Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

Course Content

This course offers you the opportunity to improve your language skills whilst gaining an understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of Germany and other German-speaking countries. You will learn to speak and write at length in German and will develop your analytical and evaluative skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. Enthusiasm and a commitment to learning are essential to language acquisition at this level and you should expect to engage in whole class discussion and  small group work.  You will also have the opportunity to take part in a visit to a German-speaking country, which may include a home-stay or work experience.

The practical, applied approach to the study of German at this level means it is useful to students of the arts and sciences alike. The course will prepare you to further study languages, whilst being equally rewarding for those not intending to pursue the subject beyond A Level.

Year 1:

The course will move you on from GCSE covering the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will also gain a greater knowledge of grammatical structures and so develop accuracy in the language. Teaching is based on a thematic approach and the language is taught through a variety of contemporary issues, using a range of authentic resources with two major themes being covered. A study of a German film will also be a focus at this level.

Year 2:

The course will enable you to develop your linguistic skills further whilst continuing to enhance your knowledge of the target language, country and culture. You will use the language to present viewpoints, develop, analyse and evaluate arguments both when speaking and writing. You will study aspects of the contemporary society and culture of Germany and other German-speaking countries.  You will study 4 major themes at A Level, and the study of a book and a film will be integral to the course.

Methods of Teaching

Lessons take place mainly in German and you will be working individually, in pairs or in small groups on a variety of activities including reading, note-taking, making use of online resources to acquire a wider range of vocabulary, and grammar revision and extension will also be an integral part of daily activities in class.  You will engage in many oral activities such as role-plays, discussions, presentations and debates. You will also have a weekly session with a German language assistant to further enhance your production of the spoken language. You will work in the Language Multi-media Centre to practise your listening skills. Learning through independent active study is crucial to your progress, and carefully monitored programmes will support you in this.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

All four skills, speaking, listening, reading and writing will be assessed at the end of each course, with cultural content forming a key part of the assessment. The assessment methods will be varied, and will include translation, research, presenting and speaking, writing and listening/reading, comprehension and grammar.

Where Could It Take Me?

German can be studied in combination with any other course in higher education. Many courses including those in the sciences will offer students with good language skills the chance to take part of their degree course abroad. Graduates in modern languages are in short supply and employers are increasingly keen to recruit people with language skills.

There are many good reasons to study German, and these include:

  • Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world and the largest economy in Europe, employment opportunities are endless, if you can speak German.
  • German is not only spoken in Germany, it is also the most spoken language in Europe.
  • Knowledge of a foreign language is highly valued by Universities and employers.

Financial Implications

Students will have access to our online resources and are loaned some materials but will need to purchase their own textbook and our grammar booklets for use at home, as well as a novel at the end of the firtst year.

Visits Abroad – The oral examinations account for a high percentage of the total mark. We therefore strongly encourage students to visit a country in which German is spoken. An optional trip is offered annually.

The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty in meeting these costs.

Work Experience

Information is regularly passed to students regarding work experience trips to a German-speaking country.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English and a grade 6 or above in GCSE German. Students with a grade 6 in German at GCSE will be supported by an extra grammar support session.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 4 5 4 1 1 0 0 15
Percentage 26.7 33.3 26.7 6.7 6.7 0.0 0.0