Benefits of German A Level! What are they please? Watch

Hiro2468
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I'm dead set on doing German for A Levels but my parents are dead set on me dropping it because they said it useless and will get me nowhere in life especially with the whole Brexit thing. Plus they said that it's not any good to any russel group uni.

What should I do please?

My dad said that he'll personally call the school to make sure I don't do it for A Levels and my mum already dislikes me more because I disagree with them. My dad said that it doesn't go with Maths or Economics so why waste it but it's my only good subject and the only subject from GCSEs that I can say with my chest that I enjoyed.

I already had a long very fun discussion with them about it (tried to anyway) but it's leading nowhere as my parents are saying they have more experience than me so know what they're talking about which to an extent I do acknowledge that they do have more experience than me.

For the Uni course I was thinking of taking maybe international business and they laughed and said you only need English but wouldn't it be more beneficial to know more than English?

I'm stressed and don't know what to do.
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hello_shawn
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Your brexit-voting parents are exactly the kind of people nobody wants to associate with. I'm sure your school will not refuse another person sitting their language classes because another language is good for you regardless of what it is. Though the GCSE is good enough for conversational level you'll need the A Level in order to study the language as it is used professionally (eg if you're representing a German national through some kind of agency)

Don't forget about the cultural awareness that also comes with learning a new language
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JeSuisBaguette
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Firstly, this should be down to you and not your parents. Enjoyment of a subject should be enough of a reason for you to take it, A-Levels are a stressful time anyway, why stress over a subject you don't like?

I never did German at A-Level, but I did do French and I picked up German as well here at university.
German is considered to be one of the top/most important languages for business, so to do it aside economics and maths, and maybe even business at university as you mentioned, would be so beneficial.
Brexit is even more of a reason to learn languages in my opinion. Once we leave (unfortunately) wouldn't it be amazing to still have some sort of a connection to Europe?
Finally, languages really aren't seen as `soft subjects` and they are genuinely valued in the workplace and in many other areas of life.

I hope I've helped in some way.

Edit: I haven't even touched on the immense amount of fun A-Level languages are!
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alan2001
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If you like German a-level then it's a great a-level to do. I do AQA A-level and whilst the spec isn't great, you can get around it if you like the language. Unis really value the skills gained when learning a language (independent working etc.) and it's rated the same as any other A-level. Positives are it's often a small class, you get to visit German - if your school offers it - we went to Berlin and it was amazing, knowing German is a life-long skill that comes in handy when you least expect it. I would definitely recommend it. Remember, your parents aren't the ones going to school everyday, so don't let them choose for you!
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Elisamary30
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No offence, but your parents have no idea what they’re talking about. Knowing a different language is ALWAYS an asset and is becoming increasingly more desirable from employers and unis due the lack of people studying them. Plus, languages are considered as ‘facilitating subjects’ which most Russel group unis admire and if you genuinely enjoy the subject, you are far more likely to get a better grade in it, and at the end of the day, it’s the grades that unis look at most.
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Hiro2468
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Thank you guys for your responses! My parents don't listen at all which is the problem. They're saying that I'm going to regret my life choices and that I won't get a job with German.
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Deggs_14
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What a bunch of unsupportive scoundrels your parents are. Having a language, especially German is so useful for jobs and employability, especially with multinational companies who do business abroad.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Hiro2468)
Thank you guys for your responses! My parents don't listen at all which is the problem. They're saying that I'm going to regret my life choices and that I won't get a job with German.
What jobs do you parents do? I don't know a single professional person who would not encourage you to do German - specifically for career reasons. Plenty would discourage their children from doing arts subjects, BTECs etc - not one would think German was anything other than a great idea.
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Hiro2468
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(Original post by ajj2000)
What jobs do you parents do? I don't know a single professional person who would not encourage you to do German - specifically for career reasons. Plenty would discourage their children from doing arts subjects, BTECs etc - not one would think German was anything other than a great idea.
I don't know what happened, at first they were supportive until they suddenly started saying this. Plus my mum said that if I choose it my parents won't support me at all, in which I replied that I'll be okay with that.
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loginrunner
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I chose to do German A Level even though it didn't have much at all to do with my other subjects, maths and computer science. I was also dead set on doing it mainly because I really really enjoy it and that's really important as you're going to be studying this for 2 years. I do think German is still a very important language, even after Brexit the UK will still be heavily involved in Europe and always will be due to our geographic location. German is the most spoken native language in Europe and Germany has extremely big influential businesses. Universities also like seeing languages.
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ThomasParker
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Ah, we do the exact same A-levels. How are your exams going?
(Original post by loginrunner)
I chose to do German A Level even though it didn't have much at all to do with my other subjects, maths and computer science. I was also dead set on doing it mainly because I really really enjoy it and that's really important as you're going to be studying this for 2 years. I do think German is still a very important language, even after Brexit the UK will still be heavily involved in Europe and always will be due to our geographic location. German is the most spoken native language in Europe and Germany has extremely big influential businesses. Universities also like seeing languages.
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Hiro2468
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(Original post by loginrunner)
I chose to do German A Level even though it didn't have much at all to do with my other subjects, maths and computer science. I was also dead set on doing it mainly because I really really enjoy it and that's really important as you're going to be studying this for 2 years. I do think German is still a very important language, even after Brexit the UK will still be heavily involved in Europe and always will be due to our geographic location. German is the most spoken native language in Europe and Germany has extremely big influential businesses. Universities also like seeing languages.
Thank you for your response! Isn't French the most spoken Lang? Also my parents keep saying I'm wrong.

Also how'd you find German A Level? What exam board did you do?
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loginrunner
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(Original post by ThomasParker)
Ah, we do the exact same A-levels. How are your exams going?
Wow! You're the first person I've known of to have the same combination of A Levels as me😂. I did my exams last year, and I'm pretty happy with my results, A in German A in comp sci and A in maths. now i'm in first year of uni!.
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loginrunner
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(Original post by Hiro2468)
Thank you for your response! Isn't French the most spoken Lang? Also my parents keep saying I'm wrong.

Also how'd you find German A Level? What exam board did you do?
In europe french or english might have more speakers, but German is the language in europe from what i know that has the highest amount of first-language speakers, the language they were born with. Last time I checked Germany also had the highest population of any european country, so it is still very relevant! In my opinion though the A levels you choose dont really matter to employers, they just like to see any amount of good a level grades. Only universities really care about the type of a level to see if you're suited for the course, and german is very respected and requires lots of effort. Many employers would love a candidate who had a grasp of another language given how much more interconnected the world is today, and the amount of international business going on.

I really enjoyed German A Level although it does definitely require extra effort outside of lessons. I did the AQA exam board and managed to get an A in the end. if you enjoy the subject I'd definitely say go for it
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Ellietomlinson07
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Okay this is the first time I have ever posted anything on the student room but this is something that I feel particularly passionate about so I felt the need to post something. For me picking German A-Level was one of the best decisions I have personally ever made, the amount I have learnt in 2 years is genuinely unbelievable. Not only do you learn the language itself but more about the history, political systems and mindset of the German people. As you mentioned you are interested in studying economics and maths and although languages fit any subject, I think these subjects work particularly well. For example I have learnt so much about the political and economic systems in place in Germany and of course if economics/maths is your thing then you could tailor your independent research project to suit something along those lines. There is no prescribed set of A-Levels you have to do with a language because they just work with everything. Aside from being able to speak German, which will boost your salary enormously, languages offer lots of other little perks such as an improvement in written communication skills and confidence and they are incredibly attractive to employers. You strike me as being very intelligent and so if in the next two years you are looking at making an Oxbridge/ Russell Group University application an MFL A-Level will really boost your application as they are listed highly on the list of facilitating subjects. With regards to Brexit without weighing into this too much politically, I do think that the mindset of your parents is somewhat naive (no offence!!!). There is going to be so much more of an emphasis on languages as a result of Brexit with the movement of companies between Germany and the UK and from anything to trade negotiations. Although Brexit seems to have created a larger distance between the UK and Germany from a political stance the two countries have committed to continuing a close relationship. I actually completed an EPQ on this topic and if needs be I will personally post my dissertation to your parents and hopefully persuade them of the importance of languages in a post-brexit nation! I did my reading listening translation exam today and feel so sad that my German A Level is nearly over so I have hopped on here to hopefully inspire a new generation of linguists. I have so much more I could say about this so if you have any more questions about anything German/Languages related then just let me know because I would be more than happy to answer anything that is still causing difficulties for you and your parents regarding this decision.
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Hiro2468
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(Original post by Ellietomlinson07)
Okay this is the first time I have ever posted anything on the student room but this is something that I feel particularly passionate about so I felt the need to post something. For me picking German A-Level was one of the best decisions I have personally ever made, the amount I have learnt in 2 years is genuinely unbelievable. Not only do you learn the language itself but more about the history, political systems and mindset of the German people. As you mentioned you are interested in studying economics and maths and although languages fit any subject, I think these subjects work particularly well. For example I have learnt so much about the political and economic systems in place in Germany and of course if economics/maths is your thing then you could tailor your independent research project to suit something along those lines. There is no prescribed set of A-Levels you have to do with a language because they just work with everything. Aside from being able to speak German, which will boost your salary enormously, languages offer lots of other little perks such as an improvement in written communication skills and confidence and they are incredibly attractive to employers. You strike me as being very intelligent and so if in the next two years you are looking at making an Oxbridge/ Russell Group University application an MFL A-Level will really boost your application as they are listed highly on the list of facilitating subjects. With regards to Brexit without weighing into this too much politically, I do think that the mindset of your parents is somewhat naive (no offence!!!). There is going to be so much more of an emphasis on languages as a result of Brexit with the movement of companies between Germany and the UK and from anything to trade negotiations. Although Brexit seems to have created a larger distance between the UK and Germany from a political stance the two countries have committed to continuing a close relationship. I actually completed an EPQ on this topic and if needs be I will personally post my dissertation to your parents and hopefully persuade them of the importance of languages in a post-brexit nation! I did my reading listening translation exam today and feel so sad that my German A Level is nearly over so I have hopped on here to hopefully inspire a new generation of linguists. I have so much more I could say about this so if you have any more questions about anything German/Languages related then just let me know because I would be more than happy to answer anything that is still causing difficulties for you and your parents regarding this decision.
Honestly thank you so much for your response! (>~< ) Your reply has made me feel a lot better and relieved. I love German and sure my parents said that they won't support me but I'll make do by myself since it'll be worth my time (^_^ )

I'm happy to hear that a language can go with almost any A Level because I told my parents that it's an add on but my parents said that it doesn't fit with anything and that there's a reason less schools are offering German for A Level.

Also random but do you have any advice for improving my German Listening please? My listening exam is next week but I don't feel confident at all plus I no longer have the time to watch German TV shows (>_< )
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MiriamButcher
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I wanted to do German A Level but my school stopped offering it, so I’d encourage anyone to take to opportunity. Speaking German is a great employability advantage because of Germany’s position as an industrial powerhouse. If you go into the financial sector with Economics, you’d be open to a wider set of companies such as German cat companies (that pay well).
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MinaBee
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If you want to do it, then do it. Your parents aren't going to be the ones studying it and sitting the exams.

There's a lack of language skills in this country so you'll be doing yourself a huge favour too. Honestly it sounds like your parents have 0 idea what they're talking about.
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Ellietomlinson07
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(Original post by Hiro2468)
Honestly thank you so much for your response! (>~< ) Your reply has made me feel a lot better and relieved. I love German and sure my parents said that they won't support me but I'll make do by myself since it'll be worth my time (^_^ )

I'm happy to hear that a language can go with almost any A Level because I told my parents that it's an add on but my parents said that it doesn't fit with anything and that there's a reason less schools are offering German for A Level.

Also random but do you have any advice for improving my German Listening please? My listening exam is next week but I don't feel confident at all plus I no longer have the time to watch German TV shows (>_< )
I’m so happy to hear it has helped! Yes honestly German goes with everything and anything the variety in my class is huge from people who do other languages to people who study drama, history, maths, business, dance, you name it and I’m sure there is someone who does it alongside German!

Also you can tell your parents that the reducing number of students who do German is mainly down to the emphasis on league tables in schools which means teachers are pushing students towards easier subjects that they will get better grades in and therefore boost their ranking in the league tables and the dominance of Spanish at the minute is having an impact. My research finally comes in handy!

With regards to listening, I know how you feel it was my weakness too! First of all don’t panic, it’s a tiny part of the exam and to help improve try listening to German music there are good bands and artists like Cro, Glasperspiel, Lena and deine Freunde (all quite cheesy but good grammar in most of them!). Also Deutsche Welle does Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten on the podcast app where you can just listen to the news in German really slowly and the transcript is there alongside it so you can read as you go. If you don’t understand lots of this though I wouldn’t worry because it is probably above GCSE level but at least you’d be listening to German, the more you absorb the better. The only other recommendation I have would be a website called Kika (if I have remembered the name right) which has like German Newsround for kids. Really quick and snappy! But yeah at GCSE I just did lots of past papers but I know you guys are on the new syllabus!

Good luck with your exams!
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artful_lounger
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I wonder if your parents realise the volume of mathematical, scientific, and policy research coming out of Germany, as well as the historical bodies of research in German in basically...any academic field...? Also pretty much any top tier PhD programme will at least encourage you to pick up a second language due to how useful it is to be able to read primary literature relevant to your area directly, rather than relying on someone else's translation and a fair few such programmes (particularly in humanities fields) require it explicitly in fact.

Anything in the realm of Classics, archaeology, history, or art history will expect you to have at least reading ability in one of German or French (or for art history, Italian), certainly by the end of the PhD if not as a requirement for admission to it. As above, in more mathematical areas, there's an enormous body of literature in physics and mathematics from the early-mid 20th century which is in German, much of which is foundational for major areas of research today (notably, a lot of theoretical physics work). For example. Harvard require their PhD mathematicians to be able to read academic writing in German, French, or Russian within the first two years of the PhD, because those are the languages the majority of contemporary research in mathematics (and many other fields) is published in

This is all of course purely in terms of academia - outside of academia being able to speak another language is always an attractive prospect for employment, as even if the language isn't required it quite clearly demonstrates a strong set of "soft" skills in being able to learn new and unfamiliar content quickly. It's also potentially very useful if you wanted to work internationally - as regardless of whether England remains in the EU or not, it remains a UN member state, as well as a member of any number of international organisations (including many sporting organisations) which use German as one of their primary languages (usually English, French, and German are the common languages in this realm).
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