A Level German
Examination Board: AQA A Level
In a world which is becoming increasingly smaller, languages are becoming more highly valued. The workplace is a multi-national one and communication is often multi-lingual. Students of languages are effective communicators with an awareness of world issues and opinions on current affairs.
A level German includes themes of study which reflect ‘social issues and trends’ and ‘political, intellectual and artistic culture’. Topics studied in the Sixth Form include: the divided and reunified Germany, family issues, racism and multi-culturalism, modern technology, art and literature, the city of Berlin, political engagement in Germany, popular culture and the EU.
In addition, there is a personalised individual research project sharply focussed and related to the country of study which seeks to extend discussion skills and be personal to the students’ range of interests. Previous topics studied by Guiseley students range from resistance during Nazi Germany to East German pop music to the power of the Bundesliga. There is also a cultural study element in which students study a film, Goodbye Lenin and a piece of literature, Der Vorleser.
Lessons involve analysis of authentic magazine, online or newspaper articles as well as watching news bulletins and films to broaden vocabulary knowledge. Students learn to debate and express their opinions and also to counter others’ opinions. They are encouraged to use language internet sites. Writing and grammar skills are developed and students learn how to manipulate language. Dedicated time is allocated for individual speaking sessions with a native speaker of German. Students are encouraged to experiment with language and they experience increasing success over the course.
Assessment is all at the end of Year 13. Paper One tests skills of listening, reading and translation. Paper Two requires essay writing on the film and literature elements. Paper Three is the speaking exam which is based largely around the Independent Research Project, tailored to each student’s individual interest.
A higher qualification in a language is a valuable asset to any business with international aspirations and, more importantly, it shows excellent communication and cultural skills. In an era where Britain is distancing itself politically from Europe, the need for foreign language speakers becomes even greater to ensure social, cultural and business links can be maintained. Students who take German to A level often pursue the language to degree level. Combined degrees which include a language are becoming popular. Former students combined German with English, history, business, management or law.