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German A-Level

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Qualification: AS/A-Level | Exam board: Edexcel

The study of modern languages can lead to a variety of careers both in this country and abroad.

Modern language courses are designed to provide practical and enjoyable lifelong skills, whether used in the workplace or for leisure.

Speaking another language really makes you stand out from the crowd. You will study a range of social issues and political, historical and artistic culture within Germany and the German-speaking world. You will learn to speak, understand and write German in a range of situations and to express facts and opinions.

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Year One content

Year one aims to develop grammatical structures to a high level of accuracy and complexity. It will cover three engaging topics, giving you a wealth of useful vocabulary and idiomatic phrases and the confidence to speak, write, read and listen to German.

Theme One: Changes in German society, this theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Nature and the environment: pollution, renewable energy resources and recycling.
  • Education: the German school system and aspects of university life.
  • Workplace: working life, attitudes towards work, and the German economy.

Theme Two: Artistic and political culture in German-speaking countries, this theme covers artistic culture (through music, and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media) helping you to broaden your knowledge of life in these societies.

  • Music: changes and evolution, impact on popular culture
  • Media: freedom of speech, written and online press, impact on society and politics
  • Festivals and traditions: customs, traditions, celebrations.

Literary Study: You will study a film in depth and produce written critical responses that relate to aspects such as literary technique, key themes, characterisation and social context.

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Year Two content

You will continue Themes One and Two from your first year and add two more central themes, together with a literary text. Year Two will enhance your linguistic skills and develop your capacity for critical thinking, in spoken and written German. You will also undertake an independent research project on an issue of your choice.

Theme Three: Immigration and multicultural society in Germany, this theme covers the impact on Germany of this century’s vast increase in immigration.

  • Immigration: its history, the benefits of a multi-cultural society and its effect on the arts.
  • Integration: problems in education, the workplace and accommodation.
  • Solutions: attitudes and reactions from government and society, the problem of right-wing extremism.

Theme Four: The Reunification of Germany, this theme covers the enormous upheaval in all aspects of German life caused by the merging of two separate German states following the collapse of the “Iron Curtain”.

  • East Germany before reunification: Communism and living conditions in the DDR and relationships with the West.
  • The prelude to reunification: the role of Russia, the events of 1989 and the end of Communism.
  • Germany since reunification: effects on education, immigration and the economy.

Additional information

Literary Study

You will study a novel in depth and produce written critical responses that relate to aspects such as literary technique, key themes, characterisation and social context. Across the two years of an A-Level course you will study a novel and a film.

Independent Research Project:

You will carry out a research project to investigate a subject of your choice relating to German-speaking culture or society. This is assessed as part of the oral examination.

What does this course prepare me for?

The German A-Level course is a rigorous and highly regarded option. It helps students prepare for Higher Education and/ or enhance their employability profile.

It gives you the opportunity to learn and apply important transferable skills in critical thinking and analysis, communication and relationship-building, autonomy and resourcefulness. Students also develop an insight into language in general which enhances their confidence and accuracy in English.

In our global society the study of a modern language can lead to an improvement in employment prospects in a wide variety of careers, both in this country and abroad. Even when not specifically a requirement for a particular post, a good standard of fluency in the language of one of our most important international business partners and customers can offer further career opportunities that are not available to the monoglot.

Course support and enrichment

Students from the A-Level course will be expected to carry out a number of independent tasks and assignments. You may also have the opportunity to take part in national conferences or be involved with guest-speakers or in trips abroad.

Assessment

You will be assessed on the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in the foreign language. You will sit your German exams at the end of Year Two.

Paper One: Listening, reading and translation (40% of qualification)

A two hour written examination covering all four themes: a listening assessment with a range of comprehension questions; a reading assessment with a range of text and comprehension questions; a passage to translate from German into English.

Paper Two: Written response to works and translation (30% of qualification)

Two hours and 40 minutes written assessment: essay style questions on the two works studied (one film and one book), and a translation from English to German.

Paper Three: Speaking (30% of qualification)

23-minute assessment (including five minutes preparation): speaking examination based on one of the four themes, with a stimulus card as a basis for conversation; a presentation and discussion based on the student’s Independent Research Project.

Entry requirements

Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:

Subject specific entry requirements

  • 6 in German

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)

AND

  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3

AND

  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)

AND

  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level

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