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GEA1: Introduction to the German Language 1

This paper is available for the academic year 2023-24.


GEA1: Comprehension of German

The paper consists of an authentic but adapted German reading passage of ca 500 – 600 words in length. Candidates have to answer a number of questions in German and translate 5 sentences from English into German. This is a three-hour examination.

Aims and objectives: 

Comprehension of German 
The aims and objectives of this paper are to help ab initio students of German develop core skills of language learning: reading (a text), writing (in response to a text) and translating during their first year of study. The 'W' examination of the paper is designed to test grammatical accuracy through translation.

Course materials: 

We use a course book for the first two terms of the course. This is 'DaF Kompakt NEU' (Klett 2016), by Ilse Sander et al.
In the third term, they consist mainly of past papers.

Teaching and learning: 

Comprehension of German
Teaching is done by two teachers in alternating weeks in four classes per week. Students are introduced to the reading of short texts right from the beginning, although the main aim in the first term is the teaching of standard grammar (exemplified by examples from texts); in the second term the focus shifts to the teaching of reading comprehension (longer texts), written expression and advanced grammar through a variety of methods. Students are also instructed as to how to talk about the topic of a text in German and formulate answers to questions on the text. Progress is assessed through regular homework assignments; these include translation exercises to test grammar.


Comprehension of German
Assessment through regular homework assignments throughout the year. Three-hour examination at the end of the first year, consisting of textual comprehension (answers in German), including a broad question requiring 120-150 words of responsive writing. In addition, this paper requires explanation of words and phrases in the context of the text and the translation of 5 sentences into German, based on the vocabulary in the text, and aiming to test grammatical knowledge and accuracy.

For all German past papers, see here. Examiners’ Reports can be found here.

Course Contacts: 
Prof Silke Mentchen
Maren de Vincent-Humphreys (on maternity leave)
Mathew Hines (maternity leave cover)