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German studies 1 (intermediate)

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This module takes you to an intermediate level of linguistic competence in German, which is equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. You will develop your confidence in listening, reading, writing, speaking and interacting in German, as well as your knowledge and understanding of German-speaking societies and cultures. In addition, the module is designed to expand your academic, digital and employability skills in German contexts. You will have the option to study most activities in a book or as interactive online activities on the module website. The website uses authentic online resources in support of independent and collaborative learning.

What you will study

This module is based around six themes: Geography; Leisure, Culture and the media; Work and education; Traditions and celebrations; History; and Society. Through each theme, you will gradually develop your German knowledge and skills by:

  • familiarising yourself with core vocabulary and grammar
  • learning about and reflecting on language, culture and intercultural communication skills
  • studying with audio recordings and videos featuring speakers of German and their lives and environments 
  • engaging in a wide variety of speaking and interactive activities
  • practising direct translation to support your language learning 
  • working independently and in collaboration with others
  • reviewing and monitoring your progress using checklists, and reflective questions.

The study materials are carefully structured and graded, and provide ample opportunities to practise the language in realistic contexts.

Professional recognition

This module will develop your proficiency in German to a level equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages.

Entry requirements

This is an OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning.

You require a working knowledge of German to study this module, equivalent to A2 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages. It is ideal if you have successfully completed Rundblick: beginners’ German (L193) or who have reached a similar linguistic standard. You do not need a formal qualification in the language, but may have acquired your knowledge in adult education classes, time spent in German-speaking countries, regular contact with German-speaking people or other sources. You should be able to understand basic written and spoken materials and to hold a basic conversation in German in everyday situations such as talking about yourself; your family and where you are from; booking a hotel; or asking for directions.

To help decide if you have sufficient German to take this module with confidence, use our self-assessment quiz. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

Before the module begins, we suggest that you continue to use your German in any way you can. You could do this by: redoing some of the activities, watching and listening to the audio materials in Rundblick: beginners’ German (L193); reading a German newspaper; using online resources; or watching some films in German. Anything you can do to keep practising your German will be helpful.

What's included

Three books and a dedicated website with additional online activities. As a registered language student you will have access to online forums on the module website where you can communicate with fellow students and tutors.

You will need

We recommend that you purchase a good bilingual dictionary. We will provide you with details of the latest editions of those that we consider will be most suitable, prior to you starting this module.

You’ll be asked to watch one German-language film that you’ll need to source yourself. Suggestions for films and more information will be provided when you begin the module.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor to help you with the study material who will mark and comment on your written and spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You can also ask your tutor for advice and guidance.

This module usually includes a mix of face-to-face and online tutorials. Some tutorials are offered online only, and others are offered face-to-face and online. Please note that student numbers on the module, and where tutors are based, will affect the locations of where face-to-face tutorials are held. We cannot guarantee that these will be hosted in specific locations, or locations that have been used previously. While you’re not obliged to attend tutorials, you are strongly encouraged to take part as they will provide you with the opportunity to speak and listen to German and meet other students and tutors, whether online or face-to-face. Note that you can attend as many tutorials as you like, offered by any of the tutors.

The online tutorials will give you practice in using the conferencing tool used for the end-of-module speaking test.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

The iCMAs test your reading and listening skills. The TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. The final TMA is an interactive speaking assignment which will be carried out online. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the module.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L113 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

German studies 1 (intermediate) (L113) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2020.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No examination
No residential school