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Course Guide

German

(AQA 7662)

German is a language with a rich cultural heritage, as well as offering access to Europe’s most influential economy.

What will you study?

The German A Level covers a range of topics, that focus on German speaking societies and their social and cultural change. In the first year social issues and the artistic culture in the German speaking wold are covered. The main areas of focus are the changing family life in Germany, the digital world and youth culture, as well as German Festivals, Art and Architecture and Berlin’s past and current cultural heritage. Studying the Oscar winning film “Das Leben der Anderen” will offer a deep insight into Germany’s history, and the students will benefit from analysing an internationally celebrated piece of art, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the East/West conflict of the 20th century and the ability to eloquently analyse cultural and literary themes.

Our focus on grammar and higher level language skills empowers all students to bridge the demands between GCSE and A-level.

In the second year all students will have gained a solid basis, enabling them to grasp how the German speaking society is becoming more multi-cultural and dealing with topics, such as immigration, integration and racism. Furthermore the current political life of the German speaking world forms an essential part of the second year, discussing Germany and the EU, youth in Germany and politics, as well as the reunification of Germany and its consequences. The second year will be enriched with the study of the internationally celebrated novel “Der Vorleser”, where students will gain insight into a contemporary social topic, and adapt language utilised in a piece of literature.

How is it assessed?

A Level German is linear so assessment of students’ knowledge takes place at the end of the two years of study. All topics covered over the two years of the course will be utilised and assessed in Paper 1. Students will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the topics within the linguistic skills listening reading, writing and translations. These topics will also build the basis of the speaking exam, where the students will have to engage with a stimulus card, based on course content and demonstrate their cultural and linguistic achievements. Their chosen research project builds the core of the Oral Exam. The third assessment, paper 2, comprises of 2 essays based on the film and novel that students have studied. The German A-level course will have enabled the students to analyse these effectively and write an engaging essay, targeting a core question.

Enrichment opportunities?

Gaining experience and insight into the German speaking culture is the foundation of the A level course. All students will have the opportunity to spend one week in Neuwied, near Cologne. Staying with a host family will ensure that all students gain an insight into everyday life along with practising their language skills on a regular basis. We have strong links to the German School in Richmond and year 12 collaborates with students from the German school in order to create a language workshop for all Year 7 Tiffin boys. A highlight is the trip to Berlin in y13, offering an extensive range of cultural and linguistic insights for all students. At this stage we aim to focus on the wealth of all cultural knowledge on offer in Berlin that will greatly support the students in their exams.

Where might it lead you?

As the largest economy in Europe, German is a crucial foreign language required for jobs in the UK and around the world. Germany’s reputation for manufacturing, engineering and design is well known, and it is obvious that employers in these sectors highly value German language skills. What might not spring to mind as readily are the many other professions that actively seek German speakers. Germany and Switzerland have strong insurance and financial services sectors with operations all around the globe, including a strong presence in the UK.

Combining German with another subject at university will facilitate the development of transferable skills along with knowledge and open the doors to a variety of career paths.

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