German studies 2: language and culture of the German-speaking world
This module takes you to an upper intermediate level of competence in German, which is equivalent to level B2 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. You’ll further develop your cultural knowledge, and practical language skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and interacting in a variety of situations – ranging from everyday conversation to putting forward your point of view in a debate. You’ll also consolidate and further develop academic, digital and employability skills in German-speaking contexts.
What you will study
This module further extends your language competence as well as enhancing your cultural knowledge and developing key skills necessary for studying at a higher level. The themes of the module cover different aspects of life in German-speaking countries today.
You’ll work with online materials, and study a variety of texts, and audio and video materials that will develop your reading, speaking, listening and writing skills. The activities provided will also develop your academic, digital, professional and intercultural skills in German-speaking contexts.
The module has six themes:
- Work and education
- Media and popular culture
- Individuals and institutions
- Social issues
Through each theme, you’ll gradually develop your knowledge and skills by:
- consolidating and expanding your knowledge of German vocabulary and grammar
- learning about and reflecting on language, culture and intercultural communication skills
- studying with audio recordings and videos that explore topical issues in German-speaking cultures and societies
- engaging in a wide variety of speaking and interactive activities
- practising translation to support your language learning
- consolidating and expanding your academic skills
- using digital tools and resources to support your language learning
- finding and using information from external sources
- working independently and in collaboration with others
- reviewing your personal goals and monitoring your progress using checklists and reflective questions.
The study materials provide confidence-building strategies to improve your learning skills. We’ve carefully structured these to equip you gradually with the key skills necessary for studying at a higher level.
This module includes a compulsory online school with a focus on developing spoken fluency and intercultural understanding. The online school will be delivered by Open University module team and tutors in collaboration with partners in the German-speaking world and will include a wide range of activities and intercultural encounters. The programme offers opportunities to enhance and develop skills covered in the module, to practise your German in a variety of situations and learn more about German-speaking regions and countries.
There will be a choice of joining a more intensive version of the online school over one week in late February/early March or a more extended version running across several weeks in March/April.
To pass the module, you must take part in the online school programme.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.
However, as this is an OU level 2 module, you’ll need appropriate knowledge of German through any of the following:
- German studies 1 (intermediate) (L113)
- Auftakt: intermediate German (L130) – now discontinued
- German knowledge equivalent to the above
If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.
Anything you can do to keep practising your German will be helpful. For example:
- listening to German radio broadcasts and podcasts
- accessing authentic resources online
- checking out the language materials available in iTunes U
- borrowing German books and films from the local library
- reading a German newspaper
- redoing some of the activities in L113 (or L130)
- watching and listening to the L113 (or L130) audio and video materials.
You can also visit OpenLearn to explore the free materials available for German.
You'll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- audio and video content
- access to the Open University online library that contains resources for German
- assessment details and submission section
- online tutorial access
- access to forums where you can communicate with your fellow students.
You'll also be provided with a printed grammar book.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Monterey or higher.
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.