Module code: GER3025

Module Overview

This module is taught in the target language in semester 2 of FHEQ Level 6.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MARLEY Dawn (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • German as a pluricentric language

  • Overview of sociolinguistic terms involved

History and evolution of the German language:

  • Germanic Languages

  • Grimm’s Law and sound shifts

  • Old, Middle, and New High German

  • Emergence and understanding of ‘modern’ German

Regional varieties of German:

  • Historical dialect borders and border shifts

  • Regional varieties and their status

German language varieties in their socio-political context:

  • Standardisation and the existing German standard varieties

  • Diglossia

  • Language policies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate


  • Knowledge and understanding of the use of the target language;

  • Ability to analyse and interpret texts;

  • Ability to select and synthesise information from written and oral texts;

  • Ability to take notes effectively and use IT skills to find and present relevant information;

  • Subject-specific knowledge of German sociolinguistics.



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Written assignment of 2,500 words (to be submitted after week 11). Takes the form of an extended essay, enabling students to demonstrate subject specific knowledge, command of written German, and research skills.

  • Individual class presentation (spread throughout semester). Students give a 12 minute presentation, with ppt slides, on a topic selected from a list provided. This enables students to demonstrate communicative and presentation skills, as well as subject-specific knowledge, command of spoken and written German, and research skills.



Formative assessment and feedback


  • Formative assessment will focus on student participation and class discussions throughout the module.

  • Students will be provided with detailed written feedback following coursework assignments.

  • Verbal feedback will also occur in class and individual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • insight into regional varieties of German and their historical and socio-political development, and gain an understanding of the correlation between regional and national (standard) varieties and national identities;
  • practice in how to apply sociolinguistic methodology to German
  • opportunities to analyse and interpret a range of oral and written linguistic data and present the results in an appropriate written and oral form
  • opportunities to compare and contrast situations of language contact in the German-speaking world and present the results in an appropriate written or oral form

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will: KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING have gained insight into the historical development of the German language; (C, K) KC
002 Understand the historical and socio-political dimensions of German as a pluricentric language, and the emergence of the German standard varieties, including the institutions representing them; (DACH-Verbände) KC
003 Understand the correlation between regional varieties and regional identities, and the issue of ‘national' standards and identities; KC
004 Be able to compare and contrast language-contact situations in the German-speaking world.
005 COGNITIVE SKILLS be able to use and apply sociolinguistic terms to describe and discuss the varieties of the German language; C
006 Be able to analyse and evaluate language-contact situations using a range of theories, interpretations and arguments. KC
007 KEY SKILLS COMMUNICATION be able to present findings and ideas on sociolinguistic phenomena in writing; (T, P) PT
008 Be competent in oral presentations and discussions in German; PT
009 Be competent in analysing and evaluating oral and written speech from a sociolinguistic perspective; PT
010 Be able to understand different varieties of German;  PT
011 Be able to speak and write in an appropriate register in German. KPT
012 INDEPENDENT STUDY be able to study and learn independently. PT
013 RESEARCH be able to undertake basic independent research into related areas using appropriate methodologies. PT
014 GROUP WORK be able to give peer feedback effectively and work collaboratively. PT
015 REFLECTION on own and peer learning be able to evaluate self and peer learning and progression, through self and peer assessment of performance.  PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Enable students to develop their language skills as a medium for understanding, expression and communication, through listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language;

  • Enable students to deepen explicit knowledge of the linguistic structures, grammar and stylistic registers through attending classes and reading in the target language;

  • Encourage student participation and learner autonomy, through small group classes, reading outside contact hours and participating in seminars;

  • Develop research skills, through reading and presenting findings, through informal class presentations and in the written assignment;

  • Enable students to engage in analytical and evaluative thinking, to analyse and interpret texts and other cultural products, through attending classes and engaging in individual study.

  • Develop communication skills through interactions in class;

  • Acquire an in-depth knowledge of the sociolinguistics of German-speaking countries.



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Two contact hours per teaching week in semester 2. The module is taught entirely in German.

  • Student participation is essential.

  • Learning will occur through a combination of lectures, background reading, and preparation of and participation in class discussions.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GER3025

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Modern Languages (French with German) BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (Spanish with German) BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.