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    Hellloooo

    So I'm moving into German A2 from September and I was hoping I could get some tips from former A2 German students - ideally AQA.

    I've already started going through all the vocab. I need to learn and I've ordered a supplementary textbook as well (will order another to college library when I return), but my main concern is with the essays.

    Can you suggest any advice for writing the essays at all? Is there a general structure to follow (we do history & film for cultural essays), what is the main difference between them and AS essays etc.

    Also any tips for the translation task would be great
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Hellloooo

    So I'm moving into German A2 from September and I was hoping I could get some tips from former A2 German students - ideally AQA.

    I've already started going through all the vocab. I need to learn and I've ordered a supplementary textbook as well (will order another to college library when I return), but my main concern is with the essays.

    Can you suggest any advice for writing the essays at all? Is there a general structure to follow (we do history & film for cultural essays), what is the main difference between them and AS essays etc.

    Also any tips for the translation task would be great
    I did A2 German with WJEC (can't be that much different to AQA surely) last summer.

    My essay was on a book (Der Vorleser... probably the weirdest and most boring book ever) so I can't offer much specific advice, but some more general advice would be to know what you're talking about enough so that you can wing it to a certain extent. I don't mean actually wing it, but rather once you get into the flow of writing you don't need to think about whether what you're saying is factually correct or not. For the film essay you probably can ******** to a certain extent because you can treat it like an English essay - if you're not takling about the story, but rather analysing an interaction between characters then as long as you justify what you say you'll be alright. Try to keep the German more 'natural' rather than translating directly from English in your head if possible. Always remember to mix up tenses and word order (where possible), it's pretty easy to start writing in one tense and not change from it without realising, you'll get more marks for variation and spread of grammatical knowledge.

    Here's a list of good resources I used which I've copied from a post I made ages ago for an AS student whilst I was doing the A2.

    (Original post by pizzanomics)
    Listening practice

    Deutsche Welle - Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten

    You can listen to lots of current news articles spoken slowly. There are multiple choice questions to answer underneath. You can also read what was being said, but I think it's best to try and answer the questions by just listening first, and only reading if you have to. Words that are used and aren't so common are defined (in German) underneath the text. (Good for keeping up with current affairs so it's useful for speaking exams, obviously helps with listening too. Also really good if you get lucky and find news relating to your region/book/film)

    Kindernetz Aktuell

    It's basically the same as DW except it's aimed at children, so it's a lot easier.
    The articles on here can also be used for translation practice. (This is probably more appropriate for AS students so I wouldn't bother with it)

    Vocabulary

    Linguee

    Linguee is my go-to place if I need to look up any vocab. You type in either the English or the German and hit search, and it will come up with translations on the left, and examples in texts on the right. It works with lots of other languages too, there's a drop down list you can choose from. (This is a million times better than Google Translate. The only time you want to be using Google Translate is to translate massive chunks of text from German to English to get the gist of something, then going back to the original German text to pickout words you don't know and put them into Linguee)

    Quizlet

    Quizlet can be used with pretty much any subject, although it's mostly used with languages. We were forced to use it at GCSE and I hated it, but I recently went back to it this year (A2) and I convinced my teacher to set up a 'class' and give us vocabulary to learn. It's just an easy way to help you learn sets of vocab or answers to questions. You can search for pretty much any list of vocab and you'll find something. I also used it to help me with Sociology revision last year. (Very useful tool to learn vocab for any language. You can make your own lists of vocab that you don't know - for example stuff you've lifted from your film or articles from DeutscheWelle - and you can seperate them off so you know exactly where your vocab came from. There are also thousands and thousands of premade lists by other users which might be worth checking out)

    Grammar help

    Nthuleen

    Nthuleen has lots of grammar worksheets to practice on, and handouts to read over if you are unsure of what to do. (Didn't end up using it that much to be honest, I got a grammar book instead, much preferred it)


    Speaking tips

    • If in doubt, make it up

    Obviously you don't have to tell the truth. So if a question comes up saying something like "What do you want to do when you leave college?" and you don't have a clue, just learn a specific set of vocab related to travelling or something and just make it up as you go along. (Just make sure you don't contradict yourself. If you are lying, make sure you remember what you've said)

    • Make it more like a conversation

    You get marked on how well the conversation flows, so try not to be too robotic and learn a load of sentences before hand. By all means learn key phrases, and maybe the odd sentence here and there, but don't learn massive chunks and paragraphs. (Examiners will notice if your speaking is average - or even quite good - but then rattle off a few complex sentences 100% perfectly)

    • Ask if you are unsure on what a word means

    If you don't know what a word means, just ask the examiner "Was heisst ____?" or "Was bedeutet ____?". You wont lose marks, it helps you understand the question better, and best of all, it keeps the conversation flowing.

    • The examiner is not expecting perfect German

    The examiner knows that your German isn't going to be perfect, so don't worry about making it perfect. Obviously you need to be accurate, but the odd mistake here and there isn't going to make any difference whatsoever. The most important thing is that you speak with confidence.
    What's the AQA translation exercise like? For WJEC we had a chunk of English text relating to the reading booklet. It was about 6/7 sentences long and we needed to put it into German, it was worth 25 marks. If your translation exercise is similar to that I can give you tips for that too.

    Pretty long reply... but hopefully there's some good info in there.
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    (Original post by pizzanomics)
    I did A2 German with WJEC (can't be that much different to AQA surely) last summer.

    My essay was on a book (Der Vorleser... probably the weirdest and most boring book ever) so I can't offer much specific advice, but some more general advice would be to know what you're talking about enough so that you can wing it to a certain extent. I don't mean actually wing it, but rather once you get into the flow of writing you don't need to think about whether what you're saying is factually correct or not. For the film essay you probably can ******** to a certain extent because you can treat it like an English essay - if you're not takling about the story, but rather analysing an interaction between characters then as long as you justify what you say you'll be alright. Try to keep the German more 'natural' rather than translating directly from English in your head if possible. Always remember to mix up tenses and word order (where possible), it's pretty easy to start writing in one tense and not change from it without realising, you'll get more marks for variation and spread of grammatical knowledge.

    Here's a list of good resources I used which I've copied from a post I made ages ago for an AS student whilst I was doing the A2.



    What's the AQA translation exercise like? For WJEC we had a chunk of English text relating to the reading booklet. It was about 6/7 sentences long and we needed to put it into German, it was worth 25 marks. If your translation exercise is similar to that I can give you tips for that too.

    Pretty long reply... but hopefully there's some good info in there.
    Hi thanks for the reply and help

    For AQA translation there are two sections:

    #1 Translate 2/3 paragraphs (about 9 lines) of German into English. (10 marks)
    #2 Translate 5 English sentences into German (2 marks each)
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Hi thanks for the reply and help

    For AQA translation there are two sections:

    #1 Translate 2/3 paragraphs (about 9 lines) of German into English. (10 marks)
    #2 Translate 5 English sentences into German (2 marks each)
    Cool no problem.

    #1 should be really easy because in general it's not as difficult to go from German to English because you can work out and guess things you don't know based on context. One thing to look out for and to double check when done is false friends. So stuff like das Gift (poison) or sensibel (sensitive). Saying this now might seem obvious, but you might find the translation relatively easy so you're likely to not think about it that much and completely gloss over errors like that. Again, double check you know which tense the original sentence is in, and re-read articles/pronouns so you can work out which case any nouns take - sometimes it's not obvious, and it can change the meaning of sentences.

    #2 will probably be a bit harder. Again, just remember to make sure you are aware of the tense (yes, in the English sentence!) so you know which tense you want to be writing in when you start in German. Remember that some verbs/prepositions take different cases (e.g. helfen, takes the dative), so not abiding by those 'rules' will change the meaning of your sentence and make it incorrect. There's a chance you could get marked better if you choose a more 'German' way of expressing something - e.g you'd want to say "X gefällt mir" as opposed to "ich mag X". Even if you don't get extra marks, it'll look like you at least have some idea of what you're doing if you're completely stuck. Idioms work great too if you know any that are appropriate to fit in. I'd also suggest writing the translations out in pencil first so you can scribble them out/rub them out/draw arrows/whatever whilst translating so you can get the word order and everything correct, and then write it out in pen once you're happy.
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    (Original post by pizzanomics)
    Cool no problem.

    #1 should be really easy because in general it's not as difficult to go from German to English because you can work out and guess things you don't know based on context. One thing to look out for and to double check when done is false friends. So stuff like das Gift (poison) or sensibel (sensitive). Saying this now might seem obvious, but you might find the translation relatively easy so you're likely to not think about it that much and completely gloss over errors like that. Again, double check you know which tense the original sentence is in, and re-read articles/pronouns so you can work out which case any nouns take - sometimes it's not obvious, and it can change the meaning of sentences.

    #2 will probably be a bit harder. Again, just remember to make sure you are aware of the tense (yes, in the English sentence!) so you know which tense you want to be writing in when you start in German. Remember that some verbs/prepositions take different cases (e.g. helfen, takes the dative), so not abiding by those 'rules' will change the meaning of your sentence and make it incorrect. There's a chance you could get marked better if you choose a more 'German' way of expressing something - e.g you'd want to say "X gefällt mir" as opposed to "ich mag X". Even if you don't get extra marks, it'll look like you at least have some idea of what you're doing if you're completely stuck. Idioms work great too if you know any that are appropriate to fit in. I'd also suggest writing the translations out in pencil first so you can scribble them out/rub them out/draw arrows/whatever whilst translating so you can get the word order and everything correct, and then write it out in pen once you're happy.
    Entschulding wegen meiner späten Antwort

    Many thanks for your advice, it was really helpful. I've been trying to practice translation with German > English recently using newspaper articles so hopefully that should help me as well!
 
 
 
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