Accessibility statement

Ab initio German language skills


This module is intended to develop language skills at a very quick pace and introduce the structures, lexicon and skills necessary to communicate in the foreign language. The focus will be on a more formal analysis of the language as a system. It will equip students with the knowledge, tools and techniques necessary for effective independent language learning. Students will learn to analyse, understand and practice grammatical structures in different contexts.

 After satisfactorily completing the course you should be able to:

  • analyse language in context including grammatical concepts and terminology
  • show an understanding of key aspects of German structures
  • communicate in the foreign language using grammar appropriately
  • reflect on the skills required for effective language learning
  • acquire language independently through personal reading and listening



  • Ab-initio German language and society


Contact hours

The module lasts for three terms, 3 contact hours per week per term.

Teaching programme

 A focus early on in this module will be to facilitate and support the development of your time management and independent study skills. This will help you to manage the fast pace and challenge of starting a new language ab initio. Methods of support will include:

  • provision of self-access learning materials for independent study via the VLE
  • peer support and mentoring
  • small group teaching for a more personalised and differentiated methodology

Teaching materials


  • 1) Textbook:
    • DaF kompakt A1 - B1. Kursbuch mit 3 Audio CDs. Klett 2011. ISBN 978-3-12-676180-2
    • DaF kompakt A1 - B1. Übungsbuch + 2 Audio-CDs. Klett 2011. ISBN 978-3-12-676181-9
  • 2) Grammar book:
    • Monika Reimann: Grundstufen-Grammatik: Essential Grammar of German with Exercises. Max Hueber Verlag (7 Aug 2012) ISBN: 978-3192015755


  • Dreyer Schmitt: Lehr und Übungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik AKTUELL - A Practice Grammar of German. Max Hueber Verlag (1 Sep 2010) ISBN: 978-3193272553
  • Dreyer Schmitt: Lehr- und Übungsbuch Der Deutschen Grammatik - Aktuell: Lösungsschlüssel. Max Hueber Verlag (8 July 2009) ISBN: 978-3-19-407255-8
  • A good bilingual dictionary, one of the following:
    • The Collins German Dictionary, 8th edition or later. (2013). Collins. Glasgow
    • The Oxford Duden German Dictionary. (2005). Oxford University Press. Oxford 
  • A monolingual dictionary is strongly recommended, e.g.
    • Langenscheidt's Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache. (2015). Langenscheidt. Munich. 
    • Duden – Deutsches Universalwörterbuch. 8th edition.  (2015). Duden

Assessment and feedback

Formative work and feedback

  • Weekly formative exercises carried out. 
  • Written comments and mark on U scale given to individual students for practice essays, with opportunity for individual consultation.
  • Model answers may be given for class exercises with class discussion of difficulties.
  • Formative Written work will be returned within 2 weeks.
  • Oral commentary and dialogue within class on oral and written work. Given immediately both to individuals and to the group.
  • Oral commentary and dialogue on seminar presentation, written feedback sheet given to the individual presenter following the seminar.

Summative Assessment and feedback

There are two components to the final assessment:

  • A portfolio of exercises, to be submitted in week 10, Term 2
    • Weight: 60%
  • A closed 3-hour exam, taken in Term 3
    • Weight: 40%
  • Individuals will be allowed to see their exam paper with comments, under supervision, at an appointed date after the external examiner has reviewed the papers.

About this module

  • Module name
  • Ab Initio German Language Skills
  • Course code
  • G19C (LAN00019C)
  • Teacher 
    Thomas Jochum-Critchley
  • Term(s) taught
    All terms
  • Credits
  • 30