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Undergraduates

German and Dutch

 

German post A-Level (Option B): the first-year course

WHAT WE DO

In your first year at Cambridge, you will increase your fluency in German, deepen your understanding of the cultures of German speaking countries, and develop essential skills in analysis and argumentation.

HOW IT IS DONE

The first-year course consists of a combination of lectures and classes arranged by the Section and mostly taking place at the Sidgwick Site, and of supervisions arranged by the colleges.

Use of German

The weekly Use of German classes are designed to help you consolidate and extend your grammar and vocabulary, to improve your reading comprehension and to advance your written German. Your sensitivity to different styles and registers of German will be enhanced using a variety of media (radio, TV, videos), as will your feel for idiomatic expression. Written work is set each week, and feedback will help you focus on progressing further. Classes are taught through German. You will also receive language supervisions, organised by your College, covering both written and oral skills.

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Translation from German

In your fortnightly translation classes, you will be exposed to a wide variety of texts in German. This acts as further training in comprehension, but accuracy is only the beginning. The exercise also requires you to respond creatively, paying attention to the nuances of both the source language (German) and the target language (English). You will develop your skills both in class discussion and independently, in the written work set in each session.

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Ge1 – Introduction to German Studies

In addition to their language work, all post A-Level students take a course (Ge1, a ‘scheduled paper’) which acts as an introduction to the German-speaking world through literature from all periods, film, linguistics, thought and history. This also offers a taster of many of the academic disciplines represented in both teaching and research in German at Cambridge.

Students attend all lectures for this paper (see the Lecture List on our website), and normally receive ten supervisions, organised by their College, at fortnightly intervals over the course of the year. Lectures provide the background to each topic, and supervisions are your opportunity to explore the material in more depth. In advance of each supervision, you submit an essay on a topic set by your supervisor, and you receive detailed personal feedback on your work in the session.

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Language Learning

Naturally, language learning is an essential and ongoing part of the work of every Modern Languages student. A good deal of it takes place through the guidance by the Department’s language teachers in the courses they teach. But it is also the individual student’s own responsibility to add to their language skills systematically every day.

There are numerous resources out there to help!

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Latest News

Thomas Mann Essay Prize

11 December 2020

The German and Dutch Section is very pleased to announce another success in an essay competition for one of our doctoral students. Congratulations to Francesco Albé, who has been awarded the Thomas Mann Essay Prize by the English Goethe Society for his essay, ‘Choreographies of (Dis)order: Dance and Same-Sex Desire in...

Annual Schröder Event MT 2020

3 November 2020

You are warmly invited to the German and Dutch Section’s annual Schröder event, ‘From the Classics to Covid: Theatre Practice Today’, at 5 pm on 25 November 2020. This year we will have the opportunity to participate in a conversation with Thomas Ostermeier, hosted by Dr Annja Neumann with Prof. Andrew Webber. Thomas...

Women in German Studies Essay Prize

2 November 2020

Congratulations to Catriona Corke on being selected as runner-up for the WIGS essay prize! Catriona's essay was titled 'Protecting the Public Sphere(s): The Campaign for Peter-Paul Zahl'.

Applying to Cambridge

Information for prospective applicants thinking of studying German at Cambridge.

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Cambridge Online German for Schools

Cambridge Online German for Schools (COGS) is a core element of the Cambridge German Network

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