GER10140 Reading German Literature

Academic Year 2024/2025

This is a level 1 module for students of German (non-beginners) or any students with German who want to read German literature. All students should have taken Honours German in the Leaving Certificate OR reached at least level A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference. The module aims to introduce students to the reading and analysis of short literary texts in German (poetry and short prose) and, in the process, further their language learning.
Students will be guided in the reading process and learn to develop questions in order to comprehend the historical context, plot, themes and characters. They will be given the tools to analyse the texts for their rhetorical effect, narrative strategies and stylistic features. They will also be introduced to key aspects of academic writing, including referencing and academic style.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
- Read, comprehend and enjoy short German-language texts, summarising and analysing their main themes, characters, stylistic and rhetorical features in English
- Differentiate the main features of short literary genres (poems and short stories)
- Develop a catalogue of questions to aid their comprehension and analysis of short literary texts
- Demonstrate awareness of the role that historical context plays for literary texts
- Understand more readily short mini-lectures in German
- Write a close analysis in English of a short literary text, in an appropriate register and style
- Collaborate with another student on an assignment (in English) discussing an allocated literary text not previously studied
- Write creative responses in German to literary texts

Indicative Module Content:

The module is divided into 4 different thematic blocks:

- Language and communication
- Relationships and conflict
- Growing up, ageing, issues of identity and gender
- Heimat: belonging, inclusion and exclusion

The focus is on short literary texts (prose and poetry) from different historical periods, but mainly the 20th and 21st centuries, written by a range of authors from the German-speaking countries. Strategies to develop and practise close reading and analysis will be employed, and we will look at the different stylistic and rhetorical features in the texts. We will also be doing some short pieces of creative writing as responses to the texts.
All of the texts and supporting material including guiding reading questions will be made available on Brightspace.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In order to benefit from the learning experience, students need to attend and participate actively in this module, and work consistently and independently outside of class time. It is important to use and engage with the material on Brightspace.

The module will be taught by a mixture of small-group tutorials (Thursdays) with discussion, peer and group work, and task-based learning taking place in English, and mini-lectures held in German (Fridays) outlining concepts, strategies and context, and punctuated by activities and creative writing.

Students will be given strategies for reading comprehension and tools for analysis, and provided with guiding questions and "survival vocabulary" to help unlock the texts in the original German. Comprehension and analytical skills will grow over the course of the module.

Assessment is by means of a commentary on a particular passage and a small group / pair presentation discussing a new text not already covered in class. These will take place on the Friday of the last week. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
GER10030 - Intro to German Literature

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Group Work Assignment: Presentation (in pairs) on an allocated (new) story, addressing specific questions. These will take place during last Friday class, which will be a 2-hour class (13-15:00). Week 12 Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment(Including Essay): Commentary and critical analysis of poem (ca. 1,200 words in English), addressing specific questions. Week 7 Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Reflective Assignment: 2 short learning journals of 150 words each (in English) in response to a particular statement. Week 4, Week 9 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback will be provided for the essay. Students who wish to get some feedback or pointers for improvement prior to essay submission, must submit a draft or outline by a specified time. Advice may also be sought on the group project beforehand and especially during the designated workshop class set aside for this. Written feedback on the group project will be made available after the publication of results. All students must attend the final class where the projects are briefly presented.

All primary works (short stories and poems) will be made available in Brightspace and titles of relevant secondary material will also be communicated there.
Name Role
Dr Siobhan Donovan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Helga Muellneritsch Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Joseph Twist Lecturer / Co-Lecturer