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Teaching A level German-Articles and Reviews

articles and reviews

Site: A Level German
Course: A Level German
Book: Teaching A level German-Articles and Reviews
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Date: Saturday, 15 December 2018, 7:20 PM

Table of contents

1 Was wir tun, wenn der Aufzug nicht kommt-Katja Berlin, Peter Grünlich

Was wir tun, wenn der Aufzug nicht kommt

How good do graphs get?  Well I was thoroughly tickled when I picked up this book in Dortmund airport recently and it's currently a big hit in Germany.

The book takes dozens of scenarios from our daily lives, mainly around niggling irritations and then extrapolates a graph or other form or graphic from each of them.   The statistics are based on ironic humour and prejudice rather than on statistical surveys and cover a wide range of topics which will be familiar to language teachers.

A typical example would be Was Menschen in Horrorfilmen machen, wenn sie jemand Fremden im Haus hören.

The pie chart gives very, very thin slices to

Die Polizei rufen

Sich verstecken


and 95% of the pie chart to Nachsehen, woher das Geräuch kommt

You will find other examples by clicking through to the Amazon link on the right.

Already, seeing the language there, you can relate to the topics and the potential oral exploitation.  Content with little explicit language is so much easier to use to get students talking-making suppositions etc.

For anyone looking for a chuckle and to lay the myth that the Germans have little sense of humour, this is the perfect tool.

Part two

The link on the right is to the Kindle version of the book.  Did you know  you can download the Kindle application to use on your desktop?

You can download it here.  Download page

Using the Kindle version of the book hooked up to your laptop you have an easy way of getting a good starter talking point on the whiteboard for GCSE or A Level.

Buy the book

2 Zeitklicks 20th Century History Site

Thanks to Angelika Davey, a member of the MFLforum on yahoo groups for pointing out the excellent Zeitklicks website. With a cartoon interface that leads into a graphical menu covering ...



3 Audio book version of text being studied.

Audio book version of text being studied

I've recently been working on Die Verwandlung by Kafka and was delighted to find what I thought was a really good audio-book version of the novella.   I downloaded the mp3 files from and opened them in the Readdle App on my smartphone to play them (other options are offered when you try to open the file).    I do a 4 mile walk every two or three days and like to listen to podcasts of an improving nature so began to listen.

Ingrid Maclean is currently working on the book for but I agreed to do the page by page vocabulary to help me top up my failing memory-I therefore had the whole, admittedly not very long, narrative in my head.  

The novella was read by Karen Schulz-Vobach and was well produced with frequent spooky sound effects and I was struck by several things.   I do find reading complex German sentences challenging and was surprised to find to what extent hearing the text read meaningfully, with emotion, highlighted the meaning and brought it back stronger into my consciousness.  

My suggestion is that it would be extremely useful to get students to go back over, via the audiobook, the section/chapter they have just been covering to help capture it in the mind in a more meaningful way.   I think it's certainly worth trying-it also helps students internalize the musicality and rhythm of well written language. 

The set of resources on die Verwandlung is due out shortly and will comprise full page by page vocabulary, a gapped summary of the text, questions, contextualized grammar and sample essay plan and essay.

One can also imagine using the audio version of the text to practise dictation of particular extracts or as a way of getting students to think of the context in which a short extract occurs.  

Purchase/get free version

Download page for die Verwandlung from

Go to download page