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German Language 2B

German Language 2b is the continuation of German Language 1b (Ab Initio). By the end of this course you should have reached roughly the same level of competence in German as the students who have followed the post A-level students after the end of their second year. The course convenor for this module is Dr Petra Bauer in room A7, Elvet Riverside I.

There will be five contact hours per week: Grammar, Reading/Listening, Speaking, Writing and Translation. The grammar hour will be the same as the one for the first year students. You will be allocated to one of their groups. In the reading/listening, speaking and writing hours we are going to cover roughly the same topics and text types as the 1st and 2nd year students in their core language hour and in the translation hour we are going to consolidate your grammar and writing and work on some basic translation skills. The topics covered in the reading/listening and speaking hours are as follows: Popkultur, Berliner Republik, Bildung und Arbeit in the first term and Familie und Zusammenleben, multikulturelle Gesellschaft and nationale Identität in the second term.

Course Strands

1.  Oral:  Presentation/Conversation

The presentation/conversation sessions are based on the dossier material. All of the dossier material may be used during these sessions. You will approach each topic by discussing, debating, participating in role plays, working in groups or with a partner and so on. Particular emphasis will be placed on presentation skills, which we consider essential for your work in other modules in the German Department, for your Year Abroad, and for your future career. Every member of each seminar group will be required to give a short presentation as part of their formative assessment. You will receive written feedback on your presentation.

2.  Reading and Listening

In the reading and listening you are going to learn how to cope with longer and more complex texts from the dossier and by listening to and understanding relevant clips from the German media. They will then feed back into your oral classes were you are going to use your knowledge to formulate arguments and present and defend opinions in group discussions. The texts and podcast will provide you with new and relevant vocabulary and phrases which will then enable you to formulate your own opinion. It is therefore vital that you learn vocabulary systematically and week by week, noting words that you do not know and familiarising yourself with their meaning and usage.

3.  Grammar and Writing

For your grammar classes you will be allocated to a group for the first year core language module grammar lessons. They aim to consolidate the knowledge of grammar that you acquired during your first year, and to introduce you to more complex and sophisticated grammatical constructions. By the end of the grammar and writing strand, you should have developed a very good understanding and command of German grammatical structures.

In the writing lessons we are going to encounter and practice a whole range of written texts in German. We are going to progress from short texts and book and film reviews over creative writing, CVs and job application letters to essay writing. In the second term we are going to practice the same writing skills as the students in the second year in preparation for the target language research projects (TLRP) which you are required to write during your year abroad. Your formative work in the second term will be in the form of two ‘argumentativer Aufsatz‘, in which you are required to formulate and justify your opinion on a particular topic. You will receive written feedback on this work within two weeks of submitting it. Group feedback will also be provided in a dedicated grammar and writing session.

4.  Translation

In the translation class we are going to translate both German into English and English into German. Accurate understanding of the original text and accurate rendering into the target language depend on two key areas: firstly grammar and syntax (Satzbau), thus complementing the work you do in your grammar class and secondly vocabulary and idiom to which we have devoted a special section of this course. This part of the course therefore aims to develop your understanding of very different types of texts, your feeling for both your native and the target language, your ability to apply various translation techniques, your confidence to experiment with language and, above all, your passive and active range of vocabulary

Your tutor will monitor your performance, but as you are in your second year we do expect you do be more independent and more conscientious in your approach to learning. It is therefore up to you to monitor your won progress in conjunction with other students. Feel free to speak to your tutor if you think you need monitoring more closely. If you have problems, send an e-mail to make an appointment with the Co-ordinator.

A note on your progress

Without your own initiative, you will find it impossible to improve your spoken German. Regular and sustained participation in oral classes is therefore absolutely essential. To help keep up your German outside the classroom, the German Department offers small-group conversation classes with native speakers for which students can sign up. We recommend strongly that you take advantage of these.

Coordinator:  Dr Petra Bauer

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment.