The 2-year A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society.
Topics taught in the first year (yr 12) are relevant to A2 examinations: Aspects of German-speaking society
The changing state of the family (Familie im Wandel)
- Beziehungen innerhalb der Familie
- Partnerschaft und Ehe
- Verschiedene Familienformen
The digital world (Die digitale Welt)
- Das Internet
- Soziale Netzwerke
- Die Digitalisierung der Gesellschaft
Youth culture: fashion and trends, music, television (Jugendkultur: Mode, Musik und Fernsehen)
- Mode und Image
- Die Bedeutung der Musik für Jugendliche
- Die Rolle des Fernsehens
- Artistic culture in the German-speaking world
Festivals and traditions (Feste und Traditionen)
- Feste und Traditionen – ihre Wurzeln und Ursprünge
- Feste und Traditionen – ihre soziale und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung heute
- Vielfältige Feste und Traditionen in verschiedenen Regionen
Art and architecture (Kunst und Architektur)
- Künstler und Architekten
- Kunst und Architektur im Alltag
- Kunst und Architektur – Vergangenheit, Gegenwart, Zukunft
Cultural life in Berlin, past and present (Das Berliner Kulturleben damals und heute)
- Berlin – geprägt durch seine Geschichte
- Theater, Musik und Museen in Berlin
- Die Vielfalt innerhalb der Bevölkerung Berlins
Topics taught in the second year (yr 13) are also relevant to A2 examinations: Multiculturalism in German-speaking society Immigration (Einwanderung)
- Die Gründe für Migration
- Vor- und Nachteile der Einwanderung
- Maßnahmen zur Integration
- Hindernisse für die Integration
- Die Erfahrungen verschiedener Migrantengruppen
- Die Opfer des Rassismus
- Die Ursprünge des Rassismus
- Der Kampf gegen Rassismus
Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world Germany and the European Union (Deutschland und die Europaïsche Union)
- Die Rolle Deutschlands in Europa
- Vor- und Nachteile der EU für Deutschland
- Die Auswirkungen der EU-Erweiterung auf Deutschland
Politics and youth (Die Politik und die Jugend)
- Politisches Engagement Jugendlicher
- Schwerpunkte der Jugendpolitik
- Werte und Ideale
German re-unification and its consequences (Die Wiedervereinigung und ihre Folgen)
- Friedliche Revolution in der DDR
- Die Wiedervereinigung – Wunsch und Wirklichkeit
- Alte und neue Bundesländer – Kultur und Identität
Film– Goodbye, Lenin (Wolfgang Becker) Play– Der Besuch der Alten Dame (Friedrich Dürrenmatt)
We teach a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree.
Students are taught to:
- Respond to (recorded) spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources, covering different registers and types (most based on the themes and sub-themes in the specification.)
- Infer meaning from abstract material such as opinions, views, emotional reactions and personal experiences
- Respond to texts including contemporary and historical material, and covering material based on literature.
- Summarise in German what they have understood from a recoded or written passage, using their own words.
- Speak 'fluently' and develop ideas and opinions without relying on prompts.
- Produce (in spoken and written forms) language that is accurate.
- Demonstrate a secure grasp of grammar, and the ability to manipulate language accurately.
- Demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary and complex language.
- Respond appropriately to unpredictable questions.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topics studied.
- Consistently select relevant information to support arguments.
- Conduct (with guidance) in-depth research into a chosen aspect of German (or Swiss, Austrian) society / culture / history.
- Translate a passage of at least 100 words from German into English, and from English into German. (not the same passage!)
- Write critical and analytical essays of 300 words on a film (Goodbye Lenin) and a work of literature (Der Besuch der Alten Dame)
Each class will be taught by 2 teachers. In addition, each student will be timetabled for weekly individual oral preparation and practice with the German assistant.
Experience has shown that it is difficult to cope with sixth form work in languages without an A or A* at GCSE. Students without a sure command of the grammar and structures as taught up to GCSE are very unlikely to be successful at A-Level.
There will be 3 exam units at the end of Year 13 (end of A level):
- Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation;
- Paper 2: Written response: target language essays on 2 works ( i.e. film and book) and a translation
- Paper 3: Speaking on one of the four AS and A2 themes and on each student's Individual Research Project (IRP). This exam is conducted by an external examiner. For more detail visit: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level/german-7662/specification-at-a-glance
We aim to develop awareness of various aspects of the societies in which the language is spoken, to develop study skills as a preparation for further study, the world of work or leisure and to provide an interesting course relevant to the needs of our students.
Languages are assuming an ever-increasing importance in today’s international world and many of our students are going on to university to study a language (often alongside a new language, economics, law etc.). Others are taking a language in the Sixth Form just out of interest for the subject or with a view to possibly using it later at their place of work.
Increasingly employers are asking for evidence of modern language skills. A recent pamphlet from Cambridge University states: “it is important both from a specific career point of view, and from a broader educational perspective, that our science graduates can communicate and are perhaps fluent in another language”.
Language graduates are more employable than those in computing, or science, or even business studies, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. According to the University Council of Modern Languages, surveys show that one in five respondents believe they have lost business because of language skill failures, and nearly half found languages and cultural issues were a barrier to international business.
To train our students to use their modern language skills in a real life context, we organise a work experience exchange trip coupled with a trip to Berlin in year 12 so they can practice and apply what they have learnt with native speakers and have first-hand experience of German culture.
The ability to communicate with foreigners in their language is a valuable tool in this increasingly interdependent, global economy – as well as for helping with holidays!