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Unit of study_

GRMN3009: German Language and Society

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit enhances your language skills while enabling you to study contemporary German society. Using materials drawn from contemporary print and (audio-)visual media, you will expand your capacity for written and spoken expression by engaging with key social and cultural issues in the contemporary German-speaking world.

Unit details and rules

Unit code GRMN3009
Academic unit Germanic Studies
Credit points 6
GRMN3008 or GRMN2616 or GRMN1322
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Cat Moir,
Tutor(s) Silke Schoppe,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Oral presentation
Video and oral presentation
30% Week 04 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO6 LO7
Assignment Essay task
Blog essay
40% Week 06 2000 wd
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO3
Small test reading comprehension
reading comprehension test
15% Week 13 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4 LO3
Small test listening comprehension
listening comprehension test
15% Week 13 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found in the Canvas site for this unit.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Written. Near-native performance, with outstanding level of grammatical accuracy; evidence of very extensive vocabulary; very highly developed sense of register and grasp of relevant linguistic skills; translation technique approaching professional standards in terms of accuracy, idiom, and cultural transfer.

Oral. Near-native performance. Outstanding expression, fluency and accuracy, excellent comprehension, presentation and general communication skills. 


75 - 84

Written. Excellent level of comprehension, fluency, and accuracy; evidence of wide vocabulary; highly developed sense of register and grasp of relevant linguistic skills; translation technique excellent in terms of accuracy, idiom, and cultural transfer.

Oral. Excellent expression, fluency and accuracy; very good comprehension, presentation and communication skills. May make minor errors, but these are compensated by sustained excellence elsewhere. 


65 - 74

Written. Very good level of comprehension, fluency, and grammatical accuracy; very good range of vocabulary, very good sense of register and grasp of relevant linguistic skills. Translation technique is very good in all areas. Work may contain minor lapses in one or more areas, but without compromising overall comprehensibility and communication.

Oral. Very good expression, fluency and accuracy; very good comprehension, presentation and communication skills. May make minor errors, but without compromising fluency, expressive capacity, comprehensibility, or communication. 


50 - 64

Written. Competent level of comprehension, fluency, and grammatical accuracy, limited but acceptable range of vocabulary and grasp of relevant linguistic skills. Comprehensibility and communication are maintained, despite frequent errors, some of which may be serious. Translation technique generally satisfactory, but with lapses in one or more areas.

Oral. Adequate expression, fluency , and accuracy; acceptable comprehension, presentation and communication skills. Frequent errors, some of which may be serious, may begin to impede comprehensibility and communication, though in general it is possible to sustain a fluent exchange.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: students are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board which will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Language classes are not recorded as they involve individual and small-group work rather than frontal instruction.
  • Preparation: students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All materials for this unit are available on Canvas or will be provided in class

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. express yourself on a range of topics, expressing a point of view and give the advantages and disadvantages of various possibilities
  • LO2. acquire a broader knowledge of the German language as a tool of communication, thereby achieving a higher degree of competence in your progress towards the command of the German language
  • LO3. revise, practise and extend your grammatical and vocabulary knowledge
  • LO4. comprehend progressively more sophisticated and complex German texts
  • LO5. have an awareness of the problems associated with the learning of a foreign language and applied a problem-solving approach to deal with these difficulties
  • LO6. organise and communicate in German your own creative, imaginative and critical thinking
  • LO7. function productively in a team-group environment and independently within specific guidelines
  • LO8. gain a more solid basis for further study of the German language and its culture.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered

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