Years 9 and 10 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level, students bring to their learning existing knowledge of German language and culture and a range of learning strategies and experiences. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with youth-related and social and environmental issues. They require continued guidance and mentoring but work increasingly independently to analyse, reflect on and monitor their language learning and intercultural experiences. They are considering future pathways and options, including how German could be part of these.
German language learning and use
Learners interact with peers, teachers and other German speakers in immediate and local contexts relating to their social and learning worlds, and with unfamiliar German-speaking communities and cultural resources through a range of physical, virtual and online environments. This is a period of language exploration and vocabulary expansion, and of experimentation with a wider range of modes of communication, for example, digital, collaborative performance and group discussions. Greater control of language structures and systems, and understanding of the variability of language use increase confidence and interest in communicating in a growing range of contexts. Learners use German to initiate, sustain and extend interactions in situations such as negotiating a resolution to a disagreement; to access and exchange information; to express feelings and opinions; to participate in imaginative and creative experiences; to develop, analyse, interpret and translate a wider range of texts and experiences; and to reflect on and evaluate learning experiences. They use German more fluently, with a greater degree of self-correction and repair, and reference the accuracy of their target language use against a stronger frame of knowledge of grammar. They demonstrate understanding of language variation and change; of how intercultural experience, technology, media and globalisation influence language use and forms of communication. Task characteristics and conditions are more complex and challenging. They provide opportunities for collaborative language planning and performance, the development of translating and interpreting tools, and strategic use of language and cultural resources.
Contexts of interaction
The contexts for learning and using German are regularly extended beyond the classroom. Learners interact with teachers, peers and members of German-speaking communities face-to-face and via online technologies. They have opportunities to engage with German speakers and cultural events in the wider community, such as in the media, guest speakers, exchange assistants/students, film festivals, community events or in-country travel.
Texts and resources
Learners build on and extend their knowledge of different types of text and language functions through balancing focused attention to language forms and structures with text creation and performance. They work with a wider range of fiction and nonfiction texts, which allows for exploration of themes of personal and societal relevance, for example, global issues, identity and relationships, diversity and inclusivity. They develop additional analytical tools, including consideration of literary form and devices, and ways in which language choices empower, build identity and are influenced by audience, context and purpose. They identify how texts shape perspectives and meaning.
Features of German language use
Learners expand their knowledge and control of grammatical elements such as register, future tense, reflexive verbs and subordinate clauses. In-depth investigation of the links between German, English and other languages they know strengthens learners’ intercultural capability. They examine the processes involved in learning and using a different language, recognising them as cognitive, cultural and personal as well as linguistic. They explore the reciprocal nature of intercultural communication: how moving between different languages and cultural systems impacts on ways of thinking and behaving; and how successful communication requires flexibility, awareness and openness to alternative ways. They develop the capacity to ‘decentre’ from normative ways of thinking and communicating, to consider themselves through the eyes of others, and to communicate in interculturally appropriate ways.
Level of support
Learners are increasingly aware of and responsible for their own learning, working independently and collaboratively to address their learning needs. Resources are required to support this process, such as technological support for vocabulary expansion, graphic organisers, modelled texts, dictionaries and teacher feedback. Students require continued explicit instruction on the grammatical system and opportunities to discuss, practise and apply their knowledge. They monitor their own progress and learning, such as through the use of e-journals or folios, using these to reflect on their language learning and intercultural experience.
The role of English
While sustained use of German is expected at this level, English continues to be used when necessary for substantive discussion, explanation and analysis. This allows learners to communicate in depth and detail about their experience of learning German and to express ideas, views and experiences at a level beyond their current level of proficiency in German. English may be used in conjunction with German to conduct research, to translate or to communicate bilingually.