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    German language for absolute beginners.

    Today, there are more career benefits in studying German than ever before. In GERM 131 you will start learning the most commonly spoken language in the European Union, where a quarter of the world's GDP is generated. You will also get to know a culture that works hard and plays even harder: German speakers may have won more Nobel prizes than any other country apart from the US, but they also make up the largest group of international tourists in the world.

    GERM 131 is the first in a series of three introductory papers that will help you become an independent user of the language, able to deal with simple, everyday situations with native German speakers. The teaching methods in all three papers emphasise active communication. In class students interact with the teacher and each other to develop the full range of speaking, listening and writing skills.

    About this paper

    Paper title Introductory German 1
    Subject German
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    GERM 105, GERM 101 and GERM 132 or any other more advanced German language paper
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    This paper is for beginners only and is not available to students who have passed NCEA Level 2 or 3 (or equivalent) in German.  For further information, contact the Programme Coordinator (
    Suitable for students of all disciplines interested in gaining some basic skills in German.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Peter Barton

    Paper Structure
    The paper covers the following topics:
    • Basic vocabulary (1200 words)
    • Basic grammatical structures (verb conjugations, the German case system, modal verbs, dependent clauses, present and past tenses)
    • German culture (society, music, films)
    Teaching Arrangements

    Four hours of lectures per week.


    Required: Tschirner, E & Nikolai, B. (2020). ISE Kontakte, 9th edition. McGraw-Hill Education: New York.

    Course outline
    A course outline will be provided at the beginning of Semester.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion students will

    • Have reached the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
    • Have acquired basic skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing German
    • Be able to engage in basic German conversations, ask and answer simple questions, understand basic phrases, read sentences on posters, fill out forms and write short letters


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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