AS Course Outline
Why study AS German?
Studying a language enables you to communicate with people all over the world, and German is the mostly widely spoken language in Europe. Speaking and understanding German opens up a huge range of cultures, events, music, literature and people. While GCSE is mostly concerned with personal experiences and opinions, AS Level builds on that and brings in a variety of topics, both current and historical, to stimulate thought and discussion.
What will I study in AS German?
The course consists of studying language, grammar and structures centred around the two themes described below. In addition, you will study either a work or literature, or a film, to be chosen in discussion with the teacher. Recent works studied include Der Vorleser (Schlink), Der Besuch der alten Dame (Dürrenmatt) and the films Das Leben der Anderen and Goodbye Lenin!
Theme 1: Gesellschaftliche Entwicklung in Deutschland. (Social Issues and Trends.) This theme centres around Germany only, and has three strands - the environment, education and the world of work.
- The environment is a divisive issue in Germany - how can the country which invented cloth bags and have the biggest cycle network in Europe be so in love their cars? A country with no speed limit on the motorways, but with one of the most politically successful Green Parties?
- The German education system has long been the envy of other countries, with the country scoring high scores on international tests, and a highly regarded (and virtually free!) higher education system. But why do pupils from migration backgrounds do so badly, and what's all the fuss about sitzenbleiben? Is it really a good idea to have to repeat a school year?
- The German economy is traditionally strong and stable. Yet the world of work is in flux - young people are turning their backs on apprenticeships and can the famed Mittelstand (medium-sized firms) survive? Why is the employment situation so much worse in the east than the west - has unification not been a success?
Theme 2: Politische und künstlerische Kultur im deutschen Sprachraum. (Culture in German speaking society.) This theme is set in the context of all German-speaking countries and communities, and we examine the role of festivals, the topic of music and the media.
- German Christmas markets are renowned the world over, but festivals in German speaking countries are far more complex and diverse than that. We examine how festivals are adapting to modern, multicultural societies and how to maintain the balance between commercialism and tradition.
- Music from German-speaking countries has a rich and varied history, from the classical greats through to folk music, pop, electro and rap. We examine the rise, fall and rise again of the German language in songs, and how the music scene has changed in response to cultural shifts and migration in German-speaking countries.
- The German-speaking media has undergone huge shifts recent years. We examine the success of traditional print media such as Der Spiegel and contrast it with the problems many people in Germany have with going online - how can such a successful country be so slow to go digital?
Once we've agreed on the book, film or play we're going to study we work through it in stages, examining the characters, themes and style of the work. We examine the effect the work has on the reader or viewer and with films we also consider the cinematic techniques used by the director.
How will AS German help me now and in the future?
- Studying AS German will enhance your linguistic skills and promote and develop your capacity for critical thinking on the basis of your knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of the countries where German is spoken.
- You will gain insights into communities beyond your own and studying German will support your other AS subjects in terms of communication skills, problem solving and general knowledge of history, society and current affairs.
- German AS is a small subject - you will be taught in small groups and receive high-level personalised instruction.
- German is highly regarded by Russell Group universities - it is one of their facilitating subjects.
- In a recent (2019) Confederation of British Industries report, German was listed as the most useful foreign language for prospective employees to have.
How is AS German assessed?
You will have a monthly mock, as with all subjects at Albemarle, which will be marked by your teacher. In addition, you will have weekly homework to support your learning, which will be a combination of vocabulary learning, grammar exercises, translations, reading exercises or essays.
What do I need to study German AS?
You need at least a Grade 6 at GCSE. You also need to be prepared to work hard, be challenged and be stimulated by learning about the world around you.
How can I prepare for AS German?
Edexcel German for AS and A Level