Progressing from GCSE to A-Level German

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thechineeseone
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#1
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#1
Hi!

I really want to get my German into top notch scratch for A-level (aiming for that A*) and since my experience with languages is that it's a continuous learning progress.

I've continued looking into it and saw that there is no set vocab for A-level languages, which is understandable since it is designed to test you on such a broad spectrum.

I just wanted to ask, both current A-level German students and students who have just finished their GCSE like me and want to progress, how they intend/or have executed a certain method/tactic to learning vocab

Whether it be watching German TV shows or talking to German people in real life. Any comments would be appreciated!
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TSR Learn Together
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#2
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#2
Hi there,

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Chlorophile
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#3
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#3
(Original post by thechineeseone)
Hi!

I really want to get my German into top notch scratch for A-level (aiming for that A*) and since my experience with languages is that it's a continuous learning progress.

I've continued looking into it and saw that there is no set vocab for A-level languages, which is understandable since it is designed to test you on such a broad spectrum.

I just wanted to ask, both current A-level German students and students who have just finished their GCSE like me and want to progress, how they intend/or have executed a certain method/tactic to learning vocab

Whether it be watching German TV shows or talking to German people in real life. Any comments would be appreciated!
Immersion is the best way to learn any language. Watching German TV shows (or films, even if you have to use subtitles) is definitely useful. Talking to German people and going to Germany is even better, although obviously not everyone has that opportunity.
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thechineeseone
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Chlorophile)
Immersion is the best way to learn any language. Watching German TV shows (or films, even if you have to use subtitles) is definitely useful. Talking to German people and going to Germany is even better, although obviously not everyone has that opportunity.
Thank you. Do you have any good sites you can quote where one can see shows with german subtitles or vice versa?
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libb
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#5
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#5
(Original post by thechineeseone)
Hi!

I really want to get my German into top notch scratch for A-level (aiming for that A*) and since my experience with languages is that it's a continuous learning progress.

I've continued looking into it and saw that there is no set vocab for A-level languages, which is understandable since it is designed to test you on such a broad spectrum.

I just wanted to ask, both current A-level German students and students who have just finished their GCSE like me and want to progress, how they intend/or have executed a certain method/tactic to learning vocab

Whether it be watching German TV shows or talking to German people in real life. Any comments would be appreciated!
Hi! I'm a current A-level German student, well actually i'm just finishing the two year course.

For me, it's not a case of vocab but of grammar. You do very little, if any proper grammar at GCSE but the level of grammar you have to learn an A-level is tough. The rules, cases, prepositions and adjective endings are all things that, if you don't learn will definitely hold you back. This has been my trouble.

I got an A* for GCSE german and i'm struggling to try and get a B for my overall A level. I was not aware of how big a jump it would be. You will pick up vocab easily but I just wished someone had warned me about the grammar aspect of it.
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Octopus_Garden
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#6
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#6
You might like my thread from last year.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...794&p=43433695
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thechineeseone
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#7
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#7
(Original post by libb)
Hi! I'm a current A-level German student, well actually i'm just finishing the two year course.

For me, it's not a case of vocab but of grammar. You do very little, if any proper grammar at GCSE but the level of grammar you have to learn an A-level is tough. The rules, cases, prepositions and adjective endings are all things that, if you don't learn will definitely hold you back. This has been my trouble.

I got an A* for GCSE german and i'm struggling to try and get a B for my overall A level. I was not aware of how big a jump it would be. You will pick up vocab easily but I just wished someone had warned me about the grammar aspect of it.
Hi! Could you elaborate on how extensive the grammar is? Currently, as my teacher is of native german origin, she has gone a lot further than the GCSE course demands so I'm not sure how much more I need to know. Thanks.
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thechineeseone
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#8
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And thank you Octopus Garden - it's exactly what I'm looking for
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trianglehate
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#9
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#9
(Original post by thechineeseone)
Hi! Could you elaborate on how extensive the grammar is? Currently, as my teacher is of native german origin, she has gone a lot further than the GCSE course demands so I'm not sure how much more I need to know. Thanks.
You're lucky that your teacher has taught beyond for GCSE. In my AS my A Level teachers barely surfaced on grammar (I think one of them expected us to know it from GCSE, simply ridiculous) and my AS grade resulted in an E!

It's important to learn the grammar because of course when writing the essays (although the most marks are for content) if you make mistakes due to grammar it can make such a difference to overall meaning, i.e learning the cases!

If you're serious about taking German A Level I'd suggest buying a grammar book when you start and gradually ease your way in to it , that's what I regret not doing.
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libb
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#10
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#10
(Original post by thechineeseone)
Hi! Could you elaborate on how extensive the grammar is? Currently, as my teacher is of native german origin, she has gone a lot further than the GCSE course demands so I'm not sure how much more I need to know. Thanks.
Hiya! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.

Naturally with the grammar you start with the cases, these are basics and it's pretty impossible to understand further grammar without them. So that's nominative, accusative, dative and genitive, you'll need to know when to apply them and each of their forms for masculine, feminine, neuter and plural words.

All of the cases also have different prepositions, these are words that do not follow the usual rules. You'll need to find some way of learning these

Of course adjective endings for definite, indefinite and no article words, these are also subject to case and gender - again making it important to learn the cases.

Once you've learnt the above basics you move on to sentence structures:
  • Subjunctives
  • Modal verbs (this is gcse, but useful to cover again)
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Verb prefixes
  • Pronouns, personal pronouns, relative pronouns
  • Active and passives
  • Comparison and superlative adjectives and adverbs
  • Infinitive, imperative


A lot of these are determined by the tense:
  • Past, present, future
  • Simple past
  • Perfect and Pluperfect tenses
  • Future perfect tense
  • Conditionals


This is a good grammar book to help you:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-Germ.../dp/0340968532

It is hard - but it is not impossible to learn it. It become particularly important for translations as you are marked on the grammar almost more than anything else.

Good luck!
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MFLSophie
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#11
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#11
It sounds silly but do what you'll enjoy! My friend and I both adore German and excel at it, but we revise in totally different ways. She is rather book and grammar focused, whereas I listen and learn Disney songs in German! You'll be surprised how helpful it is, seriously I quoted frozen and tangled songs in my oral!

If you enjoy music find some German songs (I reccomend 'revolverheld' it's good and German! I know unheard of)

Films like goodbye lennin or die Welle or Lola Rennt are good

You could try and find some German translations of your favourite English books!


You seem to love the language, as do I, and I know that German is my favourite to revise, I can just watch Disney!

Viel Glück, dm me if you want any tips or tricks for next year


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ladymarshmallow
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#12
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#12
(Original post by thechineeseone)
Hi!

I really want to get my German into top notch scratch for A-level (aiming for that A*) and since my experience with languages is that it's a continuous learning progress.

I've continued looking into it and saw that there is no set vocab for A-level languages, which is understandable since it is designed to test you on such a broad spectrum.

I just wanted to ask, both current A-level German students and students who have just finished their GCSE like me and want to progress, how they intend/or have executed a certain method/tactic to learning vocab

Whether it be watching German TV shows or talking to German people in real life. Any comments would be appreciated!
Hi,

I have just completed my Advanced Higher German (Scottish equivalent to A2 level) course and will be studying German at university this September. Although I can't speak for the English examination system specifically, the standard of German that is expected of candidates is pretty similar in the English and Scottish systems.

Firstly, I would advise you to nail down that grammar! Seriously, if you have any weaknesses, for example the case/adjective endings, then go over them to ensure you have a thorough understanding of them during the summer holidays. Grammar really is the basis of a language so I can't stress enough how vital it is that you be relatively confident with your basic grammar especially as you will be progressing to a higher level.

I have to say, I've never really sat down and actively drilled vocabulary into my brain. By far the most helpful thing which has allowed my German to improve has simply been immersing myself in the language. That can be accomplished by watching TV shows, listening to the radio/podcasts, reading the newspaper, anything really! You'll find in time that you soak up large amounts of vocabulary. Exposing yourself to native materials is also useful because I find that it sort of begins to teach you to develop a 'sixth sense' for the language ie getting used to what would sound 'correct' and native. As for speaking practice, I was really lucky to be able to practise with a native German assistant at school, however, another good thing to do (although I don't have any personal experience with this) would perhaps be to find a Skype partner online who'd be willing to converse with you? I've heard of websites where you can sign up and do that.

In terms of improving your writing, there's a really good site I came across called Lang-8 which allows you to write entries in your target language and have them corrected by a native speaker.

I'll also recommend you some news sites/other random pages.

http://www.dw.de/ - this website has numerous resources available for German learners - I found it useful for bridging the gap between textbook material and proper native stuff.

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/ - countless news articles and podcasts readily accessible
http://www.zeit.de/index
http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/kanal...ebersicht/166/ - news/TV shows
http://www.arte.tv/de - documentaries in abundance
http://www.neon.de/ - something a bit different but fun

Also, there's a good TV series called Türkisch für Anfänger many episodes of which are to be found on Youtube (some with English subtitles IIRC).

I may have gone a bit overboard but those were some of the materials I use to immerse myself in German. I hope that helps.
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