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INSIGHT for parents

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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

  • I enjoy communicating in the foreign language.
  • I am open  minded  and  keen  to experience  the life and culture of other countries, for example through reading foreign literature, watching foreign films and travelling.
  • I am sociable and enjoy meeting people of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • I take a keen interest in the world around me, in particular current events and global issues which affect young people in society.
  • I am interested in language and in how language works so that I can use it creatively and independently to express myself.
  • I want to develop  independent  study skills so that I will have the necessary attributes to be  a successful student at university.
  • I want to learn more about German society and culture.
  • I ENJOY German.

What will I learn about?

The first year of the course will focus on how German- speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. You will develop your language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of a range of contemporary topics such as the changing state of the family, the digital world, youth culture, festivals and traditions, art and architecture and cultural life in Berlin. There will be in-depth study of grammar and translation into both English and German.You will also study a German film. You will have the opportunity to participate in group and class discussions on these topics as well as listening to and reading authentic texts. You will write critical and analytical essays about the film that you study.

In the second year of the course further aspects of the social background of German-speaking society are covered as well as studying aspects of the political landscape. You will continue to develop your language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of a range of topics such as immigration, integration, racism, Germany and the European Union, politics and youth, and German re-unification and its consequences. You will also continue to study a German film as well as a literary text in German. Activities will include listening to a range of spoken texts and reading a wide variety of texts, in-depth study of grammar with translation to and from German, pair and class discussion as well as writing critical and analytical essays on the film and the text that you have studied.

How will I be assessed?

Paper One will assess listening, reading and writing. For the listening component you will have individual control of the recording. The reading section will comprise of texts written for different purposes with comprehension questions that will target main points, gist and detail. You will also have to translate a passage into English and another into German.

Paper Two will assess your writing skills and you will be expected to write two critical, analytical essays on the text and the film that you have studied.

Paper Three will assess speaking. There will be a discussion of a sub-theme that you have studied with the discussion based on a stimulus card. You will also present and discuss your individual research project.

In Year 12 your mock exam in reading and listening will be based on the topics covered in the first year of the course. The speaking exam will just consist of the two stimulus cards and the writing exam will just be based on the film. 

What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

GCSE grade 5 in German.

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

A variety of teaching methods is used, including whole- class teaching, group and pair work activities and small group individual presentations. We often have a German intern working in school. You will have one lesson per week with the native speaker during their placement.We also arrange visits to university study days and other events, including theatre and  cinema visits. You will have the chance to participate in the exchange for a week to Heidelberg.

By the end of this course, you will have developed the skills of:

  • comprehension of spoken and written German
  • written communication both in English and German
  • oral communication

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

You can take a traditional language course at university or a combined course with any one of a range of subjects including business or law. Often such courses include a year spent studying overseas. Competence in German is an asset in the workplace. As well as export links, some major British firms have partnerships with German ones.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Ms Clarkson in the German Department.