Undergraduate

Your first year of studying German

View pages in this document
lecture 520x198

These are the four modules that are available to you in your first year of studying German at Leeds. All students must take Core Language 1; Joint Honours students may choose any or all three of 'Skills in German Translation', 'Introduction to Modern Germany' and 'Approaching German Culture', and single honours students must take two of the three.

Core Language 1

The Core language modules are at the heart of our language provision at Leeds and have been designed to improve your core competencies in writing, speaking, listening and reading via innovative learning activities that are completed individually or in small groups. The weekly 2-hour seminars provide the opportunity to develop your knowledge of German grammar and vocabulary and to practise your spoken and written German. You receive regular feedback on your progress to help you understand your strengths.

The weekly lectures introduce you to the material we cover in seminars by explaining the fundaments of German grammar in a way that makes sense to non-native speaker.  An emphasis is also put on the development of autonomous and independent language learning skills with the help of a structured portfolio. You will also learn how to create a podcast using specialist software.

Skills in German Translation

In Skills in German Translation, students are introduced to concepts that are essential for an understanding of translation, and alongside practical translation training they develop key skills such as reading, researching and editing. The module looks in detail at some of the specific challenges of German-to-English translation, such as the different grammatical structures and expressive possibilities of the two languages. Alongside this, students will encounter key concepts from theories of language and translation, enabling them to reflect on their own translation practice and on the implications of the decisions they make. The combination of the practical and the theoretical, the general and the specific makes this module excellent foundation for translation work at higher levels of the degree.

Introduction to Modern Germany

This module aims to provide students with a good knowledge of modern German history from 1871 to 1995. Students will also engage with important original source texts and develop the ability to analyse these texts critically with support from their seminar tutor.

Delivered via a weekly lecture held in English and a weekly seminar held in German, this module examines the major developments in German history and society from the first 'unification' of 1870-71 to the second 'unification' of 1990. In this period, German history is read as an ongoing conflict between the desire for national unity and a 'robust' German national identity, and the desire to realise the more universal social and political values of the Enlightenment.

Key turning points such as both World Wars and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 are examined in detail as part of a narrative of the complex interplay of nationalism and liberalism in recent German history.

Approaching German Culture

This module is taught in English and has a dual focus: to examine the key cultural developments that have shaped German identity since the nineteenth century to the present day and to introduce students to strategies that can be used when approaching German-language cultural texts from different genres and media.

We tackle the issues that have changed our perception of German culture, as well as the impact of these changes on national identity. Approaching German Culture engages with the interaction of culture and politics in areas that include: the importance of language to national identity during the foundational years of the 1870s, the dislocation wrought by the onset of modernity and reflected in Expressionist art, the search for identity in communist East Germany, and the marketing phenomenon of Popliteratur at the turn of the Millennium.

Pages in this document

  1. Why study German at Leeds?
  2. Research-based learning and teaching
  3. Your first year of studying German
  4. A selection of modules on offer 2017-18
  5. Final-Year Project titles and abstracts 2016-2017