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GEB3: Translation into German and a test in German through audio-visual media

The paper consists of two parts: Translation into German and GEAV. Teaching for both parts is organised by the Section. Students receive fortnightly classes for both plus a fortnightly Sozialgeschichte lecture in German to further support their acquisition of the language.

Aims and objectives: 

The three columns of this paper (translation into German, audio visual classes and lectures in German) are designed to reinforce each other. New vocabulary acquired in a lecture will be useful when watching a German video clip and when finding the right expression for a translation exercise. The topics of the lectures are chosen to correspond to the fortnightly classes in translation and AV.

Translation into German:

The English passages for this exercise are usually chosen because they present a particularly interesting challenge when being translated into German. This could be a question of choosing the right expression, the correct construction or the appropriate register.

GEAV, German through audio-visual media:

The aim here is to practice listening comprehension – also as a preparation for the Year Abroad – and to expose students to a range of media formats (documentaries, polemical clips, interviews, talk shows).

Sozialgeschichte Lectures:

In fortnightly lectures, all given by native speakers, the topics which also appear in AV and translation classes are introduced, providing students with a glossary of central vocabulary. The lectures reinforce listening comprehension skills, preparing students for their Year Abroad.

Course materials: 

Teachers’ own materials and past papers. For Listening comprehension mainly past papers are used.

S. Fagan, Using German Vocabulary, (2004)

M. Durrell, Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, (2011), and the accompanying work-book, Durrell, Kohl and Loftus, Practising German Grammar, (2011)

Teaching and learning: 


The Section organises fortnightly classes. Students will be given passages for translation as homework and will receive individual and detailed feedback on their work. In classes, a variety of possible translations into German will be discussed, reinforcing basic grammar points and idiomatic expressions. Points of grammar studied in the first year are revised and consolidated while more advanced grammar is introduced and practiced. In class, variations of possible translations are discussed and points of grammar and vocabulary are explained and analysed. Students are provided with a study programme, detailing accompanying grammar and vocabulary exercises for independent study.


The Section organises fortnightly classes. Students watch clips before attending classes, answering questions and expressing their own views on a particular topic as homework. Homework is marked regularly by class teachers, and individual and detailed feedback is returned to the student. In class, the clips are discussed, new short clips are sometimes watched together and comprehension is consolidated. Class discussions are also used to further advance students’ oral proficiency. At the end of the year, the Section organises a mock examination for this paper.

Sozialgeschichte Lectures

These lectures in German provide an excellent opportunity to hear a variety of authentic spoken German. The topics are chosen to introduce students to current affairs in German speaking countries (for example, new films in German, the literary scene in Berlin, state security and privacy, migration) preparing students not just for the topics dealt with in translation and GEAV classes but also for discussions they might encounter while on their Year Abroad.

For the GEB3 Prose Moodle site, please see here, and for GEAV here.


This paper consists of two parts:

  • Two passages in English, of up to 400 words in total, for translation into German. This part carries 60% of the B3 paper. The examinations lasts 2 hours.
  • A test in German through audio-visual media in which students will be shown a video of 7-10 minutes' duration and then asked to answer in German a number of questions to show their comprehension of what they have seen and heard. The conduct of the test should be carefully noted in advance. This part carries 40% of the B3 paper.

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

NB. Arrangements for 2020-21 to be confirmed.

Course Contacts: 
Silke Mentchen