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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - German

Undergraduate Course: German 1A (ELCG08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryAn intensive course in spoken and written German, with a main focus on grammatical structures, for those with little or no previous knowledge of the language. This is a course for highly motivated students willing to put in a year of sustained hard work to acquire degree-entry level competence in German language. The course is open to students of any year, but not to those with Advanced Higher / A-level or equivalent knowledge in German; those should be registered for German 1B instead (please also see below 'other requirements').
Course description German 1A is a year-long course that aims to take students to approximately CEFR Level B1, so that they can progress to, and survive in, German 2. There are five contact hours per week, four of which focus mainly on the acquisition of knowledge of grammatical structures and their correct application in the production of both written and spoken language. The fifth contact hour each week is dedicated to spoken practice and listening comprehension, including the practice of a number of common situations (providing personal details, talking about friends, family, hobbies and work, asking for and giving directions, ordering in a restaurant etc.). In order to take this course, students will need to have a good grasp of grammatical terminology, or at least be prepared to acquire this terminology very quickly.
We use the textbook 'Neue Horizonte', going through the chapters in chronological order (chapters 1-7 in semester 1, chapters 8-14 in semester 2). Starting with basic structures such as noun genders, basic verb forms in the present tense, the nominative and accusative cases, and basic word order, the book takes students through increasingly complex structures (modal and irregular verbs; other verb tenses; dative and genitive cases; separable and inseparable and reflexive verbs; word order in subordinate clauses; adjectives and their endings; indicative, imperative and subjunctive moods etc.) in a fast but steady progression where each new component builds on the knowledge acquired previously. Students are expected to prepare for each class by going through the explanations given in the book and completing the matching exercises; this preparation is basis for the discussion of questions and further practice in class. Regular attendance at all classes and the completion of all set work, including formative homework exercises, is vital for the successful completion of the course. Overall, students should expect to spend at least 8-10 hours per week in self-study, in addition to the five contact hours.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students with a 'C' pass at Higher (SQA) or A-level may be considered for entry to German 1A at the discretion of the Course Organiser.

If you hold a Scottish Higher in German, you will be automatically admitted to German 1B rather than German 1A. However, if you enter the course more than twelve months after you took your Higher, you should take our Diagnostic Test. If this tells us that you are better suited to 1A than to 1B, you will be given the option of switching to 1A. The Diagnostic Test is also open to students who have done a 'crash Higher', whether or not it was in the past twelve months.

For students who hold a qualification in German other than a Scottish Higher: if your entry qualification for German entitles you to admission to German 1B but is over three years old, you will be automatically admitted to 1B. However, you may also, if you wish, take our Diagnostic Test, and if this tells us that you are better suited to 1A than to 1B, you will be given the option of switching to 1A. (We recommend that you take the test if you have not engaged in language learning activities since you gained that entry qualification.)

To take the Diagnostic Test, please contact the German 1B Course Organiser as soon as possible.

Please note that changing from 1B to 1A is not allowed in any other circumstances, and is not possible after week 2 of semester 1.
Additional Costs Cost of course books.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 108, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 280 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course is assessed in a mix of coursework (50%) and end-of-year exam (50%).
The coursework consists of one grammar test (worth 10% each) and two vocabulary tests (worth 5% each) per semester, as well as one class test scheduled during the December exam diet (worth 20% of the overall mark). It also contains an oral component based on the attendance of and participation in the oral language practical classes in both semesters (worth 10% each), one listening comprehension test in each semester (worth 5% each) and one presentation in semester 2 (worth 10%)
The end-of-year degree exam (50%), scheduled during the April/May exam diet, is a 3-hour written examination that assesses the students' language competency through a mix of fill-in-the gap exercises, translation from English into German, text production in German, and reading comprehension.
Feedback Throughout both semesters, students will receive regular written and oral feedback on the assignments submitted as well as on their performance in class.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)German 1A2:00
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)German 1A3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a familiarity with everyday German vocabulary, grammar and syntax, along with a broad understanding of German and Austrian culture
  2. appraise straightforward spoken and written information about familiar everyday-, study- or work-related topics, identifying both general messages and specific details
  3. communicate with reasonable accuracy in familiar contexts on familiar topics both orally and in writing, expressing personal opinions, and comparing and contrasting those of others
  4. develop effective communication, presentation and interaction skills across a range of media
  5. demonstrate self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to work flexibly with others as part of a team
Reading List
Dollenmayer, David B., and Hansen, Thomas S., Neue Horizonte. Introductory German. Seventh Edition, Houghton Mifflin/Cengage Learning, 2009
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university's graduate and employability skills framework at
Additional Class Delivery Information 5 contact hours per week: 4 grammar/written language seminars, plus 1 oral language practical tutorial.
KeywordsDELC German 1A
Course organiserDr Maria Euchner
Tel: (0131 6)50 3527
Course secretaryMiss Gillian Paterson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3646
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