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German AS & A Level at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

If you’ve enjoyed German so far, don’t stop now!  

The more you develop your linguistic ability, the bigger the sense of achievement. `A` level German is a very enjoyable and stimulating course and will help you  develop effective communication skills in the German language whilst giving you a thorough understanding of the  culture of the countries and the communities where German is spoken.  A good knowledge of German will give you access to interesting, vibrant and hospitable countries in the heart of Europe – countries that are fun, as well as successful. What's more, there aren't many native English speakers who master the German language to such high levels. Germany is the economic motor of Europe and one of our biggest trading partners,  and employers are keen to recruit German speakers. Furthermore, it’s not just the language – it’s the understanding of the people and the culture you’ll acquire that will impress. Yes, there are Mercedes and Siemens, but there are also buzzing cultural scenes of all kinds; theatre, music, film, literature and yes, there is even (funny) comedy!

Course content

First Year Study

The AS specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills, including communication, critical thinking and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content has been designed to be of relevance to students of all disciplines, whether they want to progress to A-level or not.

Students will develop their understanding of themes relating to the society and culture of the countries where German is spoken, and their language skills; they will do this by using authentic spoken and written sources in German.

The approach is a focus on how German-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. Students study aspects of the social context together with aspects of the artistic life of German-speaking countries.

Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any German-speaking country or countries.

The changing state of the family (Familie im Wandel)

  • Beziehungen innerhalb der Familie
  • Partnerschaft und Ehe
  • Verschiedene Familienformen

The digital world (Die digitale Welt)

  • Das Internet
  • Soziale Netzwerke
  • Die Digitalisierung der Gesellschaft

Youth culture: fashion and trends, music, television (Jugendkultur: Mode, Musik und Fernsehen)

  • Mode und Image
  • Die Bedeutung der Musik für Jugendliche
  • Die Rolle des Fernsehens

Students also study a film:  Das Leben der Anderen

Second Year Study

Students study technological and social change, looking at the multicultural nature of German-speaking society. They will study highlights of German-speaking artistic culture, including art and architecture, and will learn how Germany's political landscape was formed.

Students will explore the influence of the past on present-day German-speaking communities. Throughout their studies, they will learn the language in the context of German-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. Students will study texts and film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.

Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Students may study all the sub-themes in relation to any German-speaking country or countries.

Immigration (Einwanderung)

  • Die Gründe für Migration
  • Vor- und Nachteile der Einwanderung
  • Migrationspolitik

Integration (Integration)

  • Maßnahmen zur Integration
  • Hindernisse für die Integration
  • Die Erfahrungen verschiedener Migrantengruppen

Racism (Rassismus)

  • Die Opfer des Rassismus
  • Die Ursprünge des Rassismus
  • Der Kampf gegen Rassismus

Students also study a play:  `Andorra` von MaX Frisch

3.5 Individual research project

  • Students must identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them and which relates to a country or countries where German is spoken. They must select relevant information in German from a range of sources including the internet. The aim of the research project is to develop research skills. Students will demonstrate their ability to initiate and conduct individual research by analysing and summarising their findings, in order to present and discuss them in the speaking assessment.
  • Students may choose a subject linked to one of the themes or sub-themes or to one of the works. However, students must not base their research on the same literary text or film that they refer to in their written assessment.
  • Students within a school or college should each choose a different subject for their research. However, if more than one student selects the same general subject area, the title of their research and their approach must be different.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE’s at Grades A*-C or at point 4-9 (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and will count as 1 GCSE equivalent.
  • GCSE German at grade B/ point 6 or above is essential or German spoken at home.

Assessment

The four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking - are assessed by examination.

First Year Assessment 

This specification is designed to be taken over one or two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

AS exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2017 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

 AS exams in German include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study
  • provide extended responses.

Assessment Objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all AS German specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

AO1: Understand and respond:

  • in speech to spoken language including face-to-face interaction
  • in writing to spoken language drawn from a variety of sources.

AO2: Understand and respond:

  • in speech to written language drawn from a variety of sources
  • in writing to written language drawn from a variety of sources.

AO3: Manipulate the language accurately, in spoken and written forms, using a range of lexis and structure.

AO4: Show knowledge and understanding of, and respond critically to, different aspects of the culture and society of countries/communities where the language is spoken.

Across assessment objectives AO1 and AO2, no more than 10% of the total marks for the qualification may be used for responses in English, including translation into English.

Second Year Assessment

Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all A-level German specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

AO1: Understand and respond:

  • in speech to spoken language including face-to-face interaction
  • in writing to spoken language drawn from a variety of sources.

AO2: Understand and respond:

  • in speech to written language drawn from a variety of sources
  • in writing to written language drawn from a variety of sources.

AO3: Manipulate the language accurately, in spoken and written forms, using a range of lexis and structure.

AO4: Show knowledge and understanding of, and respond critically and analytically to, different aspects of the culture and society of countries/communities where the language is spoken

Across assessment objectives AO1 and AO2, no more than 10% of the total marks for the qualification may be used for responses in English, including translation into English.

Future opportunities

The majority of students at our College go on to study German at degree level or combined with a wide range of other subjects ranging from Business to International Relations. 

The Russell Group of Universities advises students to study at least two subjects at A-level from a list of facilitating subjects, one of them being German.

In the job market, the ability to speak another language gives you the edge. The UK trades with over 200 countries worldwide and businesses are continually looking to expand globally- this is only possible if they can communicate internationally.  As such, employers are constantly seeking out foreign language speakers. Figures reflect this - consistently showing Modern Languages graduates as having one of the lowest levels of unemployment six months after graduation.

A modern languages degree opens up a wealth of options for your future. Whatever career you choose your adept communication skills will be a big advantage.  

Graduates have gone on to successful careers:

in the Civil Service, fashion, financial services, library and information management, heritage and culture, travel and tourism, advertising, retail management, sales and marketing, international recruitment, broadcasting, journalism, publishing, science and IT, voluntary organisations and charities. 

Further information

There are opportunities throughout the year to go on trips to the cinema, theatre, universities and conferences. Master classes dealing with a big variety of interesting, relevant topics are held at intervals throughout the academic year. Some students choose to go on a work experience placement, intensive course or visit a summer camp in Koblenz, Germany with whom we have a link.  We also collaborate with local primary schools.  Students also have the possibility to visit a primary school during their course and involve themselves in various language learning activities whilst passing on their love of the German language and culture to local primary school children.

Germany is a great, diverse country for A-level students to do work experience. Amongst the cities you could be visiting are Aachen, Dortmund, Köln, Koblenz and Münster. Many of these destinations are university cities, providing you with the opportunity to explore and discover a vibrant and cultural city where you can meet other young people whilst practising your language skills and gain confidence and independence.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

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