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Study information

German Beginners

Module titleGerman Beginners
Module codeFLG1130
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Birgit Hanke (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

German Beginners is intended for students who have little or no previous knowledge of German and provides an introduction to the German language and culture in a general context. It is also suitable for students with a GCSE (Grade C or below) in German.

The emphasis is on providing you with a solid foundation in the four key language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. This will allow you to communicate effectively on a variety of general, everyday topics. It also provides you with an introduction to the cultures, customs and societies in countries where German is spoken.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module is intended for students who have little or no previous knowledge of German and offers an introduction to the language. This module is broadly equivalent to A1 / low A2 Basic User level of the Common European Framework for Languages and aims to:

  • Provide you with a solid foundation of the basic grammatical structures of the German language thus enabling them to communicate effectively across the four key language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) at an elementary level on a variety of general topics
  • Enable participants to give and understand information and to achieve a confident elementary level of communicative competence in everyday situations 
  • Provide an introduction to the customs, culture and society of the regions/countries in which the languages are spoken and to develop your awareness of the general social and cultural background of the language

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of German
  • 2. Read and comprehend simple written and aural texts and extract specific, predictable information related to every-day situations
  • 3. Communicate effectively on a variety of general topics requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters, both orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Understand the principles of learning a foreign language intensively and organise your learning with guidance from the tutor
  • 5. Use available learning aids in a variety of media, such as a reference grammar and bilingual dictionary, to consolidate your learning

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Communicate at a basic level in German
  • 7. Make progress through developing skills of self-study and application and develop an awareness of and sensitivity to a foreign culture

Syllabus plan

The module provides a systematic approach to acquiring essential grammar structures in a communicative context and in accordance with the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The module will cover some or all of the following grammar / topics:

Grammar (non-exhaustive):

  • Alphabet and numbers; word order in sentences, questions & polite Imperatives; conjugation in the present tense 
  • Genders of nouns; def./ indef. articles; adverbs of time 
  • Addressing someone in the du-form; interrogative when?' 
  • Verb haben' + Accusative; possessive pronouns
  • Objects and their genders; use of possessive pronouns; informal & formal ways of addressing people
  • Expressing likes & dislikes - gern/lieber/am liebsten; ein/kein; verbs + direct object
  • The time; the days of the week 
  • Use of modal verbs können',müssen', wollen'; prepositions either followed by the accusative or the dative depending on the context
  • Adjective endings in front of nouns Es gibt' (There is / are) ... + Accusative; adjectives in attributive/ predicative position
  • Use of the informal Imperative; prepositions zum'/'zur' + Dative 
  • Demonstrative adjectives
  • Prepositions + Dative / Accusative 
  • The months; subordinate clauses introduced by dass'; use of the past tense forms (past tense of haben / sein + past participle of the verb)
  • Weak and strong verbs in the past tense - past participles; use of past and future tense forms 

Topics (non-exhaustive):

  • Greeting others and introducing oneself 
  • Daily Routine 
  • Family album and information on family members 
  • Healthy eating
  • At the weekend 
  • Invitations
  • At the restaurant 
  • Looking for a partner
  • This is our house / flat 
  • Understanding directions and talking about locations in a town 
  • In the department store - buying and describing items of clothing 
  • Talking about past / future dates, travel and accommodation 

Teaching methods are based on interactive language development tasks, such as pair / group work and role playing, and include the study of texts, oral development work and listening comprehension exercises.

You will be expected to spend time studying outside the class and we provide guidance, facilities and materials to help you develop your expertise as a successful language learner. You will receive regular feedback on your progress from class activities, homework assignments etc. 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching88Language classes
Guided Independent Study212Consolidate class work by learning vocabulary and structures, and by reading, watching or listening to material in German. Prepare exercises and activities for class, write short assignments and generally begin to acquire a repertoire of effective language learning strategies. Learning activities are supported by various media, including audio, video / DVD, and, where appropriate, computer software.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 formative tasks covering some or all of the following areas: grammar, writing, listening, reading, speaking.Variable1-7Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio50As described on the ELE page1-7Written and oral
Oral examination257/8 minutes1,3-7Written and oral
Written examination251.5 hours1-5,7Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral ExaminationOral Examination1-3, 7Referral/Deferral period
Written ExaminationWritten Examination1-5,7Referral/Deferral period
PortfolioPortfolio1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

You will only be required to retake any failed assessments. Marks for any passed assessments will be carried forward. If you have failed any assessments but managed to pass the module overall, you will not be allowed to retake the failed assessments.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Carty & Wuhrer, Foundations German: Level 1, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
  • Jones/Lawlor, Practice in German Grammar, Nelson Thornes Ltd; 2Rev Ed edition, 2001

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Dictionary: Collins Pocket German Dictionary.

Key words search

German Beginners; German; German Language; German Ab Initio

Credit value30
Module ECTS


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