This course will suit beginners who have studied German for three or more terms. Its aim is to develop your ability to understand and respond to spoken and written German, and to help you communicate effectively in authentic situations. You will have some familiarity with prepositions, cases and associated adjectival declensions, as well as some knowledge of the perfect tense and basic rules of word order. Topics will include travel, life-styles, culinary habits; giving advice; and talking about work. The geography and culture of German-speaking countries including festivals will also be explored as part of or alongside the various topics. Please bring a ring binder to each lesson for the grammar notes and supplementary material that will be provided by the teacher during the course of the term.
An important component of the course is conversation without neglecting the basics of German grammar in order to enable you to manipulate the language successfully. In addition you will develop listening skills to prepare you to cope with the unexpected. You will be encouraged to build up your own vocabulary lists and to consolidate material covered in class between lessons. Small weekly homeworks will be set.
The course book is "Schritte International 4 Neu. To consolidate grammar you are advised to get a copy of the Collins Easy Learning German Grammar or any other grammar book you find user-friendly. As regards dictionaries, in addition to investing into a hard copy there are a number of good on-line dictionaries, such as leo.org, wordreference.com/de, or dict.cc.
Joan Clarkson has a joint degree in French and German from the University of St Andrews and a PGCE from the University of Cambridge. She has been teaching both languages for many years in Cambridge, at all levels from adult learners and A level students to primary school children.