No, the exam specification covers all of the German-speaking countries and during the course we look at many examples from Switzerland and Austria. Your Individual Research Project gives you the opportunity to explore an interest in any part of the German-speaking world.
Classroom textbooks and online resources including e-books will be provided. An A-Level vocabulary book and a grammar book might also be useful. You may wish to purchase your own DVD or download of the chosen film and may need to buy a copy of the novel or play in the second year. Importantly, you will need access to a good bilingual dictionary, either a hard copy or a dictionary app (do not rely on translation services such as Google Translate).
Immerse yourself in all things Germanic! Listen to German music, watch German-language films or TV shows (with English subtitles) and try to read news articles online. You can also practise basic grammar, using websites such as https://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar.html
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