BA French and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
German Language 4

Course unit fact file
Unit code GERM51040
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
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 II or Wirtschaftswissenschaften (see below for details). All of these sessions are taught in German.

Classes are complemented by an independent language learning programme, involving reading, writing, speaking and listening activities, as well as vocabulary work and CALL grammar exercises. 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. There is also an extensive Blackboard site associated with this course unit and students should make a point of accessing this on a regular basis. 

1) GRAMMAR AND TRANSLATION (seminar: one hour per week)

This part of the course unit further develops competence in written German (writing and reading skills) by enhancing the translation skills (English-German and German-English) introduced in the first year and consolidating command of grammatical structures in written German.

2) SPRACHPRAKTISCHE ÜBUNG (tutorial: one hour per week)

This element of the course unit builds on the oral and written skills developed during the first year.


Students can choose EITHER:


This element of the course unit is designed to build on and deepen the knowledge acquired in Landeskunde I during the first year of study. Using newspaper articles and video clips, issues relating to politics, the arts and everyday life in German-speaking countries are discussed. As far as possible, matters of topical interest are also included. 



This part of the course unit will focus on business/management issues and is designed particularly for students of a Modern Language and Business and Management, although it is open to all second year students.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
German Language 3 GERM51030 Pre-Requisite Compulsory




German Language Skills 4 is aimed to improve students’ deeper understanding and command of the German Language, in all key disciplines. Special focus will be set upon speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. Grammatical knowledge will be improved by a close reading of texts and a deep analysis by means of translation. 

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate mastery of the grammar topics covered (word order, conjunctions, use and formation of the tenses, the passive and alternatives to its use, word formation, and Konjunktiv I) 


  • Demonstrate a good level of competence in translating from German into English, with an understanding of stylistic considerations 


  • Demonstrate competence in translating from English into German, with some understanding of stylistic considerations 


Practical skills

  • Understand extended speech, TV news and current affairs programmes as well as films 

  • Read and analyse articles and reports concerned with contemporary issues 

  • Speak with a good degree of fluency and spontaneity, and take an active part in discussion covering a range of topic areas (including politics, arts, everyday life in German-speaking countries, multicultural issues, and science and technology in modern times) 

  • Research, compose and deliver clear and well-structured oral presentations on a range of topics (see above) 

  • Write clear text (including short essays and reports) on a range of subjects, giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view 


Assessment methods

Assessment task 

Weighting within unit 

One oral exam in week 12 (in pairs)

At the beginning of the exam, each pair of students is presented with a role-play scenario requiring them to discuss, spontaneously and in German, the planning of a specified event or activity related to a topic area covered in Sprachpraktische Übung during the course of the year. (No dictionaries permitted)  


One invigilated coursework assignment (no dictionaries permitted)

(German essay in Wirtschaftswissenschaftendeutsch/Landeskunde,)

In week 11 of semester 2 the students will receive an indication of the broad topic areas to be addressed in the summative essay exam, enabling them to prepare by researching key facts and arguments as well as relevant vocabulary.  

There is also a formative essay in semester 1 (deadline week 12), for which students are given feedback and a formative grade at the beginning of semester 2. 


One written examination (no dictionaries permitted) consisting of two elements 

One translation from English into German 

One translation from German into English 

25% each 

Feedback methods

Feedback methodFormative or Summative
In-class comments made during discussion regarding the relevance and linguistic quality of student responses and participation. Formative
Written feedback on practice translations and the essay in semester 1.   Formative
Face-to-face discussion of any written feedback provided (on request) Formative
Face-to-face feedback on in-class presentations and supporting materials (on request) Formative
Detailed written feedback on invigilated coursework essays, followed by drop-in sessions to discuss the work as well as particular issues raised in the written feedback Formative and Summative
Written feedback on the exam translation and essay (on request) Formative and Summative
Written feedback on the oral exam (on request), on the basis of the feedback form completed by the markers during the examination Formative and Summative
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 Formative



Recommended reading

Set texts: 

Collins German Dictionary, 9th edn. 2019. Glasgow: HarperCollins. 

Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl, Claudia Kaiser and Gudrun Loftus. 2015. Essential German Grammar. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge. 

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

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


Further reading: 

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

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

Fernandez-Toro, Maria & Francis R. Jones. 2001. DIY techniques for language learners. London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT) 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 69
Independent study hours
Independent study 131

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sebastian Truskolaski Unit coordinator
Anne-Teresa Markovic Unit coordinator
Dorit Fellner-Whitgreave Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The course unit is available only as part of a degree programme where German is taken as a named Honours subject.

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