skip to primary navigation skip to content

The Language Centre  The Language Centre

The Language Centre

 

CULP: General Language Courses - German

There are many good reasons for learning German. It is very much a living language with a rich heritage, which has evolved over the 2000 years of its eventful history. Today German is spoken by nearly 100 million people worldwide. Not only is it the most widely spoken language in Europe, it is also an official language in seven European states: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy and Liechtenstein. There are thriving German speaking minorities particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. In these areas German still is the lingua franca and you are more likely to make yourself understood if you speak some German rather than English.

Why German?

Your career

Speaking German will significantly improve your chances of finding employment. In several academic subjects the major role of German scholarship makes it essential to have some knowledge of the language, whether in the Arts (e.g. History, Classics, Divinity) or the Sciences (e.g. Medicine, Physics, Chemistry). German is the leading language for Business and Finance in the European Union and a bridge for communicating with the emerging markets of Eastern Europe.

German culture

Learning German will give you access to a great wealth of literary, intellectual and cultural tradition. Influential figures from just about every Art and Science abound in the rich German heritage: Think theology and you cannot get around Martin Luther; think philosophy and immediately Kant, Hegel, Marx or Wittgenstein come to mind. For psychology think of Freud, Jung, and Fromm. And of course German literatur can boast some resounding names too, such as Goethe, Schiller, Kafka or Hesse. And finally some of the most sublime music was written by German speaking composers - Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Wagner, to name but a few.

Did you know?

In the Sciences German scholarship is indisputably of the greatest importance: Resounding names such as Einstein, Zeppelin, Röntgen, Diesel, Bosch, Bunsen, Fahrenheit have long outgrown their German roots and become part of a global consciousness. So many important inventions which we have come to rely upon all over the world come from Germany: They include: the printing press (1440), the lightbulb (1854), the telephone (1859), the automobile (1885), x-rays (1895), aspirine (1897), toothpaste (1907), teabags (1929), the television (1930), the cardchip (1969), the airbag (1971), and MP3 (1987) and many more.

The Language Centre of the University of Cambridge offers German courses during all four terms of the academic year. The language courses are available in different formats and at different levels - from Beginners through to Advanced level - to suit your various needs and aspirations. Once you have enrolled you are free to use our extensive collections of resources, be it in our independent learning centre (John Trim Centre) or online. You will be taught by very well qualified and highly experienced teachers. Come and join us! We look forward to welcoming you in one of our German courses.


Back to top

Qualifications framework level: CEFR A2

Prerequisites

This course is appropriate for students without any knowledge of the German language.

Approach

This course provides the linguistic foundation and skills necessary for communication in predictable everyday situations. Whilst all four skills, speaking, reading, writing and listening will be developed, the primary focus will be on developing speech and conversation. Ultimately, it provides an initial understanding of the cultures within the German-speaking world.

The classes are task-oriented, helping students acquire German by using it. All four communicative skills will be developed – listening, speaking, reading and writing. The students will engage in interactive language activities, participating in group and pair work according to a syllabus based on systematic grammatical progression. Each class focuses on a topic that is related to the previous and following one; activities build on the students’ abilities and on their previous knowledge. Grammar and vocabulary are practised and perfected in context.

The course is divided into 15 sessions with each one introducing new and different concepts. Although all sessions follow a common thread, they can easily be accessed on a stand-alone basis. This means that should a session be missed, the student does not lose the thread and can catch up the missed elements in self-study. As part of the Language Centre services students who wish to acquire language learning techniques will also be offered guidance in self-study by the advisors in the John Trim Centre.

Main objectives

    • To provide a basic knowledge of German language and culture.
    • To understand and to be able to use grammatical structures and vocabulary.
    • To strengthen a positive and confident attitude towards language learning
    • To be able to understand and exchange general information in the target language on a range of everyday issues at a basic level.

Course content

Please see full course syllabus below.

Syllabus:

German Basic 1


Back to top

Qualifications framework level: CEFR A2

Prerequisites

This course is appropriate for students who already possess a little knowledge of the German language.

Approach

This course provides the linguistic foundation and skills necessary for communication in predictable everyday situations. Whilst all four skills, speaking, reading, writing and listening will be developed, the primary focus will be on developing speech and conversation. Ultimately, it provides an initial understanding of the cultures within the German-speaking world.

The classes are task-oriented, helping students acquire German by using it. All four communicative skills will be developed and/or strengthened – listening, speaking, reading and writing. The students will engage in interactive language activities, participating in group and pair work according to a syllabus based on systematic grammatical progression. Each class focuses on a topic that is related to the previous and following one; activities build on the students’ abilities and on their previous knowledge. Grammar and vocabulary are practised and perfected in context.

The course is divided into 15 sessions with each one introducing new and different concepts. Although all sessions follow a common thread, they can easily be accessed on a stand-alone basis. This means that should a session be missed, the student does not lose the thread and can catch up the missed elements in self-study. As part of the Language Centre services students who wish to acquire language learning techniques will also be offered guidance in self-study by the advisors in the John Trim Centre.

Main objectives

    • To provide a basic knowledge of German language and culture.
    • To understand and to be able to use grammatical structures and vocabulary.
    • To strengthen a positive and confident attitude towards language learning
    • To be able to understand and exchange general as well as more detailed information in the target language on a range of everyday issues at a basic level.

Course content

Please see full course syllabus below.

Syllabus:

German Basic 2


Back to top

Qualifications framework level: CEFR B1

Prerequisites: CEFR A2

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 1 level the main aims are:

    • To build on a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To establish the learner as a confident language user in a range of predictable everyday situations;
    • To equip the learner with the skills and knowledge to deal with straightforward job applications and interviews;
    • To increase students' knowledge of the cultural background of the German speaking countries within the context of language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements.
Reading Understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area.
Writing Write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

Topics

The Course will include:

    • To be able to introduce oneself, giving information about one's age, origin and where one lives;
    • To be able to describe one's routine, free time and weekends;
    • To be able to describe one's work experience including studies/jobs, and writing a mini CV;
    • To be able to describe what one used to do before the current work/study situation, one's current responsibilities, and to produce a CV for an interview;
    • To be able to identify a suitable job from a website, apply for it and attend a job interview;
    • To be able to talk about one's health, request medication and understand instructions given by a doctor or pharmacist;
    • To be able to discuss life styles and fitness routines;
    • To be able to recount an accident in general and to follow the diagnosis and treatment;
    • To be able to recount an incident in detail, describing the setting and elaborate what could have happened in another circumstance;
    • To be able to analyse how life used to be in the past and compare it with the present, recounting historic events;
    • To be able to comment on one's plans and wishes, and to analyse what one would do in a variety of hypothetical situations.

Syllabus:

German Intermediate 1

Sample Past Paper:

Listening Comprehension | Reading Comprehension


Back to top

Qualifications framework level: CEFR B2

Prerequisites

Students who have successfully completed the Intermediate 1 course in the Language Centre, or have acquired a proficiency equivalent to B1 in German.

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 2 Level the main aims are:

    • To develop a fairly advanced understanding of the language structure and vocabulary;
    • To develop the ability to engage in conversation in German, where the learner is able to express his or her opinion in a variety of topics;
    • To develop in the learner an awareness of the different varieties of German, when it concerns the lexicon and the phonological systems.
    • To develop an awareness of the cultural diversity among German speaking countries and regions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand spoken German in a variety of both predictable and unpredictable linguistic situations and be able to express themselves in a variety of situations where a fair amount of detail is necessary.
Reading Understand written German when texts are intended for native speakers, where visual information is not necessarily available and where the text relies on language structure and lexical refinement to convey specific messages.
Writing Write both formally and informally to a single recipient in a variety of topics, using the appropriate register and formulae to achieve communication.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

Introducing oneself, introducing others, talking about our origin and our mother tongue, explaining why we study German, talking about the family, describing our home town and our country, talking about the community where we live, describing our accommodation, comparing means of transport, describing travel destinations, telling about a travel experience, choosing appropriate accommodation, describing our profession or topic, describing current activities, describing our previous training, summarising our work experience, taking a job interview, describing a field of study, describing a work routine, talking about our spare time and pastimes, talking about our plans, describing life in the past, understanding the importance of a historical event, talking about historical facts and their relevance, comparing life before and after a historical event, talking about our plans for the future, talking about what we would do if something happened, expressing good wishes, describing a personal incident, commenting about something that happened to someone we know, expressing surprise, describing a pain, asking for a prescription, describing what happened to us, explaining the causes and consequences of an accident, understanding a diagnosis, following instructions to improve one's health, explaining what we do to stay in shape, understanding advice to stay in shape, giving advice, analysing causes and effects for being in shape, understanding alternative medicines, studying distinctive features of cities in Germany, understanding the context of opinions on current topics, debating about topics of local and international relevance.

Syllabus:

German Intermediate 2


Back to top

Take a look at last year students' opinion of the course in our German for Business Promotion Videos (right column).

This course will not run during Michaelmas Term.

- German communication for the career world

Prerequisites

Ideally you should have an intermediate level of German comparable to Level B1 of the CEFR.

About the course

If you are thinking of finding a job, joining a research institute or doing an internship in a German speaking country this is the course for you.

Germany is the economic powerhouse of the European Union. The competitiveness of their products is well known, as is Germany's commitment to research and innovation.

German is a key language in the European Union and increasingly significant for doing business in the new economies of Central and Eastern Europe. Being able to speak German provides you with excellent career opportunities. Learning German will improve your chances of success in today's job market and your business relations; it helps to build rapport and strengthen relationships with German-speaking colleagues, demonstrates goodwill and facilitates international communication at both a personal and organizational level.

You'll practice using German in various contexts and tasks encountered in the working world such as meetings, conferences, presentations/negotiations, job applications/interviews, telephoning and in business correspondence. In addition, the course will improve your cross-cultural competence and will help you to participate more actively and with increased confidence in a business environment..

Suitable tailored German course materials as well as online learning resources will be used throughout, with recommendations on extra authentic reading and self-study material during your German course.

The Course Tutor is Ms Sybille Young. We hope that you will come and join us in October.

Syllabus:

German Intermediate 2 - For Business


Back to top

Qualifications framework level: CEFR C1

Qualifications framework level: FHEQ 4 / CEFR C1

Prerequisites

Students who have successfully completed the Intermediate 2 course in the Language Centre, or have acquired a proficiency equivalent to B2 in German.

Educational Aims

At Advanced level the main aims are:

  • To develop the language skills needed to understand and express complex ideas and opinions in real-time oral/aural situations and to improve the presentation skills in the target language;
  • To deepen the knowledge and enhance the appreciation of the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken, as well as of the varieties of the spoken language;
  • To equip learners with the necessary knowledge and skills as well as to establish them as successful and independent lifelong language learners.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions.
Reading Read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, read the media for information or understand non-standard correspondence.
Writing Prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay demonstrating the ability to communicate.

As well as to...

  • Communicate fluently whilst maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
  • Apply their language skills effectively in a broad variety of contexts including academic ones;
  • Use relevant language registers and acquire an understanding of the main aspects of the historical, political, economical, cultural and linguistic situation of the countries where the language is spoken;
  • Understand audio/visual items from the media;
  • Conduct research in the target language;
  • Speak in public and deliver presentations in the target language.

Syllabus:

German Advanced

The Advanced courses run by the Language Centre lead to an official, award-bearing University qualification called the CULP Award, which is issued by the University of Cambridge, and which corresponds to C1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Advanced is the only level, which leads to a CULP Award. The Language Centre issues Certificates of Proficiency for all the other levels.

Advanced Assessment Framework


Back to top

German Through Film and Literature

Qualifications framework level: CEFR C2

Prerequisites: CEFR B2/C1

A language course for students who already have an advanced command of the German Language (preferably C1), ideally suited to those students who have completed the CULP Advanced course or have taken German at A Level recently.

Rationale

The concept underpinning this course is one of fostering the learning of higher Advanced German language through listening (mainly films), reading (mainly literature), speaking and writing (both film and literature).

Every session will offer a choice of extracts either from the German* literary canon or from critically acclaimed films, or indeed both, which illustrate the session’s theme. These passages will be analysed by means of listening, reading and communicative exercises and will lead to a discussion about their aesthetic, wider cultural, historical and political implications and relevance today.

Students are expected to have read the literary extracts and/or watched the films before coming to the class, so as to be able to focus on different aspects of these works, e.g. their language as well as their background and topics. All teaching and discussions will be conducted in German and students will be expected to actively participate and contribute.

* ‚German’ here is understood in the sense of German-speaking culture, i.e. German, Austrian, Swiss etc.

Aims

  • Communicate fluently whilst maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
  • Apply their language skills effectively in a broad variety of contexts including academic ones;
  • Use relevant language registers and acquire an understanding of the main aspects of the historical, political, economical, cultural and linguistic situation of the countries where the language is spoken;
  • Understand audio/visual items from the media depicting artistic works and their background;
  • Conduct research in the target language;
  • Speak in public and deliver presentations in the target language;
  • Acquire necessary skills to retrieve and use multimedia online resources in the target language;

The Course aims also to empower the learners and establish them as life-long language learners.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Contribute effectively to discussions about cultural, historical and geographical topics as portrayed in the arts or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract and idiomatic expressions.
Reading Read literary works and film/literary criticism with a high degree of understanding, enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information as well as to understand non-standard pieces.
Writing Take detailed notes about a particular artistic representation/literary work and to write a well-structured essay about a literary piece and of a film.

Assessment

The German Advanced Plus course features no formal summative assessment component and upon the completion of homework (2 essays), one presentation, participation and attendance (attendance required is at least 12/15 sessions) students will be awarded a Certificate of attendance issued by the Language Centre.


Back to top

Standard - Michaelmas-Lent 2017/18

  Mon. Tues. Wed. Thur. Fri.
Basic 1   19:00 - 21:00
[LC TR4]
  13:00 - 15:00
[LC TR3]

15:00 - 17:00
[LC TR3]
 
Basic 2     11:00 - 13:00
[LC TR4]
   
Inter 1   17:00 - 19:00
[Hist. SR12]
    13:00 - 15:00
[LC TR3]
Inter 2 19:00 - 21:00
[LC TR3]
  19:00 - 21:00
[LC TR1]
   
Adv 15:00 - 17:00
[LC TR4]
16:30 - 18:30
[LC TR4]
     
Adv Plus (Lit/Film)       12:00 - 14:00
[LC TR4]
 

Back to top


Back to top