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GE 101: Modern German language 1

First Year Language Project

Project Description


For the First Year Language Project students work in groups of three (in exceptional cases two) on a topic they research in German language newspapers and magazines.

Each group collects 15 articles about different aspects of their topic (10 articles in groups of two). The articles should be selected from a range of different source. All members of the group read all articles.

Each group member then individually studies four article more closely and writes a commentary in German on each of these four articles (one page commentary per article: ca. 350-400 words).

As a group you write an introduction (ca. 200 words) and a concluding evaluation (ca. 700-800 words) to the whole project (in German). These parts of the project should be planned and composed as a team on the basis of your discussions in the group meetings.

Each group keeps a written record of the project work throughout term II (notes in German).

In the course of the second term each group gives a talk about their work in progress in class.

Writing the commentaries (each group member individually)
  • State the source of the article and the date when it was published.
  • Give a summary of the article’s content.
  • If there are graphs, statistics or interesting images, you may refer to them in your summary.
  • Make observations about the language used and write sown your findings
  • (e.g. style, register, rhetoric devices, use of specialist vocabulary). Cite examples from the text.
  • Is there anything interesting to be said about the article in terms of genre? What impact does is have on the reader? Is it intended to be opinion-forming, to influence or even manipulate the reader?
  • Comment on the article in a personal statement: What do you think about the issues raised in the text? Can they be put in a broader context? What do you think about the article itself and how it is written?
  • Vocabulary: for each article write a list of 10 new words which you find important and useful
Writing the introduction (group)
  • What are the aims of the project? What are you trying to find out?
  • What was your knowledge about the topic before you started your project work?
  • What were your expectations?
  • Where did you find your articles: Provide some information on the sources you used.
Writing the conclusion and evaluation (group)
  • After a discussion in your group, sum up your findings.
  • Make comparisons between articles.
  • Compare the expectations you had initially with the outcome of your research project. Which new insights have you gained? As far as your topic is concerned, has your image of Germany ( Austria, Switzerland) changed?
  • Compare the situation in Germany ( Austria, Switzerland) with that in Britain with regard to the topic.
  • Reflect on what you have learned during the project work and assess your work as a group.
Written record of the group work (group)

While working on the project in term II the groups keep a written record of all their activities, e.g. planning process, meetings and discussions, distribution of tasks. The record can be kept in the form of notes (in German) and a typed copy should be included in the final version of the project.

Form of the project (group)
  • title page with project title and names of group members
  • a table of content
  • material should be ordered where appropriate (e.g. according sub-topics)
  • include copies of all articles you have collected
  • written text should be typed (letter size 12, spacing 1.5)
  • before handing in your finished project, file all your material in a folder (title page, table of content, introduction, written commentaries (including list of new vocabulary), articles or copies of articles, conclusion, record of your project work as a group)
Marking criteria
  • Group work (40%): Research and article selection; planning process and organisation (project record); content and language of written introduction, conclusion and evaluation; form and structure of the project
  • Individual work (60%): Content and language of written commentaries

The overall mark for the language project counts 50% towards your First Year oral mark.

The project starts in the first week of term II and has to be handed in by Friday week 10/ term II, 12 noon.

Useful sources
  • media sources (German papers and magazines) will be introduced in class
  • useful online sources can be found on the German studies web (subject pages)