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Online course materials for GERM20210

German Language Skills II

Unit code: GERM20210
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by German Studies
Available as a free choice unit?: N




German Language Skills II is aimed to improve students’ deeper understanding and command of the German Language, in all key disciplines. Special focus will be set upon speaking, writing, listening and reading skills. Grammatical knowledge will be improve by a close reading of texts and a deep analysis by means of translation.


This core language course unit fosters essential language skills and is delivered in three sessions per week: Grammar and Translation, Sprachpraktische Übung, and Landeskunde II or Wirtschaftsdeutsch (see below for details). All of these sessions are taught in German.

Classes are complemented by an independent language learning programme, involving reading, writing, speaking and listening activities, as well as vocabulary work and CALL grammar exercises. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning and to improve their language learning skills with the help and support provided by their tutors. There is also an extensive Blackboard site associated with this course unit and students should make a point of accessing this on a regular basis.


1)            GRAMMAR AND TRANSLATION (seminar: one hour per week)


This part of the course unit further develops competence in written German (writing and reading skills) by enhancing the translation skills (English-German and German-English) introduced in the first year and consolidating command of grammatical structures in written German.


2)            SPRACHPRAKTISCHE ÜBUNG (tutorial: one hour per week)

This element of the course unit builds on the oral and written skills developed during the first year.

3)            LANDESKUNDE II OR WIRTSCHAFTSDEUTSCH (seminar: one hour per week)


Students can choose EITHER: 


This element of the course unit is designed to build on and deepen the knowledge acquired in Landeskunde I during the first year of study. Using newspaper articles and video clips, issues relating to politics, the arts and everyday life in German-speaking countries are discussed. As far as possible, matters of topical interest are also included. 



This part of the course unit will focus on business/management issues and is designed particularly for students of a Modern Language and Business and Management, although it is open to all second year students.

Teaching and learning methods

Three 1-hour sessions per week

Language of teaching: Predominantly German

Knowledge and understanding

             By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the grammar topics covered (word order, conjunctions, use and formation of the tenses, the passive and alternatives to its use, word formation, and Konjunktiv I)


  • Demonstrate a good level of competence in translating from German into English, with an understanding of stylistic considerations


  • Demonstrate competence in translating from English into German, with some understanding of stylistic considerations

Practical skills

  • Understand extended speech, TV news and current affairs programmes as well as films


  • Read and analyse articles and reports concerned with contemporary issues


  • Speak with a good degree of fluency and spontaneity, and take an active part in discussion covering a range of topic areas (including politics, arts, everyday life in German-speaking countries, multicultural issues, and science and technology in modern times)


  • Research, compose and deliver clear and well-structured oral presentations on a range of topics (see above)


  • Write clear text (including short essays and reports) on a range of subjects, giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Give a broad description of aspects of at least two German-speaking countries/ regions, with reference to recent political, societal and cultural developments as well as current trends


  • Interact competently in a business-related context (including writing business letters) and discuss a range of business topics both orally and in writing


  • Assess with confidence their own language learning needs, develop and follow strategies for addressing these needs, and evaluate and further refine these strategies

Assessment Further Information


Assessment task


Weighting within unit

One translation from German to English


One translation from English to German

2 hours in semester 2

50 % (25% each)

Oral examination

about 10 minutes


One short presentation in Landeskunde/ Wirtschaftsdeutsch

about 10-15 minutes


Two invigilated coursework assignments

90 minutes each, one in semester 1, one in semester 2

20% (10% each)


Recommended reading

Set texts:        

Collins German Dictionary, 7th edn. 2007. Glasgow: HarperCollins.

Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl and Gudrun Loftus. 2002. Essential German Grammar. London: Arnold.

EITHER: Wahrig-Burfeind, Renate (ed.). 2007. WAHRIG Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Aktualisierte Neuausgabe. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.

OR: Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Neubearbeitung. 2008. Berlin: Langenscheidt.


Further reading:         

Durrell, Martin. 2002. Hammer's German Grammar and Usage. 4th edn. London: Arnold; Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl and Gudrun Loftus. 1996. Practising German Grammar: A Workbook. 2nd edn. London: Arnold; Fernandez-Toro, Maria & Francis R. Jones. 2001. DIY techniques for language learners. London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT)

Feedback methods

  • oral feedback on presentation


  • written feedback on essays 1 and 2


  • additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Study hours

  • Seminars - 69 hours
  • Independent study hours - 131 hours

Teaching staff


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