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BA Film Studies and German

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
German Language 3

Unit code GERM51030
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by German Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


This core language course unit fosters essential language skills and is delivered in three sessions per week: Grammar and Translation, Sprachpraktische Übung and Landeskunde (see below for details). All of these sessions are taught in German, as far as possible. Classes are complemented by an independent language learning programme, involving reading, writing, speaking and listening activities, as well as vocabulary and grammar work. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning and to improve their language learning skills with the help and support provided by their tutors. On successful completion of the unit, students will have reached level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


Pre-requisite units

EITHER A level in German (or equivalent) OR GERM51022 German Language 2



This course unit builds on the German language skills acquired at A level (or equivalent) and helps students improve further in all four major skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as in grammar competence and vocabulary range.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, students will have reached level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and will have developed or honed their ability to:

  • demonstrate mastery of the grammar topics covered (valency and cases, noun genders and plurals, adjective declensions, determiners and pronouns, verb forms, prepositions, modal auxiliaries, Subjunctive II)
  • demonstrate competence in translating from German into English, with some understanding of stylistic considerations
  • show basic insight into the particular difficulties of translating from English into German
  • understand extended speech, TV news and current affairs programmes as well as the majority of films
  • read and analyse articles and reports concerned with contemporary issues (related to business and management in the case of MLBM students)
  • speak with a good degree of fluency and spontaneity, and take an active part in discussion covering a range of contexts (e.g. environmental issues, leisure and travel, relationships and family life, diet and health, and Germany since reunification)
  • orally present clear descriptions on a range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue putting forward the advantages and disadvantages of various options
  • write clear text (including short essays and summaries) on a range of subjects, giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view
  • give a broad description of aspects of two German-speaking countries / regions, with reference to physical and human geography, political systems, history, arts, and education

Teaching and learning methods

Three 1-hour sessions per week, involving active participation from students (except for Landeskunde, which has a lecture format)

Language of teaching: Predominantly German, but English is used where appropriate

eLearning: There is an extensive Blackboard site associated with this course unit, providing, among other things, additional resources for students’ independent language learning, which should be accessed on a regular basis.

Employability skills

¿ language skills (including the ability to produce word-processed text in German) ¿ intercultural awareness ¿ efficient independent working skills through assessing learning needs, devising a learning strategy, implementing the strategy and evaluating the outcome

Assessment methods

Assessment task


Weighting within unit

Written examination, consisting of

a)    Translation from German into English

b)   Summary in German of a German text

2 hours



a)      25%


b)      25%

Oral examination at the end of Semester 2

The exam lasts about 10 minutes and is conducted by two members of staff in German Studies. Students choose a topic from a list of material covered in the Sprachpraktische Übung during the year and then have 15 minutes to read and reflect on a short text on that topic (using their own dictionary). They will then be asked to read aloud from the text, to answer questions about it and to discuss the subject with the examiners.


One invigilated coursework assignment

The assignment session lasts 1.5 hours and consists of an essay in German of 300-330 words, dealing with the material covered in the Landeskunde lectures. Essay titles will be made available in Week 3 of Semester 2 (via Blackboard), so that students can research their chosen topic and plan their essay in advance of the actual assignment session taking place in Week 13 of Semester 2. Students may use their own dictionary.

NB. For formative assessment, students are offered the opportunity to complete a virtually identical piece of work (on different topics) in Week 12 of Semester 1, on which detailed written feedback will be provided.





Feedback methods

  • In-class comments made during discussion regarding the relevance and linguistic quality of student responses and participation.
  • Written feedback on practice translations, summaries and essays
  • Face-to-face discussion of any written feedback provided (on request)
  • Face-to-face feedback on in-class presentations and supporting materials (on request)
  • Detailed written feedback on invigilated coursework essays (formative exercise in Semester 1 and summative work in Semester 2), followed by drop-in sessions to discuss the work as well as particular issues raised in the written feedback
  • Written feedback on the exam translation and summary (on request)
  • Written feedback on the oral exam (on request), on the basis of the feedback form completed by the markers during the examination
  • Detailed written feedback on the independent language learning portfolio, with suggestions for more effective independent language work (on submission of the portfolio by the deadline, once per semester)
  • On request and during tutors’ office hours (or by appointment), face-to-face feedback on a range of aspects of an individual’s language competence, with practical advice on more effective learning, translation, writing, speaking and proof-reading techniques

Recommended reading


Set texts: 
Collins German Dictionary, 8th edn. 2013. Glasgow: HarperCollins. 
Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl, Claudia Kaiser & Gudrun Loftus. 2015. Essential German Grammar. 2nd edn. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Further reading:

Donald, Sidney G. & Pauline E. Kneale. 2001. Study skills for language students: a practical guide. London: Arnold.

Durrell, Martin. 2017. Hammer's German Grammar and Usage. 6th edn. London and New York: Routledge.

Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl and Claudia Kaiser. 2017. Practising German Grammar. 4th edn. London and New York: Routledge.

Fernández-Toro, María & Francis R. Jones. 2001. DIY techniques for language learners. London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research.

Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Neubearbeitung. 2015. Berlin: Langenscheidt.

Wahrig-Burfeind, Renate (ed.). 2012. WAHRIG Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 3rd edn. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Wiebke Brockhaus-Grand Unit coordinator
Thomas Despositos Unit coordinator

Additional notes

NB. This course unit must be passed with a minimum overall mark of 40% in order for a student to progress to the next year of study.

This is not a LEAP course unit and is normally available only as part of a degree programme where German is taken as a named Honours subject.


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