GERM 1011 - German Studies ISA: Language and Culture

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the life and language of German-speaking countries, to make them more skilled at speaking and writing the language and more informed about contemporary German culture. Three out of four hours are devoted to practical language instruction in formal language classes and small tutorial groups, and one hour per week to cultural and historical studies. Further information on course content can be obtained from the discipline of German Studies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GERM 1011
    Course German Studies ISA: Language and Culture
    Coordinating Unit German Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Prerequisites NEW SACE Stage 2 Continuers' German with a scaled grade of B- or higher, or equivalent
    Course Description The aim of this course is to introduce students to the life and language of German-speaking countries, to make them more skilled at speaking and writing the language and more informed about contemporary German culture. Three out of four hours are devoted to practical language instruction in formal language classes and small tutorial groups, and one hour per week to cultural and historical studies. Further information on course content can be obtained from the discipline of German Studies.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Judith Wilson

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will have:
    1) a language proficiency in German corresponding to Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
    2) have a sound knowledge and understanding of the some of the structures and conventions governing the use of German and an ability to use them to communicate effectively in German in a variety of circumstances and for a variety of purposes.
    3) a knowledge of the history, culture and society of contemporary Germany since 1945 and some of the issues raised by its impact on European and world events.
    4) the ability to make effective use of reference resources related to German and German Studies, particularly dictionaries, grammars, authentic texts and electronic resources.
    5) the ability to extract, synthesise and critically evaluate information from written and spoken sources relating to German and German Studies and to organise and present the material in a clear, effective and timely manner.
    6) have an awareness of cultural difference/s and the ability to reflect on oneself and one’s own culture from the point of view of another culture.
    7) have a sound basis for further study and research in German Studies.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Language Workshop & Tut:
    Moeller, J et al. Kaleidoskop 8th edition, Student Activities Manual, Premium Website Printed Access Card, 2012 (Cengage)
    We will start work with this text and associated materials straight away so it is important that you purchase it before the beginning of the semester. You will be using it in both Semesters 1 & 2.

    Cultural Studies Lecture:
    There will be a reader for this course which can be purchased from Image and Copy at the beginning of the semester.
    Recommended Resources

    Students intending to proceed to higher years are strongly advised to ensure they have access to a good dictionary. Check this site to see what is available:


    Online Learning

    The Premium Website Printed Access Card, 2012 (Cengage), provides students with access to the materials available online for the language course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The modes of teaching and learning employed in the course are largely classroom-based and face-to-face. They include:

    1) a lecture “Milestones in German History: 1945 to the Present “ which aims to provide students with an overview of important turning points in German history since 1945 and an historical context for the study of individual aspects of contemporary German culture treated in language workshops, lectures and seminars throughout the course.

    2) a language workshop designed to extend students’ comprehension, their command of written German and their understanding of German grammar and its application

    3) a conversation tutorial designed to enable students to increase their vocabulary on the topics treated in the language workshop, to practise speaking German and to develop their active command of the spoken language

    Students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their learning through:

    1) independent personal study
    2) independent e-learning
    3) online access to lecture materials and other resources

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. Below are the hours per week students are expected to devote to their German studies in addition to the 4 contact hours.

    Homework & Test Preparation: 4
    Tutorial Preparation & Vocab Learning: 2
    Reading & Research, lecture assignments: 2
    Learning Activities Summary

    A detailed program for the language workshop and tutorial and for the cultural studies lecture, Milestones in German History: 1945, to the Present will be provided at the beginning of the semester.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment for the course will include a minor and a major research assignment, language homeworks, a mid-semester class test, an end-of-semester test in Week 13, oral work and an oral presentation.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Language classes and lectures – students are expected to attend all classes. In all cases, it is the student’s responsibility to contact their lecturer or course coordinator about their absence and to ensure that they get any material that may have been handed out in the class/es missed. Students who require alternative arrangements for tests or extensions for assignments must notify staff before the due date and must provide evidence that they have legitimate medical or compassionate grounds for their request.

    Conversation tutorial – as the tutorial mark is based on participation and performance, attendance is compulsory. Students who are obliged to miss a tutorial are asked to provide their tutor with a reason.
    Assessment Detail
    Language Workshops

    Each week there are exercises designated for preparation. It is important that students do the preparation as part of their independent work. The texts will not be gone through again in class. It will be assumed that everyone is familiar with the material and has completed whatever exercises have been set by way of preparation.

    Homeworks will focus on particular grammatical points or they will enable students to use the vocabulary and apply the grammatical rules they have learned in a short composition. They are designed to gauge students’ progress in the areas of language acquisition covered in the course and provide them with feedback on their areas of strength and weakness.

    A mid-semester class test will reflect the format of the semester test and will consist of four sections which correspond with the following areas of language acquisition, listening, reading, grammar and free writing. The class test has a more cumulative orientation than homeworks and provide students with a gauge of their progress over a range of tasks and also prepare them for the semester test.

    The semester test will, like the class tests, consist of four sections, a listening and a reading comprehension, a grammar section and a composition. While the main focus of the test will be material not yet tested, students will be expected to be familiar with all topics covered in the whole semester.

    Conversation Tutorial

    Students will be given the opportunity to build up confidence and develop their speaking ability by engaging in conversational activities throughout the semester with partners, in small groups and in the large group. They will be assessed every week on their preparation, participation and performance.  At the end of the semester they will also be required to make a short oral presentation and answer questions on it.

    Cultural Studies Lecture: Milestones in German History: 1945 to the present

    The minor assignment (1200-1500 words) gives the students the opportunity to explore a topic in more detail, practise presenting the material in a research essay format and get some feedback before tackling the major assignment at the end of the semester. It should be correctly referenced, have a clear structure and be presented in an appropriate register.

    The major assignment (2000-2500 words) is the major summative assessment for this course. It is designed to enable students to explore a particular topic in more depth. Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the topic, their critical engagement with secondary sources on the topic and their ability to develop and express their own point of view. 


    All work handed in outside class time during the year should have a German cover sheet obtainable from the School of Humanities office on the 7th floor of the Napier building. NB. The cover sheet requires the signature of the student declaring that the work handed in is their own individual work.

    Return of Work

    Work completed in semester time will normally be returned in class. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to collect your work from the lecturer/tutor. The normal turn-around time for language class assignments and tests is one week, for essays and longer assignments three to four weeks.
    NB. It is important to collect your work so that you benefit from the corrections and comments made.
    Work completed at the end of the semester, if not submitted electronically, should be accompanied by a stamped, addressed envelope so it can be returned by post.

    Legal nature of the cover sheet

    The cover sheet is a legally binding document that asks you to confirm that you have read and understood the rules relating to plagiarism and related forms of cheating, that you are handing in the final version of your work and not a draft, that it has not been submitted for any other course, that you allow it to be photocopied or scanned and submitted to a plagiarism detection programme, and that you have kept a copy of the assignment that you will be able to produce on demand.


    10% will be deducted from work handed in after the due date unless there are legitimate compassionate or medical grounds and appropriate certification is provided. The 10% penalty applies for the first week; after that the work will not be accepted. Students who have legitimate grounds and require an extension should contact staff before the due date. 

    Please note:

    a) All marks are subject to moderation. An adequate standard must be reached in each part of the course. Final grading (High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass...) will be based on performance in each part of the course.

    b) Students should make a copy of all major pieces of work passed in for assessment.

    c) It will be assumed that all homework exercises, essays and tests are the student's own work. Work that is obviously not the student's own will be given zero and cannot be redeemed. If there is a significant discrepancy between homework and test results students may be required to redo the homework under test conditions.

    d) Students may redeem work if they have legitimate compassionate or medical grounds and appropriate certification (letter from counsellor, medical certificate).

    Students who fulfil the requirements of the course but obtain a Fail grade because of poor performance will be given an additional assessment task to enable to them to gain a Pass result. In this case the maximum mark/grade the student can achieve for the course is 50%.

    e) It is the student’s responsibility to collect marked work as soon as it is returned. Students must let their lecturer know if they intend to redeem a mark within a week of the work being returned. If they do not do so they will not be able to redeem their mark.

    f) Staff will provide guidance where needed but won’t read and correct drafts of your work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.