Studying German at A-level is both highly stimulating and rewarding. You will learn to express yourself with confidence, as you master the language and expand your vocabulary. Your knowl-edge and understanding of Germany and the German speaking world will also develop, allowing you to debate a range of different topics relating to the German speaking world with confidence.
In the first year of A-level German, you will study a wide range of topics. These include technol-ogy, youth culture (fashion, music, television), art, Berlin and its history and cultural life. You will also study the play ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ (The Visit). This is a brilliant tragicomedy by the Swiss dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Its themes (for example, how money can corrupt) are as relevant today as they were when it was written in 1956.
In the second year, you will study immigration, integration, racism, Germany and its role in the EU, political engagement of young people, and the reunification of Germany and its conse-quences. You will also study the gripping and remarkable film ‘Das Leben der Anderen’ by the director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. This looks at life in the former GDR, the role of the Stasi and how artists lived their lives under this oppressive regime. At the end of the Upper Sixth, you will be examined across three papers.
In the Sixth Form, you will cover a large range of topics, as well as hone your grammatical skills and increase your vocabulary. In addition to your lessons with your German teachers, you will have a dedicated conversation class with a German Assistant every week. This will increase your confidence and fluency in the language. You will learn from reading authentic materials (newspapers, magazines, books, video recording), as well as by keeping abreast with the current affairs in the German speaking world.
A-Level German focuses on honing the Speaking and Writing skills, including translations into German and English. Teaching you to structure your thoughts and ideas clearly in essays, and the ability to debate are key skills. There is also an element of independent study where pupils complete an individual research project on a topic of their choice, which is then discussed in the oral examination.
Modern Languages graduates are in great demand and are highly sought-after by employers. Those who have studied a language successfully to A-level develop excellent social and commu-nication skills, which are an asset in any career. However, the jump from GCSE to A-level German is larger than you may expect, as the range of registers, syntax and grammar is greater than at GCSE.
Mr J M Norbury, Head of Modern Languages