German Fachwerkhaus Buildings

A beginner’s introduction to German language and culture

Module details

  • Offered to 1st and 2nd Years
  • Monday or Tuesday 16.00-18.00 (depending on year of study)
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • Two-term module, worth 7.5 ECTS
  • Not available as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit, or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

A communicative module for absolute beginners, offering an introduction to the language and culture of the German-speaking countries.

This module aims to:

  • Give students with no previous knowledge of German an introduction to the everyday language spoken in Germany and Austria, including a fairly-wide range of vocabulary and basic structures
  • Develop all the fundamental language skills, i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Offer students insight into culture and daily life in the German-speaking countries

By the end of the module, students should have reached approximately the A1+ level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

To be eligible for this module, you need to have no previous experience in learning German. 

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

Learning outcomes


On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:Reichstag Berlin

  • respond to and produce a basic range of spoken language in very familiar contexts;
  • respond to and produce simple written texts. In these, you will be able to apply your knowledge and skills of grammar and vocabulary at A1-level  (in the Common European Framework of Reference for languages) and demonstrate the relevant level of intercultural awareness in your handling of everyday social interactions in German and your use of language. 
  • engage with a basic range of digital language learning tools to support your production.

Indicative core content

Black Forrest Basic linguistic structures to include:

  • present tense;
  • imperative;
  • personal pronouns;
  • articles;
  • negatives;
  • possessive adjectives;
  • declension of nouns and pronouns;
  • modal verbs;
  • separable verbs;
  • perfect tense;
  • imperfect of haben/sein;
  • word order;
  • prepositions, conjunctions.

Topics include:

  • making contact;
  • directions and travel, opinions, work, training and professions;
  • eating and drinking;
  • holidays and leisure time;
  • the home;
  • sickness and health;
  • family and relationships;
  • giving and understanding information;
  • features of modern life, including social and behavioural norms;
  • selected cultural areas and personalities of the German-speaking countries.

Learning and teaching approach

In line with modern foreign languages communicative and active learning methodologies, the in-class activities you will complete will cover all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). These will include pair work and groupwork (dialogue practice, information gap exercises, discussion), individual tasks, discovery and formulation of grammatical rules, work with texts, etc. Homework and coursework tasks will give you the opportunity to revise and consolidate your knowledge and skills and to develop your awareness of how to use language learning tools independently. Our approach not only ensures you engage with a wide range of tasks and activities, but also seeks to support different learning styles.

Your coursework will be marked and returned within two weeks. Rubrics and revision guidance (how-to guides) will be included as needed with each coursework. You will receive detailed feedback alongside suggestions for improvement and an overall percentage showing your provisional grade for that assessment. 


  • Coursework (20%): Set mid-autumn term, on the virtual learning environment, consisting of reading comprehension (100-120 words) plus grammar tasks. (1 week to complete).
  • Examination (20%): In-class test, on the virtual learning environment (bring your own device). This 1-hour test will take place at the end of autumn term. It will include grammar tasks, reading (approx. 120-150 words) and guided writing of approx. 80 words.
  • Coursework (20%): Set mid-spring term, on the virtual learning environment, and includes listening to an audio/video (approx. 3-5 minutes) and a range of comprehension tasks as well as a 2-3-minute speaking task with a partner. (Submission windows: 30-minute test for listening plus 24 hours for speaking).
  • Examination ( 20%): In-class test, on the virtual learning environment (bring your own device). This 1-hour test will take place at the end of spring term. It will include grammar and free writing of approx 120-140 words.
  • Practical (20%): Oral exam at the end of spring term. Approx. 10-12 minutes incl. self-presentation plus questions and unprepared dialogue.

Key information

  • 7.5 ECTS points awarded on successful completion of the module.
  • Available to take for credit towards your degree where your department allows. Also available for extra-credit.
  • You must be prepared to attend all classes and and undertake approximately 3 hours of private study each week in addition to the assessment.

Module materials:
DaF kompakt neu A1
Birgit Braun, Margit Doubek et al.
Kurs- und Übungsbuch mit MP3-CD 
168 Seiten