Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • No other German language module available within the Language Centre or MLAC


  • To encourage a positive and confident attitude towards language learning.
  • To develop and apply meta language and learning techniques appropriate to undergraduate level study.
  • To provide a linguistic platform for communicative competence in German.
  • To examine key aspects of the cultural and social life of Germany.


  • This module allows students with no prior knowledge to rapidly acquire linguistic skills for the purpose of general communication.
  • The module is also designed to provide a sound platform for foreign language acquisition by helping students to understand the core structure of the German language through the study of grammar.
  • Seminars will be used to introduce and practice new vocabulary through interactive language exercises developing students' independence and fluency at introductory level.
  • Guided and independent self-study will be an important element of this unit in order to achieve maximum exposure to the target language and to accelerate the pace of learning.
  • Cultural awareness will be developed through the study of selected background material introducing students to cultural, political and social aspects of Germany.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • understand some short texts on course related topics.
  • demonstrate an understanding of some of the key aspects of contemporary German society and political organisation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • communicate in tasks requiring a direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities.
  • describe aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
  • extract relevant information from every-day written and aural texts.
  • write notes and messages relating to matters of immediate need.
  • write personal communications such as an invitation or a note of thanks.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • demonstrate the ability to identify their own learning needs and address them effectively.
  • demonstrate an understanding of core meta language sufficient to undertake independent study of essential grammar and lexis.
  • demonstrate a strategic competence that will allow them to deal with unpredictable situations.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through seminar style classes and multimedia lab sessions which will meet twice weekly.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and to provide students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and from recorded material.
  • Small group teaching is particularly suitable for the development of oral/aural skills as it offers all students the chance to participate in role-play and other speaking exercises.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • In order to reflect the continuous nature of the language learning process the module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative in-course assessment and by formal written examination.
  • Summative assessments will also fulfil a formative function since feed-back on summative in-course assessments will be made available to students.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 22 1 per week 2 Hours 44
Multimedia Lab 22 1 per week 1 Hour 22
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 1 hour 100%
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written mid-term test 50%
Portfolio 50%
Component: Oral/Aural Asssessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral assessment 50%
Aural assessment 50%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given short fortnightly assignments in preparation for seminars and to practise and consolidate new material. All formative assessment will be submitted to the module tutor during class time. Summative language portfolio tasks will also fulfil a formative role since full feed-back will be provided to students.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University