German
A Level

Awarding Body: EdExcel

Course Description

German is an excellent language to learn, as Germany has the biggest economy in Europe and the fourth largest worldwide. Germany also has a dominant internet presence being the fifth largest domain in the world – 5.8% of all websites are written in German.

Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and Grade 6 or above in GCSE German required.

Please note – we will offer A Level German provided we recruit sufficient numbers on the course.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will be evaluated on a listening assessment based on a recording featuring German speakers and a reading assessment on a variety of text types and genres. You will also learn how to translate an unseen passage from German to English and in reverse. You will study texts like Der kaukasische Kreidekreis (1944), or Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (1993) and films like Rosenstraße (2003) or Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage (2005). Spoken assessment will be on previously studied themes such as social issues and trends, aspects of political and artistic culture of Germany and related countries, together with an independent study.

The communication skills of listening and responding in German, and reading and writing in German will all be practised, developed and tested during the course. Due to the nature of language learning, you must be prepared to put in a significant amount of private study to consolidate and practise these skills. This would ideally double the amount of time spent in class and includes practice work in grammar and learning a wide vocabulary.

There are three papers at the end of the course:

  • Paper 1 is listening and reading, responding in German and a translation into English task.
  • Paper 2 is writing – this is made up of two essays about the film and book we study, plus a translation into German.
  • Paper 3 is speaking – this is made up of questions and a discussion around aspects of German society, and an individual study project and discussion of your findings.

Make the most of your developing academic skills by participating in the E6 Programme which will prepare you for life after College. You will be able to join in an Enterprise project, undertake an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) or discover the world and how you can contribute in it by volunteering through the National Citizenship Service. These are excellent additions to your CV or university application.

Universities value language skills highly but there is no universal entry requirement that students must have studied a modern foreign language at GCSE or equivalent. However, there are, of course, specific requirements for studies at degree level which include languages, so we strongly encourage students to check universities’ websites for details of these.

There is a wide variety of job roles in which a language is considered useful, beneficial or essential; for example, a broadcast journalist, a customs and excise employment worker, a diplomatic service officer, an English as a foreign language teacher, an international aid/development worker, or a logistics and distribution manager.

Speaking exams, which are recorded and externally marked, take place in May, and the listening, reading and writing components take place as part of the A level exams cycle in June.