German is mother tongue to more Europeans than any other language and is widely spoken across Central and Eastern Europe.
The CBI rated it as the top language (50%) valued by UK managers. Germany remains the economic powerhouse of Europe and it still holds the upper-hand in the European Union. Currently Germany is Britain’s main European trading partner and remains the most important European economic power, producing more than one quarter of the EU’s gross domestic product. Almost 1000 British companies, including all the major UK multinationals, have subsidiaries in Germany. The German language sits well with Science: it is the second most commonly used language in which to write a work of scientific research – especially Engineering, Chemistry and Physics. In terms of complexity, German and English belong to the same West Germanic language family and share thousands of similar words and phrases, especially in terms of computer, telecommunications and medical vocabulary.
The AQA German A Level is designed to build on knowledge gained at IGCSE. Therefore, topics studied include the media, popular culture, healthy living and relationships, whilst A Level topics include the environment, the multicultural society and contemporary social issues. The study of German literature and/or a film is also incorporated into the course to broaden cultural awareness.
As the capital city not only features as a topic in itself but also provides the background to some of the literature and films available for study in the Sixth Form, the department often arranges short trips to Berlin. Such trips not only provide a wider context for the study of the language but also offer first-hand experience of the cultural aspects of the A Level course. Sights visited include Potsdamer Platz, the Reichstag, the remnants of the Berlin Wall, the East German Stasi (Secret Police) prison and the Olympiastadion.