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Advanced Higher German

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Max Frisch








Der Untergang film poster







painting of Beethoven

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Advanced Higher German - Course Structure

The course consists of two units

A 'Language': 2 credits (80 hours)

B 'Extended Reading/Viewing': 1 Credit (40 hours)



A Language

The 80-hour 'Language' unit is designed to develop the student's language skills within three broad themes:


- Personal, social and cultural issues

(e.g. Stress in Modern Living; Patterns of Family Life; Media & the Arts - Television).


- Topical and cultural issues

(i.e. Issues relating to the countries where the language is spoken, e.g. Education, Europe, Immigration & Racism).


- Environmental Issues

(e.g. Sources of Energy; Pollution/Conservation; Stress in Cities).


As the student begins to consider current affairs issues from the viewpoint of those living in the countries where the language is spoken, there will be greater opportunity for him/her to compare and contrast issues relevant in the countries where German is spoken and in Britain and to formulate and express opinions on them.


"The further development of the ability to express and understand opinions and views in German will form an important part of the course. Students may have already formulated views and opinions in English on the issues to be studied as they relate to their own situation, but should now consider these issues from the point of view of the countries where German is spoken".

B Extended Reading/Viewing

The 40-hour option will provide the opportunity for the student to engage with literature in German and/or with a detailed investigation of an aspect of a foreign country where German is spoken.


Two areas of study are required for this unit:

  • one literary text with or without related video/film
  • any one of the following, with or without related video/film:


  • a second literary written text
  • a background topic


Students may read a literary text or read a film script and view the film to discuss style and technique used by the director to deliver the theme of the work.   The purpose is to develop critical awareness and to evaluate the treatment of a theme by its writer or film director.

Students may choose to explore an aspect of a country where German is spoken.   This background topic could have a historical, political, musical or artistic focus.   The purpose is to develop students' ability to research and work independently.

The course aims to widen students' horizons to encompass some in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture of the countries where German is spoken.   It will also contribute to a wider understanding of how language works.



A 'Language' Unit

Speaking : Presentation on topic of choice from the 'Language' unit; follow-up discussion.

Listening : 1 piece (3 to 4 mins in length, played up to 3 times); answer in note form in English.

Reading : 1 text (500-600 words); answer questions in English.

B 'Extended Reading/Viewing' unit

Writing : Piece of writing in German, 300-400 words, on one of the pieces of literature or background topic studied.   It will include a personal response and/or an informed opinion relating to the study undertaken.


Speaking : (20 minutes, 50 marks - 25%). Conducted by an external examiner, the speaking test will take the form of a discussion.   This will cover both units A and B, and will cover the topics and literature studied.


Folio : (30 marks - 15%).   A folio of work relating to the content of unit B 'Extended Reading/Viewing' will be externally marked.   The folio will consist of two essays in English of approximately 750 words each.

Paper I: Reading and Translation (1 hour and 20 minutes, 50 marks)

Reading comprehension (approx. 750-800 words, inc. section to be translated). Involves written answers to questions in English (30 marks - 15%) and translation into English (20 marks - 10%).   One passage will be set, related to the prescribed themes.

Paper II: Listening and Discursive Writing (1 hour and 20 minutes, 70 marks).

Part 1: Listening (30 marks - 15%) Approx. 30 mins.

Students will be required to answer questions in English in response to material lasting 3-4 minutes, recorded by native speakers. The piece will be played twice.

Part 2: Discursive Writing (40 marks - 20%) Approx. 50 mins.

Students will be required to write an essay of approx. 200-300 words in German on a topic relating to the themes and topics of the 'Language' unit.


Total marks for the external course assessment: 200 marks.