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Beginners German 1: fang an!

This 16-unit short course takes you on a journey to German speaking countries and introduces you to the linguistic skills you need to communicate effectively in everyday contexts. You will develop your reading and listening skills and learn to speak and write in German by studying 3–4 hours in each unit. You'll acquire a knowledge of the basic structures and key vocabulary to meet and greet people, learn to talk about yourself, and increase your awareness of the cultural diversity of German-speaking countries.

After successfully completing this short course, you will receive a digital badge. This can be shared on social media, added to email signatures or act as a certificate.

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code
LGXG001
Credits
This is a non-credit bearing course.
Study method
Distance Learning
Short course cost
See Registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

What you will study

Almost 100 million people speak German as their main language. Most of them live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, making German one of the most widely used languages in Europe. Now associated with economic success, science and technology, German also has a long-standing reputation as a language of poets and thinkers.

This short course offers you an excellent introduction to the German language. You’ll learn the essentials of reading, writing, speaking and listening in German. You’ll also develop key skills that will enhance your future study of the language.

As you study over 16 units, you’ll learn to:

  • introduce yourself and to give your address
  • say your nationality and which languages you speak
  • say and understand German numbers
  • join basic conversations
  • use important German verbs such as ‘to come’, ‘to go’, ‘to buy’ and ‘to speak
  • use the plural of nouns
  • use pronouns that help you to express to whom something belongs
  • ask for and give information about other people
  • make use of your new language skills when travelling
  • understand and make bookings
  • understand messages left by speakers of German and leave messages yourself
  • have informal conversations
  • know about strategies to memorise and use German vocabulary and grammar
  • understand and use the pronunciation of German names and place names.

You will also have many opportunities to develop your intercultural understanding through engaging with learning materials which reflect German-speaking countries and their people, and by learning about places and sightseeing in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Delivered through user-friendly, ‘bite-sized’ blocks, in each unit you’ll discover useful words and set phrases. Audio material, featuring recordings by native speakers of German, and a wide variety of speaking activities will aid your pronunciation. Throughout the course, you’ll build up your own German phrase book covering a variety of topics and typical situations. Along with completing the activities and quiz in each unit to strengthen your learning, you’ll gain a solid foundation of basic German to move onto the next level, Beginners German 2: mit vergnügen! (LGXG002).

Viel Erfolg und bis bald!

Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.

You will learn

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • communicate with speakers of German in a range of predictable and simple contexts relating to everyday life
  • know and use the principles of German pronunciation
  • understand and use the special German characters (such as the ‘Umlaut') and be able to word-process or hand-write them
  • better understand the cultural differences and customs between German-speaking cultures and your own.

The course is designed to help you achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level A1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

Learner support

You will have access to discussion forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in as these forums combine support from fellow students with input from a language-specialist learning adviser. Other support is available via the StudentHome website and Computing Helpdesk.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying LGXG001 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.


    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this course. It’s suitable if you are completely new to German and to language-learning, and it does not assume any prior knowledge.

    You will be given guidance on developing your language-learning skills such as different techniques to memorise vocabulary and approach grammatical topics.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

    Course length

    The course is made up of 16 units, with each unit expected to take about 3–4 hours to study. In total, you’ll need around 64 hours to complete the course.

    You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace. The course will be open to you for a time period of between 6 and 18 months depending on your course registration date and you will be advised of the specific time limitations upon enrolment.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    At anytime Flexible - see Entry requirements for more detail £195.00

    Registration opens on 08/01/22

    Ways to pay

    Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

    Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

    The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for short courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year or later may increase in line with the University’s strategic approach to fees.

    What's included

    All learning materials are delivered entirely online and there is no formal tuition for this course.

    Your study is self-directed and you’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

    • a unit-by-unit study planner
    • course-specific materials and activities
    • audio content
    • discussion forums
    • support from language-specialist learning advisers.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, may not work on iOS/Apple devices.

    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.